Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Conventions of Wisdom

It's no secret that I am having a rough year. It's also no secret that the rough stuff is the stuff from which most of us learn our most valuable life lessons. Knowing this doesn't make the journey any less painless, however! I mean, to say that I'm in a state of transition seems an understatement to be sure. Be that as it may, I am learning to accept my current state of groundlessness. It was a bit unsettling at first to be this, uh, unsettled, but now I just shrug my shoulders and put one foot in front of the other, hurdling along my current path at death defying speeds, winding unpredictably to an uncertain fate. It's horrifying and exhilarating all at the same time and I have made many a discovery about myself and my life's cosmic soup along the way...

Firstly, when it comes to societal mores, I happen to be an unconventional girl. Okay, I know that you all are sitting there reading this statement and thinking, hel-lo? You didn't know this about yourself already? You've christened yourself LadyLinoleum for Pete's sake! My reply? No, I did not know this, or more appropriately I should say, I have, until this point in my life, had trouble accepting this vision of myself, as evidenced by my constant attempts to fit my trapezoidal shaped peg into life's round holes. Oh yes, my past is littered with failed pursuits of the western woman's dream. You know that of which I speak. You are born, you spend your youth immersed in compulsory education, after graduation you may pursue higher education and possibly career, but then you almost certainly find a good man, get married, purchase a home, have children, you and the hubby work tirelessly toward retirement, retirement finally arrives, maybe you travel, enjoy the grand kids and general fruits of your life's labors until the end of your days. Yeah, it took me a long, long time to realize that I'm just not suited to that particular path and it took me even longer to stop beating myself up about the fact that this path has eluded me.

So as it turns out, I am just not marriage material and further, I really like living alone. I love having a career and earning a paycheck. I also don't really mind being a single parent most of the time. Speaking of which, I love my daughter, but feel fortunate that I decided to have only one child during my early 20's. At the ripe old age of 40, I know that I have no desire at all to live in the 'burbs. I love living in the middle of one of the greatest cities on the planet, noise, traffic, hustle, bustle and all. Don't get me wrong, I love nature and having the ability to seek refuge in it from time to time, but I'm a city girl to the depths of my soul. As such, for me relaxation comes in the form of total immersion in activities that keep my mind and body busy. And I know that this one may come as a complete surprise to you (or not!), but I'm secure enough in myself to admit it nonetheless...I'm totally high maintenance. Yep, just call me, uh, complex. Not to worry though, I am quite capable of taking care of my own maintenance, thank you very much...Oh my, did it ever take me a long time to accept these truths about myself and to stop apologizing for them to whomever I found myself unhappily married to.

Secondly, and completely contradictory to my first dictum, when it comes to societal mores I am too every bit the conventional girl.

What did you just say?

Girl, have you lost your mind? Up above you were going on and on and on about what an independent, headstrong woman you are!

I am, but as also previously stated above, I am nothing if not complex...

In addition to my need for independence and a strong craving to experience the larger world we inhabit, I am also a woman who loves to get lost in what society considers to be a traditionally female role. I love caring for my child and home, cooking and baking make me immensely happy and well, you all know I have a penchant (read, serious addiction) for the needle and fabric arts. Okay, I admit it...I also adore all things girlie, shopping, primping and coiffing, gossiping and hanging out with the girls...People, I own a hot pink blue tooth and I am NOT afraid to use it.

Who am I kidding? This independent, headstrong business woman, in touch with her inner stay at home mom, is also perfectly at home in the shallow end of the pool.

Didn't I already use the term complex?

Anyway, the treatise above regarding the recent discoveries made while trekking about my inner landscape is my long-winded approach to a point, dear reader...Basically, I am a phoenix in mid-cycle. My soul having suffered a good ole cremation, I am beginning to rise from the ashes of what was before, readying myself to experience what will be. As such, I will be approaching this next chapter in the book of LadyLinoleum with a bit of wisdom tucked under my belt. Henceforth I will always make a concerted effort to live loudly and deeply. I will try not to be afraid to make mistakes or allow fear to hold me back. I will attempt to be gentle with myself and cherish my loved ones most deeply. I recognized that each day presents an opportunity to discover something new about myself and the world around me. I will make art everyday...

