My Story

my story Aug 08, 2020
My story with art began as a young child, mixing custom colors and painting paintings on an easel on the back deck. Like most children, I didn't label myself as an artist, I just thought that was what everybody did, and that at some point, you "grow out of it"...
As a grew up, schooling shifted focus from creating things for classes, to creating things outside of class, to creating things in my free time.... a "normal" progression, I thought.
I must have recognized that I enjoyed creating and design, because I enrolled in an Architecture Program... and a year and a half into it, it seemed like the harder I tried, the worse I did, or so I thought based on my interpretation of the professor's feedback... so I quit.
I took classes towards a Spanish minor. And took one interior design class, and that day, they professor was talking about what engineers did, and that sounded good (safe), so I switched to engineering.
I went on a received my degrees and started working. I found ways to balance my work life with the rest of my life and that seemed to work for a long time....even after getting married....
Until a few years ago when my son was born.
And all my resources became wrapped up in my 5 lb baby.
My time was now spread over more activities and people.
My forms of creative expression that I had been doing were not baby-friendly.
And my priorities shifted - I had trouble prioritizing time to create. So I stopped. And guess what happened?!?
My happiness at my job waned because my heart wasn't in it anymore, but I didn't know it yet.
It felt like I was doing all the things others needed me to do...
or was expected of me...
but it wasn't what lit me up...
and it not longer provided meaning to my life.
And I had no idea what I enjoyed doing anymore, because what I enjoyed before wasn't very applicable to a working mother (ie, glass mosaics and adventure trips).
I felt stuck, like I wasn't growing, caught in a tornado, that was barreling it's way through my life, destroying what was left.
And it continued through life's circumstances...
my mom's cancer diagnosis and fight
trying to work during the day
take care of my mom after work
and spend time with son late at night.
It wasn't the best plan...
It felt like life was passing me by...
and what I was doing was trying to keep some ship afloat that was at risk of capsizing.
It seemed like the only way because I didn't have the capacity at the time to come up with other ways...
except that I realized that if I had to choose, I realized didn't want to be at work anymore because it was preventing me from having more time:
with my mom who was fighting cancer
and my son who was growing up so fast...
And then it happened... I was laid off.. and afterwards, I felt relieved!
I realized I didn't have to do all the things...
maybe I could figure out life how to live my life in alignment with who I was...
and the journey began….
to figure out who I was again...
what I valued, what I loved, and even enjoyed doing
and what work would help others and add meaning to my life!
Anna Elliott with Morning Reyes Painting, Post-Journey, June 2018.
Originally Published October 3, 2018

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