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Tammy: Define yourself

“A government that robs Peter to pay Paul
can always depend on the support of Paul.”
— George Bernard Shaw

I picture myself ordering at Starbucks, tentatively holding a moleskine journal and a Ziploc of pitt pens and gellyrolls, anxious for a few peaceful hours of drawing. The barista smiled and asked if I was an artist. What an odd question for a girl who had lived in the world of numbers, objective decisions and analysis since grad school. It was two years ago and a key a turning point… because I said yes. Yes.

If you teach calculus, yet ski every chance you can, are you not a skiier? You don’t have to be a competitive skiier or a particularly fast skiier or even stay upright most of the time to use the word. Calling yourself a skiier takes nothing away from Olympic skiiers or ski teachers.

We are all many things…

  • A Java programmer who is an avid urban sketcher
  • A mom who writes sci fi when the kids are at school
  • A logistics manager who writes stories for her children
  • A pilot who embroiders aprons
  • A mom who manages the PTA and blogs about nutrition
  • A chemistry teacher who creates art journaling pages all summer
  • A photographer who quilts
  • A paralegal who sketches jewelry designs at lunch
  • A realtor with a cooking blog
  • A homeschooling mom who develops crossword puzzles and writes poetry
  • A veterinarian who writes sewing patterns

What are you? If you say you are an [fill in the blank]… you are!

PS.  It’s Your Art

[Cross-posted from Tammy’s personal blog, Daisy Yellow.]

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. alexsondra #

    Excellent. It’s about time we recognize that we wear many hats, reflecting our multi-faceted personalities. Nobody likes being pigeon holed. Let’s spread our peacock tail feathers wide enough to encompass all that we are.

    Fear and insecurity are the factors preventing us from owning our moment to moment realty.
    ex. how can I be an artist, if I only draw once a month? or how can she call herself an artist, when I make a living at it.
    Say what you will. Let others say what they will. Enjoy your life.
    Be true to yourself and play for the audience of ONE. Your creator.

    May 24, 2010
  2. This post is fabulous on so many levels for me. Personally it was so healing when I could say that my nationality was not simply one or the other, feeling like I had to take sides as to whether I aligned with my mother or my father when it came to heritage. Your post takes that inner conflict and applies it to our lives as women where we hardly EVER FIND ourselves simply playing ONE ROLE – love!

    May 24, 2010
  3. I love this topic. I think as mother, especially, we tend to forget who we are. Or we define ourselves by what role we play the most, whether it be parent or another job title. But job titles never define WHO we are, and rarely do people take the time to ask WHO we are rather than WHAT we do. And I think there is a big difference. Great topic!

    I wrote more on this here

    May 24, 2010
  4. subheading of my blog: writer, mom, tutor, superwoman. we are all so many, many things to so many people, aren’t we? but mostly to ourselves. thanks for the reminder, tammy!

    May 24, 2010
  5. ten thousand thumbs up! why do we have to be defined as just one thing? because no one ever is – we’re all multifaceted. whenever i meet people for the first time, i wonder what they are and do outside of the context in which i’m meeting them.

    May 24, 2010
  6. I love this post! The human mind seems to eager to put our selves (and everyone else) into compartments, doesn’t it? How wonderful that we’re also aware enough to be able to break free of those self imposed boxes … even if it feels a little awkward to say it for the first time!

    May 25, 2010
  7. so right! and so good to hear. such a good reminder to open my arms to everything I am. thank you for that today.

    May 25, 2010
  8. Such warm thoughtful words; thank you so much! The question that is so difficult for me is, “What do you do?”

    June 22, 2010

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