If you look up the definition of ‘mandala,’ you will see that it represents the search for ‘completeness’ and ‘self-unity’. Though I love these concepts, I am realizing in my life, that the search for that, or rather the experience of them is NEVER a perfect evolution, a perfect circle. There is a constant ebb and flow and one step forward and two steps back. I feel like it’s much more accurate to demonstrate our lifelong journey of learning and growth in a form that is a bit more organic. This is something I am in the process of creating, and I’m not sure if I should fill the page, or leave it as it is. I will add the final photo when I decide. I would like to do more of them!
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Ahhjjajse4vnsedrlflsfv! The question I have dreaded for years seems to creep it’s sneaky little head again into my existence.
I have hated this question since the beginning.
I guess I have just never been sure how to answer it. I mean, when I was working at a large recruiting firm and making great money, I hated the question. I knew that what I WAS DOING TO BRING IN A PAYCHECK, had nothing to do with WHO I AM AS A HUMAN. In fact, I hated my job. I cried almost everyday. I wanted nothing more than to be making art. But when I was asked this ‘what do you do,’ question, I gave a brief, quick, emotionless answer. I didn’t mention that my SOUL is an artist and always has been. I never talked about how I DO yoga, and I DO spirituality and I feel pain in other people’s bodies. I would immediately sum up the job I went to for 8 hours a day into a nice little packet, since I assumed that is what the question called for.
But I didn’t feel seen.
I didn’t feel that suddenly this person GOT me as a human or that we were able to maybe CONNECT on a deeper level. It just became a canned response to rattle off if someone in a half listening haze were to ask it.
Fast forward years later and I was working at a company where I liked my coworkers and occasionally got to use my gifts. I talked to people and got to help them and I laughed and for the most part felt like myself. But then again that sneaky little weird question would come up outside of work. ‘So,… what do YOU do?’ I felt awkward telling my memorized reply of being a project manager for a software company. It wasn’t interesting enough to have anyone WANT to ask a question about it.
In fact, I felt like a liar.
I WASN’T A PROJECT MANAGER. I am an empathetic woman that is really good at talking to people. I am full of light and joy. I am eternally an artist. (My art journal sat on my lap so I could draw during calls.) I am able to laugh at myself and people feel comfortable talking about their own mistakes. I am a teacher, and enjoyed showing and sharing. And the whole time I wanted to be making art. Just making making making….
Uhhhhh I could never say all that! ahahha
Fast forward again…. My hubby wants me to fully show up exactly as I want to.
So I am making art.
I am working on a website. I am learning how to push through even when I am struggling or don’t understand something. I am an artist, and finally get to be one everyday.
Nowadays when people ask this super surface sad question, I tell people I am an artist. Because I am. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve sold or not. I have never cared about that anyway.
The way I see things is as an artist.
The way I feel things straight to my core is an artist.
An artist may draw or paint or write or create anything, or just notice the tiny little details of life.
Even this is confusing for people.
They don’t know what to make out of this answer because they can’t put me in a box.
I can feel their brain bursting with, ‘WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? DOES SHE SELL? HOW MUCH? HOW OFTEN? WHO KNOWS HER? How many followers on Instagram does she have? What is happening here? SO DOES SHE NOT WORK???’
I guess those are all valid questions for someone that only measures success by money. But if you were to feel that money is just as small percentage of the abundance that surrounds us, you probably wouldn’t get hung up on my answer. By me stating that I am an artist, I am sharing far more with you than just a job description. I am sharing how my soul was made. I am sharing everything I have judged and feared and wished was different about myself.
I am sharing my very essence.
It’s funny how writing all that out is actually teaching me in the moment how I really feel.
But then my stepdaughter asked me the other day, “So what DO YOU DO? I mean like, WHAT IS YOUR JOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB?” And for some reason my confidence all went away. It’s probably because her mother is a hardcore intellectual, and works 80+ hours a week at a job she hates. So I guess there was a feeling that I was going to get judged. But I was super uncomfortable with the question!
I sort of mumbled something about art and websites and then changed the subject. I felt so out of my body.
Days later I realize that she wasn’t trying to be rude, she was just curious. And if ANYONE is going to lead her to follow her truth, it’ll be me.
It will be.
If anyone is going to show her that she can DO AND BE AND HAVE anything she wants, it’ll be me.
But! I need to OWN my journey before I can properly explain it to her. If I am looking for approval from her, or needing her to get it, or agree, or have what I say be enough, then I am not helping. I need to OWN all of me and then speak from the truth of that.
Ahhhhh…. writing this has been so validating. I love not knowing what is going to come out until I sit down at the computer.
Why do most of us spend so much of our time and energy not feeling like we are enough?
What if we are EXACTLY enough in every way? All these years of wishing I was different, I am just going to start embracing who I am so I can help my daughter do the same.
I am just so fantastically overjoyed to be creating what is naturally flowing from me. For probably the first time in my life I am embracing what I yearn to do without feeling like I need to be different. Ahhhh!
As I create this piece that feels aerial and yet deeply connected, I am reminded of what I truly value in life. Connection, always connection, and remembering that though we are on our unique journey, we are divinely connected. Who I am is because of all the pieces of friends and lovers and strangers and past experiences, both joyful and tragic.
Though it can feel lonely, we are never alone on this voyage. We are a constantly evolving, forever metamorphosing, conglomeration of everything we have ever thought, felt, fought against, cried about, spoke up for, breathed, loved, and surrendered to.
This piece feels like movement and flow and deliciousness. Ah!