Tuesday, March 13, 2012

stocking feet...on being you

I have been thinking a lot lately about being different.  About being myself.  Not afraid of what others think.  I know it takes a lot of courage, something I don't connect with myself.

To put things in perspective, I think about my daughter.  For the first time, she is attending school where I work and teach.  My fellow colleagues are teaching her and reporting to me..  It's a different dynamic than I am used to.  She is a child that from the get go wanted to do things on her own.  No breast feeding, my own bottle please.  My daughter (the only one of four kids), dressed herself, potty trained herself, and has been as independent as could be from the beginning. I couldn't have picked out her clothes if I wanted to. Some could argue the birth rank.. my psychology courses thinking here.  Some could argue genetics..  I am most definitely different than my siblings.  But.....

I wouldn't bother with arguing with her about her attire- less the short skimpy stuff (she doesn't bother with that anyway).  She doesn't wear all black with chains either.  Sometimes she dies her hair with Kool-aid.  Who really cares?  Maybe it's that she is the fourth kid, and I am more comfortable with choosing my battles.  What does it really boil down to?  If she is ok with being different, going her own way, why shouldn't I?

It has taken me almost 41 years to dare. I have to support my kids to be their own selves no matter what.  We all say it is what we want....   BUT REALLY?  Not one of us wants to be singled out.  To be stared at.  We all want our kids to be popular.  To have birthday parties and be invited over to "good kids'" homes.

It's hard being a parent, It's hard to be YOU.  I am finding that acknowledging that is half of the battle.  Being me is ok.  Some may like it and some may not.  I may be one way today and a slightly different model tomorrow.  But that is ok, it is me.  It is not easy for kids, or adults, to be themselves.  I am finally feeling ok with being an artist, exploring the opportunities of making mistakes.  HOW FUN!  who cares if I *uck it up......  it's all a grand experiment, good intentions at heart.

Thanks to my buddies, my kiddos (the most educational of ever), the totally cerebral Ted Talks (check them out if you have never), and my hubby for being totally supportive of me finding me!

Btw... thanks to Jackie Cort for sharing my latest TED inspiration, see it here,   all about being in the groove.  A totally affirming talk for me and what happiness is all about.  Or not about.  anyway.  If it wasn't Jackie, thank you to whoever shared it.  I love TED.

I will not ramble on any longer, it is now 11:10, much past my bed time, I am due to teach tomorrow in the early am.  here's to all you that declare your independent states!

xoxo
J

6 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post Jody :)) Awesome.....a great find for me. Not too sure about fourth child. I only have one, she's turning four next month and sounds like your daughter. Lil Miss independent from day dot....Very funny about not being able to choose clothes..That's my daughter to a tee. How on earth do you manage with four children, a husband, work and then Art?? I'm a teacher also and my passion is getting kids to think outside the box..I think we have a lot in common..amazing living on two different continents with the same interests. I love your art work...and explore "Art anyway I want to!"

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  2. Being the 4th, you finally figure on choosing your battles.... and she chose them for me! Ha. It's taken me a long time to finally find my thing.. the thing that isn't mom, but REALLY me. I'm still exploring. If you are like me, you are still open to learning. And I think that is the key. If I wasn't still learning things, life would be boring. Maybe it is the science major in me.

    I know I don't know everything and most of the fun is in exploring anyway, RIGHT?

    What do you teach, and what continent are you on anyway? :)

    So great to hear from you and find out someone is reading my ramblings!
    xoxox
    J

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  3. This is great, Jody! As a parent of 5 children, I have learned to embrace their diverse uniqueness. It is so much better to help them become the people they were made to be instead of the people we think they should be. The privilege of being a parent is to facilitate that art in action as much as possible.

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  4. Ms Miscellany, mine are older now (well from 12-18)... how about yours? I am wondering if I will survive SANELY these teenage years........ & yes, I am thankful to able to help with my artsy kiddos- each in their unique way!

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  5. Great post! It's so very true. And I think when you become a parent, it changes your identity and you have to find yourself all over again. This can take years! I'm finally starting to feel like me again now that my youngest is 3 1/2.

    By the way, thanks for commenting on my blog. It is much appreciated!

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    Replies
    1. it does feel great to know SOMEONE is reading what you write! Bloggers unite,,,, let's keep it up xoxo J

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