Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Painting Your Own Picket Fence

I was talking with a friend of mine and she was telling me that she was thinking about showing her art work.  and I said "You totally should!"  She responds with that her parents wouldn't like it and she comes from a pretty conservative background and the only thing that kept going through my mind was- "What is she waiting for?" She has all the important stuff figured out- has 2 beautiful girls, a home, a job ect.. What is she waiting for?  I get it, something that I have struggled with for a long time is that I am in charge of my own life. When I wanted to quit my job and pursue art- I knew my parents wouldn't be for my decision.  I remember sitting down with my dad and having a talk with me and to this day he asks me if I will ever go back to the financial world- at the time I was doing Mortgage Underwriting and Processing. I know super fun. :) I think what was one of the biggest and toughest hurdles in my life was deciding I wanted something else for my life and that I didn't necessarily want that traditional white picket fence.  I didn't want to be trapped in a job that I was good at but I wasn't happy with and that I wasn't go anywhere.  I kept thinking to myself with all of my years of going to high school then college and then this is what I'm supposed to do for the next 30 years?  Why couldn't I make my own picket fence?    I love my parents but it was hard for me to realize that they might never get my life decisions.  I think it stems from that wanting approval from your parents- but I think sometimes you can't look at things like your in them but outside in... You know that bigger picture and thinking about your own happiness.  I was working sometimes 60 hour work weeks and I remember that over time was required.  My job would say things like you should be grateful you have a job because look at the economy.  Even though I hated my job, my parents were proud of me.  On top of working those really long work weeks- I was painting as much as I could at night and I was using my vacation time to just make art.

I understand my parents want me to have this safe life- where I have a nice house.. a nice family.. a retirement plan.  I totally get it.  Having my own daughter now- I want her to be safe and have the best life she can possibly have.  Not the best life I want for her but her best life she chooses.  Even though my parents wanted me to have this traditional life, they raised me being an independent thinker and that is something I want for my own daughter.  I also want to raise her with taking a chance with life and that anything is possible.        

8 comments:

Becky K said...

this hits home pretty hard as i have not always had the most functional relationship with my achievement-oriented parents. one of the best pieces of advice i ever heard was

"your parents don't really want what is best for you, they want what is safe and good for you."

being creative is a world of taking risks and parents with high levels of anxiety will always be looking for ways to minimize those risks for their children. another brilliant thing i've read is this:

"you may not be whatever you want to be, but you have the right to try."

this was a huge hurdle for me creatively. having been raised to believe that creative risks were guaranteed recipes for failure it took a lot for me to realize that everyone has a natural born right to pursue what they truly believe will fulfill them. it's still a struggle when i imagine what my mother's reaction to my novel draft would be, but it's a wonderful journey knowing that control over my creative destiny is mine alone.

thanks for this post, nora is a lucky girl to have a mom like you.

<3becky
www.loosefromthezoo.com

YeamieWaffles said...

This is brilliant, I love how you're always going to be an independent thinker and went off to do your own thing, I think you made the right choice following your heart, such a wonderful post.

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

running my own business isn't easy and i definitely have months where i am barely making it - mostly because i haven't learned to plan for those time in my good months (oops!), but i have had success. STILL my mom sends me job postings and i honestly it hurts my feelings and makes me a little mad. i think aren't you more proud i have done something on my own? money is nice but doing what you love (and being with my kids) is worth so much more to me. on the other hand she brags to her friends about the successes i have had with my business. parents.

rooth said...

This definitely resonates with me. I'm a finance monkey as well and know more than you can imagine about those 60 - 100 hr work weeks. Although I'm not exactly chasing my dreams, I've been able to get a little bit more balance so I can do more of those things that I love. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to make what I love into a career and I don't know if I'll want to. But the big thing for me is to always ask the question of yourself - do you understand what you're doing and why? And if you're not okay with it, how can you change it? Thanks for sharing this post with us and your own experience.

Erin said...

Nothing is worth it if you aren't happy. Salary, benefits, a white picket fence? None of it. I'm sort of approaching a similar situation myself. I have a job that satisfies all the adults in my family ("she works in a cubicle! she must be doing well!") but isn't satisfying in the slightest to me. Do I quit to stay home and write full-time? Do I quit and move to Paris? It's all so scary, but I've heard that old adage, "If your dreams aren't scaring you they aren't big enough." I'm so proud of you and envious of your courage to be a full-time artist. So many people would love to have even a sliver of your strength. And you're setting such a good example for your daughter! xo

tinajo said...

I´m very different from my parents so I don´t think they have ever really understood my personality or why I´m doing what I´m doing, but nowadays they are used to it at least. :-D

Alli said...

I think a lot of people can relate to this, thank you so much for sharing. I started my own business when I moved up north for my husband to take a teaching position. But I was only able to do it for 3 months before I crumbled under my parents pressure and took a traditional job. I regret not standing up for myself and giving up on my dream everyday. I understand that they want me to be secure, and have a stable financial future but they killed my dream with their pressure. And I let them.

I wish I had your strength to know what you want and go for it.

Alli said...

I think a lot of people can relate to this, thank you so much for sharing. I started my own business when I moved up north for my husband to take a teaching position. But I was only able to do it for 3 months before I crumbled under my parents pressure and took a traditional job. I regret not standing up for myself and giving up on my dream everyday. I understand that they want me to be secure, and have a stable financial future but they killed my dream with their pressure. And I let them.

I wish I had your strength to know what you want and go for it.