Monday, 30 April 2012

So here's the thing....

Odd title for a post - I know, but I'll explain later.

First of all, my Dad once said, after a particularly in depth conversation about the art I was making at the time, "Naomi, you can't make Art unless you make yourself vulnerable.  The same goes for friends."  Wise words and as I aim to live by wise words, here is me making myself vulnerable to you.

I haven't written a blog post for a little while.  I've been feeling "grim and dark" lately in the words of our current favourite bedtime read.  I haven't felt much like talking to you - nothing personal - more me than you.  And these type of blogs are meant to be sunny, rosy, isn't life wonderful sort of places.....aren't they?
The "THING" is, for all sorts of reasons, I'm just feeling a bit bored and a bit lonely and a bit sorry for myself.  (There you go - vulnerable enough Dad?)  It's been 5 years since I gave up my job as a Learning Support Tutor at an Art college - and nearly 10 since I became a mum.  I know it's easy to look back on something you once had with rose tinted specs and there were definitely a lot of mornings I didn't want to go in to work - but, there were lots of things the job did give me that I am missing an awful lot right now.

It's a hard thing to write about, for several reasons.  For one thing, I understand and appreciate how very blessed I am in soooooo many ways.  So, please don't get me wrong.  Another reason is that I know there are lots of you reading this who do go outside the home to work and would give anything to be able to stay at home with the children.

Most of all though, it's hard to write about because it's difficult to admit to not being content.  That's what we're supposed to be, right?  What if people know I'm not right now?  Will they judge me?  Will they think I am ungrateful?  Will they not want to be around me (or read my blog) if they know I'm not "HAPPY mummy?"  Worst of all - what if my children ever thought I felt like this?  What damage would that do?

I am aware that I am a melancholy person.  I am inclined to be glass half full.  It's something I am working on, hand in hand with a very understanding and thoughtful husband who is the complete opposite.  I LOVE the way he sees life and embraces it - challenges and all.  And I am a work in progress.  My Creator hasn't finished with me yet.

A rainbow over our garden last week
Beautiful Spring sunset after the rain

I have written before about "Lining the nest" and I guess I am doing a bit of relining at the moment.  Some of the feathers I am picking up and realising they need to stay there a bit longer.  Some I think I may never pick up again.  (Youthful dreams of London exhibitions, which were probably never a realistic dream! Oh, and the ability to wear whatever I want without having to check in the mirror.) There are even some at the moment that I am lining the nest with for the first time.  It's a hard process and one that I am realising needs to be done daily - for all our sakes. This is the sacrifice of parenthood.  You can't hold something so utterly beautiful and precious without first putting down what you have in your hands. 

So, at the moment, the nest is lined with the precious ability to paint without concern of time or expense - that priceless feeling of being totally immersed in the wave of inspiration. (Which may explain why I cried quietly at Countryfile this week as they showed Emma Green doing her thing in the Suffolk countryside!) It's lined with the confidence of knowing that I am doing a job well, in a professional context and being payed because someone values what I have done.  It's lined with the learning I would love to engage in, and the training in so many things I yearn to be worthy of.  It's lined with working alongside colleagues, having a Place of Work to go to, work clothes to put on and a reason to do my hair.  It's lined with adult conversation and humour, being able to keep up with the discussion and knowing that my brain isn't mush.  It's lined with creating art that is the end point of a journey of thought and experimentation - just for the love of it. It's lined with having an idea for a painting and being able to do it.

So, here's the THING.

It isn't lined with Me.

I am the Mummy Bird.

Not the nest.

Thank you for letting me get that out.  Thank you for allowing me to be real.
I feel a whole lot better now.