New Vector

Wise Fool wrote an interesting post with the question of what we are holding onto.

“You choose the narrative going forward at each moment in your life:  Either you are offended, an orphan, a victim of abuse, a liar, a thief, etc., or you were offended, an orphan, a victim of abuse, a liar, a thief, etc.  What is history truly is history.  Whether or not it lives on in our minds is our own choice.  Depending on the type blemish, it can be hard to let it go and leave behind, but that’s where history is; behind us.  None of us claims “I am five” when we’re actually twenty-seven years old, yet we all were five.”

I hold onto a lot of identities that I’ve outgrown.  That is the purpose for this blog- to identify them and move on.  My past is part of me but it isn’t all of me.  Most of the stuff I get out has to do with religion, but this week I’ve been trying to be creative and finding myself blocked by myself.

When I was around 9, an artist praised my friend’s drawing and told her that she was going to be a future artist. Then she looked at mine and told me I needed to study equine anatomy before drawing horses. I had. I was very particular about proper geometry and ratios and had drawn the horses from a book with horse anatomy for artists. I still feel like someone who can only trick people into thinking she can draw.  In my head, I know that this artist liked color and contrast and my detailed pencil sketches lacked both.  What bothers me is how my thoughts loop to the look of disdain on the artist’s face.

My grade 7 English teacher told my parents that she was worried about how other people might read my writing.  I heard ‘weird’ and that only understanding people could tolerate it.

So, I am rewriting that in my brain.

I like to draw and am good at details and geometry but need work on contrast and brightness.  I am an artist.

I need to write for me.  Maybe some people can also enjoy what I do and maybe not.  I’m still a writer.

I think it will take some work to rewire the neural circuits that have such comfortable grooves worn in, but thats ok too.  Would anyone like to share a story about moving on from a negative comment or idea?

5 thoughts on “New Vector

  1. TWF says:

    Thanks for the shout-out, prarienymph!

    For the record, I think you’ve got great talent as an artist. You’re no master, at least not yet, but in many of the works I’ve seen you put up on your blog, you do a good job communicating emotion through your art. That’s of far more value than being technically accurate. And while I do gravitate towards color and contrast myself in my art tastes (as I like shiny things :-), work that speaks of emotion is what I truly appreciate. But even technically, you show a good amount of skill with faces, which is easily one of the most challenging subjects.

    Anyway, in answer to your question, my negative idea was more of a general self-esteem issue in that I wasn’t sure that I was someone that people would want to be friends with. I had a couple of cases in early childhood where friends turned on me. (One of these friends broke his wrist from punching my head the day that he turned on me.) The reasons why they had turned on me were never clear, so I made up my own reason: I was boring and unpleasant to be around. So I turned into a bit of a social recluse. I had a very few school friends, but they were usually only friends-while-at-school friends, never going to a deeper level. Of course, it didn’t help that I was normally not interested in a lot of the things other kids were interested in. That only served to make me more socially awkward.

    It’s taken me a couple decades to recover, and while I still sense the echos of my past within my present behavior, I’ve managed to capitalize on their more positive aspects. While I am still sometimes (if not most times) a little socially awkward, the relatively few friendships I do have are of the highest quality. I have learned that by being open and honest (to a socially acceptable degree) is the best way to foster true friendships. And if people choose not to accept the weirdness of me, well, that’s fine too. 🙂

  2. ... Zoe ~ says:

    A woman said to me once that I would never be a great piano player. I was good but I’d never be great. Keep in mind I had never aspired to greatness, nor for that matter, good. I just played the piano. Her comment never left me. I couldn’t understand her need to comment about my skills at all. Despite the fact that I had earned my grade 8 piano and grade 2 theory by the age of 13, was the school pianist, won the music award in grade 8 and was the Sunday School pianist (which had to account for a certain level of “good” right?) . . . her comment took that all away.

    Many years later, while accompanying First Born’s violin solo, a very advanced piece of music, I had the pleasure (more like the shock of) hearing this woman say with shock, “Zoe! You can play the piano!” 🙄

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