Oh, and for you, dear reader, I will keep these self-help styled realizations to a posted minimum for I seek NOT to be the Deepak Chopra of the craft world...Yes, you can all breath a group sigh of relief!

With that said, many thanks to you all for reading my soliloquy, all of my myriad soliloquies for that matter. Happy Wednesday kids!

17 comments:

Deneen said...

Beautifully said-the Phoenix will rise :)

Love ya-

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what I wanted to say in my comment - other than to thank you for that post and I hope the journey is easier from here on out.

Anonymous said...

Brava!


Christine G.

Miranda said...

Be glad that you have the insight to see what you are (and to be it). There are so many people wondering around trying to be things they will never be. So rock on Lady.
I don't have anything profound to say.. But I think you're pretty cool!

Eva said...

Very well said. I could've written that post. I tell most people the abbreviated version: "being a wife and mother was not a good job fit for me", or that"having a family, 2 cars, and a house in the 'burbs is oversold."

Sharon said...

Please, venture where other fiber artists won't or don't: be the Deepak Chopra of the fiber world. As for all you said, "Amen, girl!"

Sara said...

Go forth and conquer!

Caroline B said...

'A road less travelled' is how I've always looked at it - always more exciting than the beaten track!

Yeah So said...

Awesome post. I too often struggle with societal norms. I always say that I wish that being happily married didn't mean you had to actually live in the same house. I like being alone too, and prefer yarn and crafts to most other humans. As you know I'm the breadwinner and my husband stays home, and that blows most people's minds (the first question from people I always get is "so what daycare is he in?"). Yet I love my son fiercely and love being a mom - a mom on my terms, society be damned! Good for you on your rediscovery and continued success as you continue to evolve from the ashes. Remember in Harry Potter how Fawkes the phoenix would get all tired and raggedy and then poof, become a beautiful new phoenix after spontaneous combustion? Yeah, that's you. Carry on!

Phoenix said...

From a fellow Phoenix, may I say: good for you!

The craft world and the work world both have very odd limits on what is considered "feminine" or "normal"...often times if you inhabit both you can get harassed for being too girly and not girly enough in the same day! It takes time to realize you can't fit everyone's mold, and some people never realize it.

Good for you to realize what you are, what you like, and that being an independant woman doesn't mean scorning traditional "women's work." Liberation is all about choice, not about being all counter-culture all the time. Just...when you want to be.

Brett Bara said...

AMEN, SISTER!!!

woolanthropy said...

Just be...
So fortunate to realize it and appreciate the journey getting there.

Enjoy the rising!

FinnyKnits said...

Always excellent to find another woman out there who doesn't fit right into the conventional molds. And doesn't apologize for it.

I haven't gotten to the "I don't feel guilty for not being the round peg for the round hole", as I still catch myself wondering what's wrong with me that I don't want "what every other gal wants", but it's good to hear someone else has come to terms with this.

You've already made some life strides that most people never make.

Congrats on that - and stay the course. You're an inspiration.

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Good for you, accepting who and what you are and not apologizing for anything. And for understanding yourself, without feeling guilty about it. When I grow up, I want to be like you. Too bad it's the fear of the fire that keeps me from reincarnatin'. Sigh.

Molly said...

You go, Girl!

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Twitch said...

I love the free spirited-ness of your post here. Actually , I love the free spirited-ness of your whole blog. As such, I loved your phoenix reference, as I have already dealt with many burnings an re-risings an I am only 20, what a life I will have to eventually write about. My husband and I are newly-wed with no children yet. We are each going to school, and working on our respective arts. (He is a web designer, I am a fiber and bead-work designer) and I hope to draw inspiration from your bloggings and adventures.

Would you mind if I featured your blog in the future on my own blog? in-skein.blogspot.com?