Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Crossroads

This is going to be an extension of "Woes & Throes" -- because I am looking for a way to relate to what lies before me -- and -- I am trying to listen for the feeling that tells me: Bingo. Nailed it. Yes!

I always second guess myself. And I am learning that I have become enamored and obsessed with denying my own personal divine feminine, in favor of the masculine nature I can wield so well -- although, I find this is the major cause of my exhaustion. Trying to fit my plethora of round expansive pegs into small singular holes, which requires
neither imagination nor allows for a proper expression of self. So, if I want to be happy -- and I do -- I have to change. I have discovered that much of my issues surrounding my, well, life is due to this struggle with feeling seen, important, smart enough. It has been such an ego trip for years, and I still stumble over it. I don't know why it still surprises me when this happens, as I have never as of yet been able to give it up.

Since I was ten, I wanted to be an artist-writer. But having gone through school and being slowed, as well as finding myself un-nerved by my peers around me that were better than I was, I lost faith, heart and ambition and went after another course of study. I do not regret pursuing Humanities or Literature, but I do regret leaving the art behind completely for so many many years.

On Tuesday I will complete my 6 week re-introduction into Drawing Fundamentals and what was so incredible is the somatic memory. My body remembers how to do this. My mind shuts off entirely (gloriously) and I get to live in the present moment as long as I am creating. This happens with writing too, but not in the same way -- words still pour forth when I write, but when I draw, it's just me, the paper and all eternity.

I have three options (four?) awaiting me after my MA which do not require me to move out of state (and this is attractive because M and I are really liking Boulder and Colorado in general -- we talk about wanting to see other places, but with us getting married next summer and already talking about family, we are wanting something more stable and yet unlimited in desirability) and they are as follows:

1. Pursue an MFA in Fiction or Literary Non-Fiction (low-residency via Warren Wilson or Goddard or Seattle Pacific) and become the novelist I have always wanted to be.

2. Go for a PhD in Theology & Culture through the joint program at the University of Denver and then come back and possibly teach at my own Alma Mater in a joint position in the Religious Studies and Comparative Literature departments.

3. Go into a classically training art program here in Boulder and become proficient in drawing, painting and sculpture.

(options 4 & 5 are dependent on choosing option #3)

4. With this new acquisition of skills, apply to the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design and get a BFA in Illustration -- thereby becoming equipped to illustrate children's books in the manner of those who always inspired me as a child: Barbra Helen Berger, Chris Van Allsburg, Arthur Rackham, Brian Froud, Alan Lee?

5. Become the Art Lady. This means that while doing my own projects I offer private and group art lessons to children of various ages in the Boulder area, just as I had received them in Iowa when I was a child (at this time I would like to give thanks my own teachers from the age of 7 until 14: Jewell MacDonald and Patty Hancock. You taught me so well, and I didn't even realize it). My mother actually suggested this option and I had never considered it, but it gave me such a warm happy feeling about it...

SO. These are my options. And none of them are bad in any way -- but the question is, "Which Way is My Way?" As Andre the Giant questions Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride.

Whenever I project my thinking into the future, intuitively, to ask myself: What will my life look like: I have seen the same thing since I was barely twenty: a nice house, cheerful, lots of windows -- a big kitchen, cats , dogs and my kids... and an art studio out back. Even when I wasn't doing art, this has been the same vision, unchanging. No where in there do I see myself driving to school everyday or teaching everyday. As much as I enjoy teaching, I know that when I have my kids, I'm going to want to be with them. shrug

I feel like that character on Mona Lisa Smile, played by Julia Stiles -- the smart would-have-been Law School Bound Intelligent lass and she tells Julia Roberts: "You told us we could be anything we wanted. This is what I want." Thereby denying her schooling in the public sphere and allowing it to augment her private sphere. The issue is I feel I am both the Stiles and Roberts' characters rolled into one body. I both want what I want, and am frightened by the "be a mom" label. I see what it did to my mom. And it frightens me a little... but. I do not want to live my life afraid of how others might label me. I just want the best live ever and on that, I am not willing to compromise.

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