12.27.2013

The Year 2014 is Going to be Awesome


"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." Brené Brown

I don't know where I have been in the last three years that I have never heard of her before. I blame it on not having cable and living on an island in the middle of the Pacific, secluded from the rest of the world. Ha! Brené Brown is a spectacular speaker and this talk really resonated with me. She's a gem. I hope you take the time to watch the clip.

This blog may have been neglected for some time but my interaction in cyber space is ever present. Unfortunately, for my creativity it's been the form of other social media, predominately facebook. What a mistake! I don't live in regret but I will admit I regret spending countless minutes in a day scrolling over my newsfeed to feel like I'm part of a conversation. I've done this mostly, since I started homeschooling. Being in the house with the kids all day and only interacting with one adult a day, my husband, has been very stifling for me. I've realized, I'm a much more of a social animal that I ever imagined and this lifestyle change has put me in a vacuum and has really hurt me. 

I'm sure there are some homeschooling parents out there gasping at my honesty. However, the value of our vocation, the vocation to teach our children is honorable and necessary, sometimes. I don't regret making the decision to homeschool. I've learned some genuine life lessons, not to mention, the children are much better off with the curriculum that we have chosen for them. But, man, let me tell you, "mama, has gone bat shit crazy some days." It hasn't been pretty. 

The reason mostly is I haven't let go of being perfect. When asked, how are things going with the homeschooling, I'll smile and say, "oh, it's great. It's the best decision we made for our family." Liar! The truth is it's been hard, messy, and not at all the experience some blogging homeschooling mothers have portrayed it to be. Enough, ladies! Be honest with us. Motherhood is tough enough as it is and layering homeschooling can build more frustration.  Do those who are considering homeschooling a favor and stop posting the pictures of your children frolicking in the fields. It can be misleading. Luckily for me, I stopped following the delusional divas and found The Art of Simple (formerly, Simple Mom) The ladies over there keep it real. They give great advice and paint a vivid picture of how things can unravel if you don't have mercy on yourself. I entered homeschooling with confidence, where I should have entered with caution. My experiences as a high school teacher definitely provided me with the insight, experience and discipline needed to be take on the responsibility but it's quite different doing it from home. There's no escape, people. NO ESCAPE! It's so important to have an escape hatch, to be able to go to the place where you fill yourself up with whatever it is that fuels you. That goes with anything in life, I suppose. 

So, what does Brené Brown's talk have anything to do with my recent cyber ramble. Well, she shed light as to why I have felt like a failure recently. I have continued to be stoic and put on airs that I can handle it all, alone. I've been doing this for decades. I will never admit failures. Because when I do, people think I have lost my mind, that I'm weak. When I do express frustration I get a look or response of, "who are you?" They have been accustomed to me keeping it all together and pushing through.  It's been so hard to be told to "stop whining" because they think I have it all and can do it all. Let me tell you, it's exhausting. I can't do it any longer without exposing the vulnerable side of me. There's just no way around it, anymore. Get used to it!

The post started with a quote, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." I realized what I have been doing wrong all this years. Why my personal projects have failed and why sometimes I have terrible days homeschooling. It has been the refusal to give in to imperfection and believe that imperfection is failure, while imperfection, in actuality, is human. But hey, I need to give myself credit for "getting into the arena."

I have led myself believe that the failure of my blog to grow hasn't bothered me or that dropping my coursework to finish my masters degree is no big deal, when in actuality it's a really big deal. I love that in the talk Brené asked the audience of creatives what would they really do if given the opportunity. For me, it has been writing. I know, shocker...it's not photography. I love photography and it has come natural to me. However, learming more about the ins and outs of the industry has shown me that it's not the place for me. The industry is cut throat and there are some really petty and unethical people out there that will criticize and devalue the photographer, rather than the work. Photography as an art form is moving but photographing people outside of my family and close friends is not satisfying. Writing has and will always be my creative outlet. Does that mean I won't continue photography as a hobby of sorts or  not accept commissions? No! I will continue to push myself to get better and to create, what I believe to be a good image. I'm a perfectionist by nature and when I do something I will perfect it before it is shared publicly that's just how I'm wired. 

However, in the new year, I will take better care of my creative side, like stop comparing myself to other's perfections and to figure out who and what I want to create from nothing. To do this, I have decided to join Brené Brown's ecourse in January. (Take a look at it and let me know if you decide to join, too.) Who knows maybe I'll share a more sensitive side in posts to come? I hope so...I can use the change. 

12.08.2013

Seldom


I lost my cool with her today, that never happens. A long walk and a break helped me forget the part of parenting I hate most. She's with her father and siblings forgetting what happened between us, so, we can kiss and make up, later. The house is empty but soon it will be filled with the promise of a better day.