Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Scribblings:- 'I don't want to be a passenger in my own life'

There is a moment in your life, around about the time when you have left college or university when decisions have to be made. You look ahead, the years stretch before you as far as you can see and further still. You have, usually, been cocooned until that point in your life by your family, by the unreal world of college, then this time arrives when you seriously need to think about your way in life. Probably, for the first time you stand unsupported, no financial backing, no place of your own, the primary need is to earn some money to enable you to live your life. This can be one of the first times you face the driver /passenger routine. The bold, the brave and the people with tunnel vision take the wheel, regardless, to pursue their chosen route. Others, desperate to find money to support themselves, dive into a job that promises them the security of being able to rent a flat, feed themselves and unfortunately, this is when they take their seat firmly on the passenger side. Not always meaning to, but slowly and dangerously silently sink into a life they had not envisioned, having lost sight of their aims. Many years later there is a time when, with the wisdom of hindsight you look back, and see that you did become the passenger which didn't enable you to fulfill your creative potential.

I feel this happened to me and this is my personal story. I could blame the times I lived in, times of peace, love, war, upheavels in ethics, morals, the way we were and thought as young people, but that would be a 'copout'. I started my twenties in a whirl of creativity, I thought I was the ideal Earth Mother, and I loved it, baking my own bread, growing my herbs, making things, full of idea, even though we lived in a large city. Then the economy took a turn for the worst, jobs were hard to get, food prices were rising and also rents. We returned to my home town. Why I ask myself now? Was it a place of safety in a harsh world? I know now it was a wrong turning, we should have toughed it out a little longer in the city, or at that point looked into moving to a rural or seaside location, before we gathered all the heavy baggage of life around us.

These are what I call my passenger years. I look back now and see that for years I slowly became a person that was not me, not exactly a Stepford Wife but slowly letting my individuality seep away from me. Me the most eclectic dresser I knew slowly buying clothes that all the other wives wore, thinking a sliced loaf was as good as it got, instead of baking my own bread.

My children arrived nearly five years apart, and although still a passenger I did adore these early years with them, teaching them to read, cooking with them, painting with them and making all sorts of weird items, but still I was not the person I was, my friends were people, who now looking back, were not in tune with my soul, which although I wasn't listening to it, was still the true barometer of me. So life went on, I did go back into creative jobs, mainly theatrical costuming, but, like a lost soul, never daring to pick up a pen or pencil and drawing something just for me. I was a long time in the passenger seat and time was ticking on, my children were ready to start their own lives.

Then my life changed completely, due to some personal occurences, this ended up with a move for us into a rural area and a chance to assess my life. By this time, in fact for about six years previously, to this I had slowly started returning to wearing clothes in the style I loved and hearing the jingle jangle of my bracelets again. I looked back and realised all the time I had wasted by not creating. Why had I given up? Why had I not continued to try to make and sell my work, even if I had just created on a quiet weekend? I don't think I can ever answer this fully, different times of asking myself, give me different answers. The only continual truth I can come up with is I had lost belief in myself. I had wasted a gift, the gift of creativity.

I have become aware over the past couple of years, that is is not too late, though I suppose some people might think so, and I have now put myself firmly back in to the driving seat of life. I have my garden, my cooking, my research and best of all I am a fully creative person, I feel I am slowly returning to the creative Earth Mother I was in my twenties, and I do so welcome that fact. I say better late than never, and I am not such a Pollyanna that I would say every day is a fantastic day, but I am definitely not letting go of that wheel. I want the years to be fully creative years in everyway.

My message for everyone is don't be a passenger, if you can help it, if you have a creative talent, please use it, you don't realise how lucky you are t o have been given it. Try to use it now and not leave it until later. You will have twice as much use of your talents than I have, but also it's never too late.

Artwork that illustrates this posting. The first photograph above to the right is my latest collage card, She would lie back on a leaf, talk with her butterflies and drop petals below. The second photograph, to the left, is He hid behind the flowers towatch her feeding her butterflies. The third collage, to the right is , In the moonlight she would fly down to the shore and question the parrots. The fourth photograph is of the piece for the Daisy Lupin Friendship Piece Project that I received from Kai. It is my window out onto a garden.

We are having the most horrendous weather this weekend, it started yesterday morning with heavy rain, byt lunch time the wind was blowing almost galeforce and rain became torrential, the water was running down the middle of the road like a stream and visibility was down to almost nil. In the middle of this dreadful weather my daughter, Sweetpea arrived from London to spend a couple of days with us. The weather has been not much better today, frequent heavy showers and squalls of wind, not the sort of weather to encourage outings. Still we all enjoyed ourselves, I cooked a roast dinner, followed by apple crumble and custard, both requested by Sweetpea. Although we all found we were too full of chicken and roast potatoes and vegetables to have any apple crumble, so we left it for an unusual supper dish, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope the weather will have improved tomorrow.

