If you've been here before, you know I'm a huge fan of Jamie Ridler. Heck, if you're reading this, there's a good chance we found each other through her Wishcasting Wednesdays. She's always finding ways to encourage us to stretch and grow and deepen and nurture ourselves. She's awesome! And do you know what she made for us today? Badges! Complete with an invitation to call ourselves writers and artists and dancers and any other creative thing we are. So I'm taking her up on that invitation.
I am creative. I know this one, but it's still good to put it out there and say it out loud, I think. I write and paint and take pictures and cook and make art journals and do embroidery...Yep, I can claim creative very comfortably.
Writer. The one that is nearest and dearest to my heart and has been for the longest time. Since middle school at least, when I wrote down my first story (I had been a verbal storyteller long before that), made a little book out of it, and even won a prize. I am a writer. I am not published, and I don't write as regularly as I would like to. All of that clashes together inside me and makes me really uncomfortable and sad. But you know what? If I wasn't a writer, this wouldn't even be on my mind at all. The rough spots, spells of not writing, all of that are actually the proof that I'm a writer.
Am I? I think I might be, although I'm shy of saying so. Part of me says, "No, no! I'm the writer and the teacher. I'm not the artist!" Last week, I went to the art supply store to sign out a canvas for a charity event I'm making a piece for. I was so nervous, as if I somehow thought they would say to me, "You?! You can't have a canvas. You're not an artist. Go home, leave this place and never return!" Or something equally dramatic and ridiculous. But you know what? They gave me a canvas and told me to have fun. They didn't question me. I question me. But I made this:
I think I am an artist after all (and I like birds!).
This one I wasn't sure about including. I don't have any plans or desire to be a photographer for anything but my personal enjoyment and to show pictures of things I've made. But I don't remember a time when I didn't have some sort of camera that was my own--had little Instamatics from when I was a little girl--and I love taking pictures and playing with light and angles and things like that. And when I see something really interesting, my first thought is usually, "I'd love to get a picture of that!" So yes, I am a photographer.
This one was the hardest by far because I'm not a dancer on a lot of levels. I don't go out dancing, I haven't taken dance classes since college (except bellydance), I've never danced on stage, in a play, anything like that. But I love it. Some part of me has always been irresistibly drawn to the stretching and floor work, the isolations and foot positions, the steps and swaying. I love it. And when I get frustrated with my body and can't figure out what to do with myself, my heart always tells me, "Dance!" I think about dancing all the time, I often do dance stretches to help loosen me up for other exercise. I love dance, and I do little bits of it in my life, and even more in my mind and heart. So I'm going to claim this one even though I feel a little bit as if I don't have a right to it. I am a dancer.
I am claiming all five of these, and I'm going to use this as a springboard to dive into all of them more fully and deeply and really bring them, and the joy they carry with them, into my life. Thank you, Jamie!