Friday, July 16, 2010

Head In The Clouds

catching the breeze
I feel like I start way too many posts with something along the lines of "I hemmed and I hawed about yada yada yada". That is just who I am though. I think things out to no end. I don't like feeling like I am doing the wrong thing. No doubt that comes from being a perfectionist of sorts. I say of sorts, because there really just seems to be a handful of things I really feel the need to have perfect. I will go out in public in my pjs if I want, my kids' cloths don't match at family picnics, I go to book club without reading the book, and although I love me a good cleaning spree, I leave the dishes dirty in the sink most nights, and I hate laundry.

One of the places I do always always try to do my best is my work. I find I don't take risks often unless I know it is something I will succeed at. The confidence it takes for me to be a working artist is a fragile thing. Too many failures and I probably wouldn't want to be an artist in a public way anymore. I don't post beads that aren't perfect, I waited a year before submitting my book proposal, and I have waited 5 years to teach a public lampworking class. It may seem like I put myself out there all the time and that I am doing amazing spectacular things, but to me, in my heart, I know that I am not. I play it safe, most of the time. I celebrate the successes here with you, and although I often talk about the yucky stuff that my family goes though, we don't often talk about my professional let downs. Well, I recently had a big one. I wasn't sure if I should share it here, but it has been such a huge part of my life recently that I can't figure out how not to talk about it.

During Kelly Rae's e-course, we talked about dreams, and I have seen, on many a blog, projects about dreaming big. I find that dreaming is something very hard for me. I don't dream big. I don't know where I hope time takes me. Most of the time, I feel I live an along-for-the-ride life. I have theories as to why that is, but I need to work through them more before I can talk about it. I think many people might think that artists are full of dreamy possibilities, with their heads always in the clouds, but that isn't me. At least, not until this big dream. I feel like I have spent the past two months walking on air. I let go of the ideas that usually keep me grounded. I grasped onto strings attached to balloons filled with wishes and let them carry my hopes way up high. Monday, it would seem there was a bit of lightning in those clouds and it popped my balloons.

It is hard to let go of a big dream like this one. It really really felt right, it felt true, it felt possible. Needless to say, I had a rather weepy evening. I had to grieve the loss of that dream. As one who only takes calculated risks, I think that I am feeling an extra sting because it isn't often that I can't achieve the things I go after. I am sure critics would say its a good lesson I needed/deserved learning, but *sigh* I wish I didn't have to. I am holding close a message that my friend emailed me, a fellow e-course flyer, that reminded me of something that Kelly Rae talked about in one of her posts during class. She wrote of another author that wrote of a Buddhist belief that essentially says that when things start to go wrong all at once, it is to protect some thing bigger waiting to be born. That thing needs us distracted so that it may come to us as perfect as possible. I so so hope that is the case here.

With my head in the clouds for so long, I feel a little lost being back on the ground now. I am not sure which way to head on the path in front of me. I am a little purposeless at the moment. Slowly, but surely, I will figure out which way I want to head. And never fear, I am sure if I were to stumble upon another cluster of wish filled balloons while walking down my path, I would grasp those strings again and float right back up to the clouds.


Kristen said...

Kerry, one of my Grandfathers favorite sayings was, "If at first you don't succeed, then try and try again!". I know it's very hard to have your heart set on something only to have that dream shattered. But you will never know until you try, and sometimes the reasons that things don't work out for us are not apparent until the next and sometimes better thing comes along. So sorry that you had all your wishing balloons pop on you. I hope that you can find a silver lining and like you said, look for a new bunch. :) Keep your chin up!

Janet said...

I could say things like take the Lemons and make lemonaide..but by what you say often times I see a very bright young woman who does well. Dream your dreams Kerry this is not the end..possibly a new curve for around the corner. Hang tight you will see your little bird!

Jeanette said...

Hey Kerry, the Buddha quote is right on. Funny, I pulled my book out on Buddhism a few days ago. I refer to it sometimes when life gets so crazy or when I get discourage. I really need to study his principles so that I can apply them to everyday life so that I can deal with situations that aren't going my way or working out. Though, back to the Buddha quote, yes, things didn't work out this time, and there are tears, but just wait until "whatever it is to be" comes into your life, then you will understand why this all happened.

Alice said...

Thank you so much for being honest and open about this subject. So much of what we read on blogs is only the success part, and sometimes it causes others (me) to feel the pressure of putting yourself out there, always dreaming, always moving towards the next big thing. Like you, I don't dream big. I don't dream of being published, or being wildly successful, or being well known, creating the next big fad in jewelry. My dreams stay just a little out in front--still in that 'comfortable zone'.

Having your dreams 'popped' is disappointing, but I'll bet that you'll have another dream floating around soon.

RockerJewlz said...

Kerry, you actually sound like many of us probably feel about playing it safe. I surely believe that is more the norm than those who really stand out by being bold and taking leaps where we might just stand and watch them do it.

My brother suggested a book to me yesterday that sounds like it might hold what we both need: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Here a couple of critiques about the book that caught my attention:

"this book aims to help readers "overcome Resistance" so that they may achieve "the unlived life within."

and...."He identifies and explains seven distinct stages of the creative process: discovery and encounter, passion and commitment, crisis and creative frustration, retreat and withdrawal, epiphany and insight, discipline and completion, and responsibility and release."

His beliefs are based in Eastern philosophy which fits in line with the Buddha statement.

I'm waiting for my copy.....

Brandi said...

Big hugs, Kerry.

I'm with you on playing it safe. I took a big (for me) leap on a project - I feel passionate about it, but it could blow up in my face. The thing is, though, I had been agonizing over it for quite some time - I figured that I should at least try.

I'm not really a fan of giving up a dream, especially one that feels right. It may look like I give up sometimes, but what I really do is step back, hold the dream closer, and refine it. Without knowing any details, I'm not sure if this could work for you - but can it? Is there a way to still have your dream? Can you do it yourself?

Thank you for sharing your story and being so open about it. That takes big guts, you know.

Christine said...


Are awesome.

Can't wait to meet you for realz. :D

mairedodd said...

i am so sorry that you feel the balloons you know have popped... but perhaps there were are in your cluster that you were unaware of and they are still flying high... keep working, finding joy... you work hard, have great ideas... one of my new phrases to live by is 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'... you never ever lose by trying... `i too am aware of the buddhist saying and happen to think that is some pretty sage advice... stay open -

Barbara Lewis said...

I think you step out of your "safe haven" many times. Writing the book, your growth as a bead artist ... I'm sorry you're disappointed but my experience has been that there is something around the corner that's even better. Many times our grief over disappointments leads us to much better things. Grieve now, but know there is something better on the horizon!

Jen V. said...

When balloons pop, it's always shocking, but it's always a wakeup to something new and wonderful.

I can't wait to work with you again and will continue to dream beside you. :)