Interesting reading I found this morning.
When I feel “Up”, I become very creative. By up I don’t mean a normal good mood; it’s so much more than that. This is the reason I suspect I have some form of bipolar disorder. It is NOTHING like what my daughter suffers, but it is there staring me in the face.
I really understand how so many creative people in the world are bipolar. When you have that edge of mania, just sharp enough to make you invincible, the creative juices flow. Even during depression I find inspiration. I could live and die by my art if there were not people in my world who keep me grounded. I often wonder what it would be like to totally give in; stop fighting the rhythm of my body and mind and let go. Forget trying to fit my square peg into the round hole. Sometimes it becomes so exhausting trying to be like everyone else; I’m just not like other people! I know this and have mostly accepted it. But still I continue to work the 9-5, and live the typical suburbanite life. I think that is where most of my unhappiness originates.
It’s not that I am miserable all the time. I’m not, really. I have a great job that I love, and I am good at it. I have a husband who does love the me I allow him to see. Most people seem to like me and I like
them most people. Of course you know I have my dogs whom I love more than most humans. I just know that I spend so much time suppressing “me” that I often forget who I am.
So, who am I really? I am an artist who cannot decide on one art form. I love to paint with acrylics or watercolor. I enjoy making jewelry from metal, wire, rocks, glass, paint, and clay. Writing gets in my blood and I must get it out; poetry, quotes, stories, or simply blogging about life. I love pottery and feeling the slippery clay between my fingers. But I think my true art form is photography. I love photography and would spend most waking moments traveling around the world and taking photos.
So why do I work and live like I do? Because it’s what I’m supposed to do. You know: get married, have children and a career, buy a house in a good neighborhood. I did all of that. I’m not unhappy that I did, but I often wonder what life would be like if I lived by my creative juices like my heart desires. Ideally, I guess I could live this life and create in my spare time. The truth of the matter is this life consumes me and all of my time. Just taking time to blog is a challenge.
I have a studio. It is tiny; it once was the bedroom of my daughter, S. Now it’s crammed with the remains of old projects and the tools of all the above mentioned art. I’ve tried spending my summers, when I am out of work from mid-June until mid-August, creating. IT’S NOT ENOUGH! When I create, I become consumed by it like a drug or a new love. I don’t want to talk to people, or cook dinner, or do any mundane things of life. Yet, time after time, I must stop and attend to life matters.
I feel like I am some weird schizophrenic blend of two people: the Domestic Me, who enjoys working and conversing with coworkers and children. This version of Me enjoys having everything in order: files put away, papers organized, and dinners planned. She lays out her slacks and dress shirt before bed, goes to bed on time, and even remembers to put gas in the car! The other part, the Creative Me, only goes to bed when sleep overcomes creativity, puts her hair up in a sloppy ponytail, wears t-shirts, old jeans and bare feet, and listens to blaring music as creativity rules her every breathe.
The Domestic Me has ruled for many, many years. Only on occasion has Creative Me taken control and she sometimes wrecked havoc in my life. But SHE is the one that seems like the real me! She is me if I am being honest and really, totally ME. Why, then, do I keep her deep inside? Because that bitch is scary! She would get the tattoos and piercings someone of my age shouldn’t even think about. She would quit the 9-5 because it impedes the creative flow. She would probably then starve to death because, while I love my art in all its forms, I’m not nearly good enough to live on it. Even if I were good, Creative Me would not know how or where to begin to sell my craft. At least she would be much skinnier than Domestic Me! She would always wear jeans or flowing dresses, seldom cut her hair, smoke weed, and probably scare the piss out of small children! 😀 Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the truth is out: I am the original hippy. I am a hippy living a soccer mom life and it sometimes hurts.
So, how do you blend the unblendable? How do you mix black and white and not create gray?
I’m living in the moment and the moment is nice.
It’s early morning here, too early for ME to be up on a Sunday when I could sleep in. I awake to the feel of Riley’s warm body pressed close to me. I feel Sophie, his “lady” and my darling little girl, snuggled against my leg. Soft snores rise from hubs, and I am warm and cozy beneath my blanket. But, I am awake, and as often happens, nature calls. So I leave the comfort of my nest with my pups at my heels.
After a quick stop in the bathroom, we all three pad down the hall and into the kitchen. I turn on the day’s first pot of coffee and take the pups outside. Lucky for me, I have a fenced yard where they can roam freely. Sophie doesn’t like the cold and must be enticed to go out. I remain vigilant over my little man, so I stand on the back porch and shiver in the cold while he takes care of his business. A few minutes later we are all back in the warmth of the kitchen as I pour my first cup of steaming black coffee.
In the living room we settle into our normal positions: me, computer on my lap and mug in my hand, with Sophie curled on the arm of the love seat against my left side. Riley settles against my hip on the right. Today I feel his trembles. It is, I hope, a side effect of the new medication that will soon pass. He remains slightly disoriented and dazed, but seems fine otherwise. The medicine makes him drowsy, so he settles in for a snooze as I check my email and Facebook.
At 6:00 I disturb their slumber, but it is time for Riley’s medication. J forgot to buy canned dog food, so I get pieces of a hot dog. They each get two bites, Riley’s with his medication smuggled inside. The new pill is very large, so I watch to make sure it goes down. I write a note on the never-ending list on the notepad beside the refrigerator to remind myself to get the canned dog food. Breakfast is next, so I scoop two bowls of Pedigree’s finest into first one then the other bowl. Riley and Sophie sniff at each bowl and walk away, unimpressed. Riley walks into the living room and lifts his leg as he urinates on the blanket dangling from the ottoman. This is something he’s not done since being a young pup and I stare, momentarily shocked. When I move, it is to push, rather than spank, his hind quarters. He looks confused. I take him outside again, where he finishes his business. Back inside, he watches me closely as I scrub the ottoman and rug. He follows me as I toss the blanket into the washing machine and begin the first of many loads I need to complete today.
While up, I pour another mug of coffee. Back to the sofa, parade style, me in the lead and the two dogs following close behind. This time, Riley settles on the couch, choosing the end closest to me and he circles until it is just right. I hear a contented sigh as he relaxes again. Sophie waits patiently for me to get comfortable. I curl my legs up beneath me and place my computer lap-desk across my thighs. My coffee is within easy reach on the end table to my left. I pat the padded arm of the love seat to let Sophie know I am ready, and she leaps into her position and settles in.
I can see the kitchen window from my position here on the love seat and the day is brightening. Soon, the others in my home will wake up and join me, but for now, I am content in the comfort of my early morning aloneness.