All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
— J. R. R. Tolkien
Since November my life as a mother and artist has changed greatly. I quit my day job to take care of both my daughter and my creative career. The latter hasn’t received as much attention as I hoped.
As it goes my artistic life is going through another drought. I seem to keep making good headway and then a monkey wrench is thrown in the works and I am forced to a standstill. I still haven’t figured out how to navigate these roadblocks. I think part of it is I never get the ball fully rolling, before it stops. I just keep feeling lost.
The roadblock i’ve been struggling with for a decade now is a big one; what to paint? I feel lost in thinking that the art I make is fruitless and kitch. This ‘throw my hands in the air’ “WHAT’S THE POINT?!” attitude has kept me at bay for many years now. However, you pair that winding road with that of motherhood and *BAM* a perfect storm of whiteout proportions anyone could get lost in. Not only do I find it difficult to come up with my paintings, but the act of getting the time and energy to complete them is an epic task.
At times like these thoughts of quitting used to be the first thing that would come to my mind. Now that i’m past that stage, my first thoughts are “what?” or “how?”. Finding answers to these questions don’t leave me any less lost feeling though.
I’ve really started to embrace a more specific instagram community in the past few months, following moms who are entrepreneurs or business women (mostly catholic, I as a catholic appreciate how they tie their lives and decisions to their faith. Follow who inspires YOU). I thought that these women would have so many answers, but what I keep finding is the recurring theme, we (all of us moms who want to do it all) feel lost, A LOT. This is both a comforting and frustrating feeling. I just want answers, I just want to be told what to do. But, no one can tell you that, but you.
Remember, this is just the frost. You are still you. Your roots are still there. You can weather the storm and find your way.
We are entering into a period of thaw here in Vermont. For me, I’ll be ‘celebrating’ Lent, a time of waiting and thoughtfulness for us Catholics. Even if you don’t celebrate the same, think of this time between Mardi Gras and Easter as a time of thaw for your roots. Think of one thing that you can do for you, for your art, for your productivity for the satisfaction of your soul, and try to implement it. Spring is coming, and those warm days go fast. Spring and summer can fly by with no time for art or personal growth as we become more busy with our families and friends. Try, try, try to do something to work towards finding your path. No more thoughts of quitting, just thoughts of wandering and finding your way.
I know what I will be working on, my “what”. I’ve had some feasible ideas recently that I just need to get to courage to ask my friends to pose for, and then i’ll see if I can solve the “how’.