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Puzzle Pieces

Today I sat down to write an instagram caption to compliment a cute photo Roger took of me yesterday at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. As I was looking for an Alice in Wonderland quote, I came across one that really hit home. The post I ended up writing was much more serious and honest than I originally intended.

Below is a copy of the caption is posted:

"The Lewis Carroll quote, " "'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!," is from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This particular quote speaks to my heart. I have had a life changing summer. I feel as though this crossroads of my life is a bit delayed, but its about the journey, right?!? I spent a month in Spain, with strangers, making lifelong memories. With the end of that trip, I earned my Bachelor's Degree! I got home and received 3 sets of sad news concerning my family. (These things usually come in 3's.) I am trying to find myself, now. Soaking in all that I have learned, setting goals and priorities. . Who am I? What do I want to be? What do I want in life? . I am an artist. I am a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, dog mom, friend. And I am so much more. . I want to be successful. I want to be a positive influence. I want to be a confident woman. I want to be a helper. I want to be healthy, mentally and physically. I want to be authentically myself. . I want to travel. I want to continuously learn. I want to seek change where needed. I want to create my desired reality. I want safety and spontaneity, simultaneously. . I am still finding myself. Each day I change, and each day I fight to find peace and give myself grace. I am working on intentional growth towards the person I want to be, but allowing myself time to adjust, time for my anxiety to subside, time to learn from setbacks, and time to realize my flaws and change course to better suit my needs. . We can learn so much from reading. Lewis Carroll had some mighty helpful quotes. But we truly learn when we get our noses out of the books and apply those lessons in our lives. . I look forward to solving my puzzle, but I know it will take time."

This blog was originally meant to write about my art business, blocks, and accomplishments, but it has more so become a sounding board. Imaginary Abstractions has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I have always answered, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" with "an artist." Here I am- living the dream. But there is so much MORE that I am left wanting. Owning my own business is hard, and I knew that it would be.

I have anxiety and depression. I do not "suffer" from them. I did not use that word on purpose. I would not identify as depressed, at this point in my life. I would, however, admit that I get anxious on a regular basis, and it changes the way that I live my life. I am working towards a mentally healthier and happier person. Easy breathing, exercise, and talking through things helps. Having intentional calming moments and regular routines can help, too.

When I sit in my art studio and begin my creative process, I light a scented candle, turn on some music, and try to get out of my head and lost in the perspective of creating something new. I can't always focus, I am scatter-brained, and I take WAY too many breaks, but working in my studio gives me a sense of pride. I want to be an artist. But sometimes I forget that I already am an artist! This is not a hope for my future, but a fact of my present life.

I have quit my "day job," and Imaginary Abstraction is my J O B. I second guess myself regularly. I look at job posting on Indeed almost daily. I still dream of finding a non profit position that gives me sense of pride and helps make a positive difference in the world. I also really miss social interaction that comes from working in a restaurant. I love people. But what I realize that I should be doing, as I am typing this, is finding a supportive community to surround myself with in the local art scene.

I got a taste of what this could be this past March at my last artist market event. I met several sweet, talented, and welcoming artists. Yet, I put vendor events on hold, while I was focusing on finishing school, and I am finally nearing my next event (and opportunity to meet fellow artisans). I feel as though I got some momentum professionally in the Spring, and then I fell off the grid. With the next event coming up in September, I am excited! There are plenty of things that I want from my life besides being an artist, but this is a huge part of my self identification, and it has taken me a long time to introduce myself with the title of Artist.

I am an Artist. This is the first of many puzzle pieces that build the big picture of who I am.

I have SO much more to figure out, but Alice's quote really hit as inspiration for me. Who am I? This is a question that I have been struggling with for a long time, for years actually. I was determined when I was younger, but I lost myself somewhere along the way. This year, I have made huge strides in learning how to listen to myself and stick up for myself. I have also accomplished a huge goal by finishing my bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Humanities and Social Sciences. It wasn't my first chosen major, or even my second, but it is the one that stuck, and I have really enjoyed the diversity of classes and topics it has allowed me to explore. I'm not sure where it will take me, but I am sure that I am glad I earned it.

Okay, now we have artist AND college graduate as pieces to my puzzle. That sounds fancy, but I don't feel fancy. I tend to be hard on myself, but I can't help but want more oomph behind my name. I don't know what I want that oomph to be, yet. I just know that I am not done learning or evolving.

One thing that I've done this year to help heal my mind and body is practicing yoga. Yoga has helped me to relax, establish a better relationship with my soul, and get in better shape. I am far from being a flexible insta-model worthy yogi, but it has inspired me to share my experience with others and it's fun. For now, I am working on developing my own practices in breath, stretching, and balance. I would love to eventually add yoga teacher to my accomplishments. Maybe that'll be the oomph I'm craving. One day we'll see.

For now, I'm still building the border of the puzzle and the middle pieces are there in the pile, but not put into place, yet. I feel like I may be overusing this analogy, but oh well. ha ha

Thanks for reading and caring about my life.

This one was really just to get my thoughts out on the page. If you read it all, kudos to you.

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