Avoiding negatives is more of a challenge than you’d think. Think about it — one of the first words we learn as we start moving independently of our parents is “No” — to protect us from harms we know nothing about — yet — but also to limit what we can and can’t do as in “don’t touch.” I have found that it continues throughout life though as a self-limiting rather than a self-protecting word. I am trying to change that for myself. I can’t grow if I hear no.
I have been trying to avoid negatives in my personal writing lately — using positives instead. It is difficult (originally I wrote “it is not easy” — takes much conscious effort on my part but I am trying). “I am not a photographer” becomes “I am a writer learning a bit of photography.” The bells and whistles intimidate me though. Technique, technical, all of that intimidates me. I am a point and shoot kind of girl so have been playing with a couple of polaroids I picked up. The learning curves always slllloooowwww me wwwaaayyy down. I have four pictures so far after trying out different exposure settings on the polaroids. I tried batteries in the flash and tested it to see if it still works (it needs some help even with new batteries — it may have finished its work for this lifetime).
Where am I going with all this? It’s a personal exercise in accentuating positive talk. “I am not an artist” becomes “I am a conceptual artist and a writer” who has yet to be discovered as I am just emerging. I would like to find my voice. What is my voice? My one true voice — I am very Renaissance in that I am all over the place with so many interests, primarily in the humanities, but also domestic arts and spirituality. Besides being a mom, mate, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, niece, friend and so on, who am I? What defines me? Where I’m going or where I’ve been? Who am I? What do I do? How am I expressing my creative voice?
Denise does it with her camera and her blog. Starting out with jewelry and a journey. What about Em? Her voice besides her blog writing voice is sewing, scrapbooking, teaching. For Andrea, jewelry, painting and scarves led to jewelry, photography and coaching. They all write as I do. But they also have a vocation that earns them money. Ironic that I worked for almost 7 years helping others find direction and meaning in their work, however humble. I think it makes a difference when “it’s just a job though,” and you’re content with just a job.
I want more. I want to know my one (or two) creative voices amongst my many creative voices. I want to nurture that voice like the runt of a litter — grow, baby, grow. You know you can. Yes, you can.