Have some fun
Coming in my next posting
Daisy Lupin’s stream of consciousness game
Pick one of the words or phrases
Let it take you where it will, Go with it,
See where you end up, then post it on your site.
Come on, join in, let’s ramble

Don't forget to join in Daisy Lupin's
Chrismas Story or memory posting
Post a Christmas memory, story, even a ghost story
Or poem you would like to share,
More than one if you wish
Anytime between 17th and 24th December
Just let me know it is your contribution
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There they will remain for everyone to enjoy
until the end of January
Come on, let's have a Giant Christmas Story Circle


Anonymous said...

hi Daisy...I am so glad you found your YOU. I think our 20's defines us, and the following decades REFINE us. So you may now be the quality version of the Earth Mother you once were. I love your art-especially the one with the woman chatting with the parrots. It's brilliant.
Look what your rainy day produced-a fantastic post. Rain has it's uses you know!

Naturegirl said...

Life takes us on a journey and then spirit within us brings us back to our intention. Your art is just so moving..I feel your passion as I stare
at each image!All of it just beautiful!hugs NG

Anonymous said...

OMG Daisy - are you me? am I you? except for the children part I could relate to each and every word of this. I call it my sleep walk period and NOW....the Earth Mother/Bohemian/free spirit has come back to me....she's in the driver seat again, driving slowly at first but that's ok.....perhaps we'll pass each other on the road!! We'll know each other from the sound of our bracelets and the satisified smiles!

Anonymous said...

p.s. I forgot to tell you how I so love your collages!!xo

lila said...

Daisy, I think you have expressed what many of us have experienced as we tried years of comforming and being passengers.
Because I remembered in my college days wanting an interesting, Bohemian (for lack of a better word), lifestyle,I made the cover of my current art journal all about Bohemeian fantasy...or wannabe? (I have been working on this journal for about 6 months now...about as long as I have been reading your blog.)

How well you have written about what happened to many of us! I salute and applaud your taking the wheel again and living a very dreative and satisfying life. The life you were meant to have!

Anonymous said...

I identify with you 100%. I call it Shirley Valentine syndrome.The spirited girl in school, wakes up one day and is just like all the girls she swore she would never be.
I am still trying to break out of that straight jacket. I'll never be the girl I was, and that isn't as important as the woman I can be. Even now, at my age I'm coming to realize I write the script and I can be what ever I choose, the only person stopping me will be me. That's not a mistake I intend to make twice. Beautifully written Daisy, and comforting to know I am not the only one.

Anonymous said...

You just described my life almost to a tee! I refer to it as the "fog" and it was with me for way too long! I always wanted a creative life when I was young but then "life" happened and for years I never did anything creative. One day I just picked up a pencil and began to draw!

Your art pieces are beautiful. And I hope the rain lets up so you can enjoy some outings with your daughter.

tlc illustration said...

Lovely post. Your weather sounds even worse than ours. :-)

Hope it clears up for you soon. Enjoy your daughter.

Anonymous said...

Creativity is a wonderful gift and has to be used, it is a crime not to.
Wonderful piece to wake up to on a Monday morning.

Granny K said...

Hello Daisy, I've been a fan of your blog for a while now, but this is my first post here.

I've finally learned to do things for 'me'. If anyone asks 'why?', I answer 'because I can'.

There are so many of us baby boomers just ready to take wing and fly! With age comes wisdom and it is wise to be young again.

Anonymous said...

my goddess is awakening too! it has been asleep for many years, rumbling every now and then, but usually just being silent while I did what I was supposed to do and act like everyone expected of it is my turn !!!!!

Anonymous said...

HI Daisy,

Don't you think that all the conformity and those years of not being "you" gave you the insight necessary to be so creative now? Earth Mother from 20- continously may have missed out on some of your wisdom?

PEA said...

Hi Daisy...I am finally taking the time to catch up on all the posts I've missed throughout the weekend! Reading this post, I could see myself also...for so many years I was just someone's wife and someone's mom..I lost "me" and it wasn't until the boys moved out that I finally started to find "me" again. It's still an ongoing process and I'm not quite in the driver's seat yet but I'm getting there! Love the way you write dear Daisy and your collages are simply brilliant!! Hugs xox

Tammy said...

