This is the part where I impart some lesson learned through all of this, right? The wrap up at the end is typically where there is an overlying theme. I make no promises here. If there is one thing that I have learned, it’s to trust in myself. There have been many people who have told me this over the years, in one way or another, from Animal Curators, to respected individuals in my field, a USDA inspector, permitting officers, zookeepers, field biologists, and yet the one that sticks out most in my mind, an Indian computer programmer/swing dancer in Columbus.
He spent the first minute of the song teaching me the mechanics of the steps, and after that told me "stop letting your brain get in your way! You know the steps, your body knows what to do and you’re good at it, just trust your body." It’s a tough thing to do, when it goes against the grain. Following my instincts has always been something that I tend to do naturally, but sometimes I let the fog descend due to lessons learned and I just sit down and color.
The bit of clairvoyance that I am finding tonight is how I absorb myself in creative outlets when I experience unpleasant situations, stress, or unhappiness. I taught myself to wood burn, I embroidered, I crochet toys, hats, and scarves, and I write, to name a few. When I look back over the past few years at the moments when I learned a new skill, it always revolves around a less than pleasing time in my life. I don’t forget about what’s going on, I simply work through it by not allowing myself to be dragged down by what’s not going right in my life.
I’ve been called pessimistic, negative, even toxic, yet the truth that I have discovered, through much self exploration, is that when life is progressing and I’m in a rut or things aren’t going great, I refuse to focus on the crap. I turn to drawing, hand lettering, writing out cards for friends that are positive and complimentary, because it makes me feel better. When I have a terrible day, I listen to my friends tell me about their day, and I console or offer a shoulder or advice if they need it, and then I feel better. Of course I’m not perfect and I have fits of frustration and I complain, I’m not perfect, but that’s the surface me. Deep down, I turn to something else when things are that bad for me.
This writing experience has allowed me to feel vulnerable in a safe way, it has allowed me to open up and explore a new way of expressing myself, and through it all, I see patterns in my writing that have led me to where I am now. It’s not easy, but ultimately, I have hope it’s better.