Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and as I move toward the holiday, I am somewhat ashamed about how much I complain.
Most of this blog is me complaining about one thing or another – though mostly about myself. It makes me wonder if as a twentysomething, have I lost my ability to see the promise in something?
As I was walking back to the office from Safeway this afternoon, I brought up my childhood dream to my co-workers. As a five-year-old, I had known in my heart of hearts that I would someday be a draw-er.
I didn’t use the term “artist” because I would not paint or take pictures (two things I love to do now). Instead I referred to my chosen career path as a “draw-er”.
Yes. I would say “I am going to be a draw-er when I grow up.”
Nobody ever knew what I was talking about so I would have to explain it to them.
“I am going to draw pictures.”
Most of the pictures I drew were of horses since that is what I was most passionate about at the age of five and what I thought would make the most beautiful pieces of art.
I believed all the way to the deepest embers of my soul that I would draw beautiful pictures of horses and that these drawings would sail me through life without a care. I am almost 100% sure that for the first ten years of my life all I asked for for Christmas was paper…pads of drawing paper. Year after year. Nothing else.
Needless to say- my parents were stoked.
There wasn’t a spot of doubt in my mind that when people saw my drawings of horses they would need them.
At five I would have bought every drawing of a horse I could and so, of course, I knew the rest of the world would too.
I vividly remember my mother breaking the news to me that artists didn’t often make much money and that I should maybe consider doing something else with my life.
I was furious. NO, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about. My drawings are going to be good. They’re going to show every wrinkle, every hair, every light in a pony’s eye. Mom, you don’t know anything. No one will be able to walk away from one of my horse drawings!
I think back on those times now and smile crookedly at them. I realize she was right. It is INCREDIBLY difficult to make it as an artist – especially if said artist only chooses one medium and one subject to work with… and that subject is horses…horse heads to be exact since I could never truly master the bodies…
But at the same time there is a twinge at the corner of my heart that rejects the practical lectures of my brain.
Goddamn it! If I could believe in ANYTHING as much as I believed in my childhood dream of being a horse portraitest…
Instead, I am constantly consumed by thoughts of well…is this something that will pay me money? What can I do to make this more of a consumer product? Is this a stable career choice?
This Thanksgiving I want to really think about what it is that makes me feel like that five-year-old. What do I have in my life that I am so in love with that I would tell my mother that she was wrong, that I am a true and talented horse draw-er, and that if I was left with nothing else
it would be enough.
It’s scary to think about and I’m not sure what it is yet.
But I’m sure I’ll find out some day and I’m thankful for that.