I draw and draw and draw

Mickey Mouse DrawingI love that in today’s day you can take a million and one different kinds of classes online. I always felt this void where a degree was missing. I’ve never taken a “real” photography class and I only know how to draw from things I’ve read around the web. I taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator and I still have a lot to learn. A lot.

And I think sometimes from lack of having said degree is what holds me back.

I’m approaching 40 now. I don’t know where the time has gone. And in that time I haven’t done anything that I thought I would. Before Kevin and I met, I never thought I would get married, let alone have five children. I dreamed of traveling and eating and dancing and doing. But things change. Fast.

I somehow I feel like I’ve missed my chance.

I’ve always had this desire to figure things out. I like to know how things work and I have always rathered doing it instead of hiring someone to do it for me. And most of the time I have been able to figure it out. Everything from sewing to WordPress. My biggest struggles have been in carpentry and knitting and I’ve decided to leave those to the more qualified. Ha ha.

DrewBorn

But still I feel below, less then because I am not trained. I have waffled with going to school for a couple years but I don’t feel like I can juggle my family with my alternate reality. Who has time to study if they can’t even keep up on the laundry. I wanted to be a nurse. Proudly and publicly, I proclaimed that was indeed what I would be but it didn’t happen. It hasn’t happened and I keep looking for the starting line and when I think I find it, it disappears almost like a mirage. I wanted to be a midwife. I didn’t find my love of pregnancy, the love of women’s health until I was well into baby number 3. The kind hands and the kind words of the midwife who helped me welcome Drew into the world, also lit a fire in me that I haven’t been able to grow. I’d originally thought I would do birth photography but with a family as large as mine and kids going in so many directions, it was just not possible. Not to mention, my marketing is subpar and I didn’t know where to start. And let’s face it, I feared, like everything else I’ve tried, that not only was I not good enough, but that I would fail.

I’ve since waffled with wanting to be a doula, with being a homebirth midwife… I’ve thought about it all but I’ve not been able to put my own needs and desires before what I feel like it my responsibility. These are my kids. Mine and if I am not here to take care of them, who will be. But what kind of mother am I if I don’t do anything, literally anything, for myself.

And what comes with that is that if I fail, when I fail even, I have stolen that time away from my kids doing something that wasn’t nearly as important as them. As raising them. And my brain, my brain just won’t let go of the feeling that I am really good at lots of things but I am not amazing at anything. Damn internet, I should really stay off of it.

So as a mother, one who in good intention, gave up herself, as that mother, how to do reclaim little pieces back for yourself? Because I can hear my mother telling me stories of my Baboo. She’d bowl and dance, because she still needed to be Baboo and these days, I desperately need to be me. And not just mom.

So I draw. Hoping that someday I will be good enough to charge more than 5.00. Hoping that the drawings will help my sprout wings. Wings that will help lift this feeling of stuck and will teach my kids that they have to take care of themselves sometimes too. I draw for self care. I draw to have something on my own. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.

It’s exhausting to be invisible.

 

 

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Freedom from…

IMG_0604I used to love photography. There was nothing more fun for me then taking the children out from some elaborate (to me) photo shoot. I loved taking and editing and planning. I loved it all.

Then the internet.

The internet I wanted to learn from turned into my worst enemy. It became a breeding ground of anxiety.

My gear wasn’t enough.

I wasn’t creative enough.

My shots weren’t sharp enough.

I charged too much. Or too little or I shouldn’t be charging at all.

I was a business moron. Marketing was beyond me.

I wasn’t cool enough.

I didn’t have a studio. I didn’t shoot newborns right. I didn’t do weddings, then I did do weddings.

I wasn’t enough.

Frick, it was like highschool again. Stupid brain. Stupid anxiety. Stupid internet.

I stopped shooting for me and started shooting to be like everyone else. And I started losing my love. And then I mixed friendship with business and anxiety with business and then, I was just done.

Because I never felt good enough. Because I let the “others” win. I let anxiety win.

So I left. I left every forum, every Facebook group. I unfollowed and I unfriended. But it’s not there anymore because I shackled myself to someone else’s idea. Instead of finding freedom in my own work, I let it shackle me. Oh the woes of the anxious introverted artist.

Introversion. It’s the topic of many a blogs these days. I try hard not to use it as a crutch as I have watched many fall down that path. It’s not a crutch. It’s not anything except how I am. I’m introverted, to a fault sometimes but it’s who I am. I married an extrovert and had a few children who are extroverted as well. No, so far only one. Davis. He’s for sure an extrovert. The jury is still out on the others although I suspect the smallest will also follow in those footsteps. I prayed they’d all be extroverted and leaders. That, unlike me, they’d not worry about what everyone thinks. They’d create or sport or do whatever, without the shadow and shackles of worry and comparison. I prayed they’d be surrounded by friends and fun and fitting in.

I’m not sure my prayers were answered.

IMG_3542

My only daughter, beautiful, witty and smart, struggles with these things. I’m sure a lifetime under the roof of an over-critical mother does not help. Even if the criticism was never directed at her. Because to me, she’s nothing short of amazing. Yet, I worry the prayers I prayed for her were not heard or were not answered and she will endure the pebbled path of her mother.

So, I wonder how I teach her that the “internet” of her future doesn’t matter. That her photography is beautiful and wonderful ESPECIALLY because it doesn’t look like everyone else’s? That it’s okay NOT to fit in at MOPS or ever attend, because not all moms do and it’s okay. That it doesn’t matter if you go to PTO with pink hair and wishbone tattoo and you will still be a good mother and your children will just be happy you’re there.. How do I help her to embrace the introversion when I have trouble in that skin myself? How do I teach her that she’s enough…

I never want her to lose her love of anything and as I have walked with her during these tough teen years, I have watched as her smile has dimmed and how she’s hidden more and more behind duck faces and friends who aren’t really her peers. I watched her stop singing, stop going. I have watched her feel less than coming off a field of girls who have been playing lacrosse since they were in diapers and feeling like they will never let her in. And maybe they won’t, but I don’t want them to steal her joy and her love.

How do I teach my anxious, introverted daughter not to be all the things I don’t know how not to be, without telling her that she’s bad or broken? I never want her “others” to win. I just want her to be happy and whole… I want her to be anything but me.

Freedom from… anxiety.

Freedom from… introversion.

Freedom from…. me.

 

 

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.