What a post Miz Daisy!!!
I have to say, I can so relate...I've had been a passenger, then went to work and was feeling a little more self esteem...then no longer had to work and entered my middle years...blogging has given me a creative outlet in a way...but I wish, how I wish I could do something that would be a help and support to myself should something God Forbid happen and I'm thrown on my own...something, I really, really want to write a book perhaps...I think if given the chance and the strike ends and Hubby goes back to work I will persue this more vigourously...thanks so much for such an awesome, thought provoking post!!

Jeanie said...

Hi, Daisy,

First of all, belated wishes (your earlier post!) and your bday ATC from me is yet to be posted, but done! Life got in the way, but I view it as extending the merriment.

As for this post (and so many of your others) I love your amazing style and command of the language and how you paint pictures in my head as I read your words. This one particularly resonated with me, but many do in different ways. It's a pleasure to follow your blog!

paris parfait said...

Daisy, thank you for your brave, inspiring story and your wonderful art - and big heart! You are amazing.

Pam Aries said...

Oh my....You said it all. What feelings you brought up! I hardly know what to say! ..I do love the purple and green collage!

Terri /Tinker said...

Now that our children have mostly grown, I think many of us women, even if we've been in creative jobs, find ourselves taking more firmly a-hold of the steering wheel at this time of our lives. There were definitely times when looking back, I think I was sleepwalking through each day or just phoning it in. I know I'm trying more than ever to grab hold of my life and shape it, tinker with it till I love the way it looks, and I'm so glad to have found other friends who are creating their own lives, too. Thank you Daisy!

Lisa said...

Some days I feel I am still fighting with a mysterious being over who is the driver and who is the passenger but at least there is a fight!

I love the way you write. I could imagine you in your Earth Mother 20s and I can hear your bracelets jingling. There is such relief in finding kindred souls. My mom used to shake her head and say "we're just on different wavelengths" and how I wish I had just said "yes, we are..isn't it cool?" Instead I tried to conform to hers and her idea of how I should be and everyone else's idea of what I should be and do and I lost me. I regret that my children didn't grow up with the real me. Sometimes they are completely shocked when they hear a tape me singing or see a drawing.

Ok..well I've taken over your comment box. This is why I've neglected commenting as of late..I'm so emotional right now and I started to say that's just not me, but it IS a part of me that I've always hidden. Whew..this driving thing is going to take some work!

Thank you Daisy. Wonderful post and your artwork and the friendship piece are just so beautiful. Much love to you.

Anonymous said... many of us put our selves on the back burner...particularly raising a family and changing with the times, probably for our families (doing the soccer Mom thing...which was fun too) now a time comes in our lives when we can get back in touch with our authenticity. I'm there too...but still do so much for family...often I'm still a passenger.But have learned to say "No"!
Love this post.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Beautifully said. However, we also go through fluctuations in life. Just like ships, we cannot always plough through the waves... sometimes we must go around or through them. So, we react to our environment at times, and it's a necessity. How wonderful for you that you are now sailing in calmer waters.

Kai said...

Life is what happens while real-life is interputing!! I think we all need to find out where we've wandered off to. But it takes most of us 60 years to catch up with that person and find out.
You're a smart Lady :)
Peace, Kai.

Pretty Lady said...

That's my story and I read it three times already and it feel good those tears I am having and my soul feels liberated, too. This is my moment, from now on, I am driving. And If I ever have a passenger besides my daughter, I will teach them how to drive on their own. And probably how to fly. Thank you Daisy, I love everything you do, I don't feel weird anymore, all of you are my kindred spirits. Enjoy your weather wrap on your favorite blanket. And enjoy your soups.

Beth said...

I love that story so much! Again Dear Daisy,,you sure can write! I got your beatiful Lily quiltie yesterday and posted in my blog today. I just love it and all the goodies you sent too! Thanks so much my dear friend!

VintagePretty said...

Wow. I found the being a passenger post really moving. I can empathise with what you're saying because sometimes I wonder if the things I do are taking the easy way out instead of sticking with something through the ups and downs.

Thankyou for those thoughts :)

paintedhouse said...

What wonderful words and I can't agree more with what you say. I feel as though I have wandered around my life for years trying to define myself. For 13 years, I was in a loveless marriage and forgot who I was. As a mother of 2 young kids, I still have to remind myself that it's OK to be a woman with my own life and not just a mother. It took until I was in my 40's to regain some control of the wheel and I am really enjoying all of the creativity and love that always lived inside but was so dormant for so long. So, I will continue to drive my own vehicle and enjoy the adventure (mostly with TRUST and no maps!)