Seeking and Longing

Very early on in my blogging experience, I met some delightful young women through the weekly meme, Sunday Scribblings.  All of them were “thirtysomething,” so I fancied myself the venerable old lady of the group, chronologically at least.  But in the past five years, I’ve discovered these young women have it all over me in the smarts department – at least in terms of being smart about themselves.  In the five years since I “met” them, they’ve  fashioned dramatic new creative lives.  One of them has developed a successful online photography course, and is putting the finishing touches on her first book.  Another has taken what was once a passing interest in photography and is turning it into an exciting business with a totally awesome concept.  Yet another took her love for painting and animals and combined it to become an award winning pet portrait artist.

All of these young women started out as seekers, posting their weekly scribblings about the various longings of their hearts, the hopes and wishes that seemed much too fantastical to ever come true.  And yet, somehow they managed to make them  come true, turn fantasy into reality, and engage their creative process as a means of livelihood.  They aren’t alone in their success either – the internet is rife with young creative thinkers, who have been able to take advantage of the opportunities  new technology affords them.

As so often happens in my life, I find myself on the sidelines, admiring coveting their achievement.   Remember when you were in high school and desperately wanted to be part of that “cool” crowd?   That’s how I feel about all these wonderful artists and writers and creative entrepeneurs out there who are  doing exciting new things with their lives.

I wonder what it is that holds me back from discovering and fulfilling my own creative dreams?  It’s partly insecurity of course.  Everyone is afraid of rejection, of being deemed “not good enough” by the people they  respect.  It’s partly about ignorance, not having the knowledge to even know what risks to take, not to mention the courage to take them.

But I think the biggest obstacle in making my creative dreams a reality lies in the actual definition of those dreams.  In this recent post, Bella writes about the moment she found the direction she needed to take in her artistic life.  Once she had that “aha!” moment (for her, a photograph she took at an arts workshop) she immediately felt “there was no time to stop and think about if I was good enough to do this – no – it was a full on hunger to begin the process..”

I can sit and ruminate all day about the things I’d like to do.  I know what it is that makes me excited, and energized, and feeling as if I’m really something.  How do I translate that into life in the real world, not necessarily monetarily (although that would be lovely), but in the sense of doing it everyday with purpose?   How do I turn my love of words and music and communicating with other people through those arts into something that has a permanent place in my life?

Or is it nothing more than a pipe dream, one I should put to rest with the short skirts and fast cars of my youth?

In my travels through the internet, I’ve read a lot about people who put their intentions “out there” into the universe, rather like sending a message in a bottle onto the open sea. And so I lay bare these thoughts that swirl around inside my head, scribble them onto this metaphoric paper and set it afloat.  Where will it wash ashore, and who will read the secret words written from my heart?

Who knows.  But in this journey of seeking and longing, I’m open to anything.

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11 thoughts on “Seeking and Longing

  1. Oh, yes, finding a focus…. my husband keeps asking me, “well, what do you want to do?” And my answers, from his point of view are quite unsatisfactory. Mostly, I just want to have a certain kind of life: friends, and time for reading, some time for creative pursuits, time for physical recreation; and, honestly, when it comes to what I’d like to do to earn a living, I don’t have any strong feelings at all. Except that I want whatever I do to support a balance in my life. Not very satisfying to the goal-directed types in my life, but key ideas that help me keep my bearings in “this journey of seeking and longing.”

    • You sound so much like me. I tend to focus on the kind of life I want to live, and have no idea how to get there. You are at a crossroads now, with your daughter about to begin college. Those years were actually very good ones for me, once I learned to deal with the empty nest which took some time. I hope they will be for you, too.

  2. 🙂 I see in you, such creativity ~ through words & writing (I’ve yet to hear you play!!) And I also see a woman who wants to emerge, who has stories (fiction & non) that need to be heard.
    There is always fear, self-doubt, not-good-enough-ness, and self criticism that lies directly on our path. It holds us back and keeps us quiet, stopping us in a place where we feel stuck.
    What you need, my friend is an army of supportive friends to help you step over and push through the yuck to help keep you moving forward. I would be happy to be part of that group for you – just as you have encouraged me through the years.
    The dream manifesting idea – we would have to talk about that… there is too much to write – shoot me an email and let’s plan a chat. I’ve learned so much over the last few weeks about it – and I’d love to share it with you.
    xo

    • I think you’re exactly right about the “army of supportive friends.” In the past few years I’ve cut myself off from some of those kinds of relationships. My friends are mostly older than I, and are starting to think about ways to wind down their lives, at least in terms of ambitions. I love them dearly, but I’m not quite in that place yet. I need to find a good writing group or workshop or something like that.

      I get so excited when I see what you’re developing with your photography (forgive the pun!) You have such an amazing talent there, and I think you’re going to find all kinds of satisfaction and success with it 🙂

  3. I know that place, the sidelines, only too well. Funny things is, I have always preferred it to the spotlight. Even in job interviews I would say things like “I love being in a support role because I don’t like being the center if attention, nor the one who has all the responsibility.” That pretty much goes for my own life, too. And it irks me because like you I have watched a lot of these women turn their passions into a passionate life and I am here still wondering what the hell is my real passion to start with? What if I have none? What if the sidelines is it? Is it really such a bad place to be or what am I missing? I agree with the other commentators, you are a very gifted writer and you do light up whenever you talk about your music. Putting it “out there” is a great first step as is talking to those whose life’s you admire/covet. I’ll be here cheering you on from the sidelines! 🙂

    • I think I’ll always prefer being in a “support role. I hate being in management at work.
      I think you know what your passion is – your photography is stunning, and you have a real gift there. But you’re probably like me in not knowing exactly how to make that a focused priority in your life in the real world. I do think it’s important to “put it out there” in terms of acknowledging your desires, and sharing them with other people who can provide not only encouragement but ideas to stimulate your thinking. Thanks for being one of those people for me.

  4. I have this book — it’s called Art and Fear. And I think sometimes that summarizes me. I’m afraid to give up what is secure for what is not. To do all the things I imagine would take great discipline. It would become its own job — and then would I love it?

    So, I make up my stories, so clear in my head, and don’t write them down. I make art that isn’t all that original, sometimes not all that good — just relaxing. I never took a lot of chances in my world and I still don’t — what holds me back is me.

    And yet, I always thought “You’re like an agent.” I encourage people. I support them. It’s what I do best, and while there may be a tad of envy there, there is also pleasure in seeing someone succeed. I know — and I know this because I have read your blog faithfully for a rather long while now — that if you decide you want to write, and you decide you want to do something with that, and you really, really mean it — you will. And I hope you know that I will be right there, cheering you on. Because I know it will be wonderful.

    • Like you, I’m an encourager (or an “agent”!) and I’m good at that. I’d like to have an agent of my own though, really. I NEED that, I think, in order to get myself off this little stump I’ve been sitting on. It’s just hard to be the “only one” all the time 🙂

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