I've been thinking a lot about age. I do every year. So much importance is placed on birthdays, starting early in life. So much so, that I found myself adopting this mentality of you can't do this until this age. Then you have to stop doing things at a certain age. Every generation seems to have their unwritten rules based on ages, gender, and socioeconomic status, and the list goes on. (It goes on, and it gets worse and worse.)
My grandma is firm in her belief that all women over 25 should cut their hair above shoulder-length. While I laugh every time, this idea is based in logic for her—not fully aware that not all of us grew up on a farm in a German colony in Missouri in the early 20th century. So...
The flawed thinking of generations gone by is always obvious, but the ones firmly planted within us take some digging, inspecting, and sometimes, discomfort. This is kind of where I'm at. Some skills I didn't develop until my mid-twenties are very much alive and well for me. Same with some skills I learned in childhood, yet I keep waiting for the day that I'll be too old to do them.
Reading The Artist's Way is slowly teaching me that sometimes, life just is what it is. You don't have to justify your station or play your role. You can just live and love what you love. And while things change within you, I'd argue we are who we are, for life. At least those things that get us out of bed in the morning. Those tend to remain. Passions remain the same, is what I might be trying to say.
This reminds me that my pineapples have definitely, definitely been getting too much water. I've chilled out on them quite a bit but they look a lot healthier. But still it'll take time.
Anything worth developing fully will take a certain amount of time.
This week's chapter is about autonomy, which I am learning I have mixed feelings about. I'm definitely torn on the dependence/independence issue. I love the approval, but also know I shouldn't need it. I've also grown a little dependent on it. So on and so forth. Since the early days of this blog I've gotten to be in magazines, and digital publications and even worked for a few. It's amazing and I'm grateful, but it's always a temporary fix—needing that outside validation that is. Validation not to be confused with wanting to contribute and be part of a community. I'm proud to be part of the maker community, but a publication shouldn't have to have a certain readership to get my attention.
"You are lost the instant you know what the result will be." Juan Gris
Why is this so true? Earlier in this book there was a quote about how all the work you put in adds up to something. Although, the payoff is hardly ever linear. I'm learning this more and more, and also learning to trust there is not just one way for things to work out, or to work well, or to make you happy.
Exhibit A, I was knitting today and thought it might be cute to start an Etsy store, and then quickly realized how much work that would be, and how I don't want to have to knit on cue, and how sometimes when I'm knitting I'm a little careless—which I don't think lends itself to professionalism. All of this to point out that my time invested in knitting wont necessarily lead to a career, but I'm pretty settled into the fact that it'll lead me into something. I don't really think any time or talent is ever fully wasted. Sometimes it's just a warm-up for other things.
I think that's what I've most learned from autonomy, just do it to do it. Not because someday you'll turn a profit off of it, or be well known, or have a studio named after you. Do it because you can. Do it because there's no age limit.