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The What If’s…

I won’t be showing you all of the piece I did today because it is far too personal, it is a very belated Valentine to my husband. In February I was in the midst of wedding frenzy for my daughter’s wedding and many projects were pushed to the side, starting this blog was one, and the other was a Valentine for Dan. I’ve known since then what I wanted to create, but it was on the list of things to get to that I quite frankly didn’t get to.

I mentioned last night about this blog being sort of artistic therapy. There’s nothing sort of about it. I’m reading a book that a friend lent me last night and the character began to start the “what if” game. We all do it, or have done it, or will do it in the future. It is human nature to second guess ourselves, in particular when we are miserable, we screw up, someone gets hurt or God forbid dies. Our maybe we just think with the what if’s comes the greener grass of the other side. Because of course had we chosen the other path things would have been so much better, right? I began this blog, this project bemoaning my lack of artistic training. I spoke at length about the chip on my artistic shoulder. I have a brother-in-law who is a very gifted artist. When I look at his work I have such admiration for his skill. I have no envy, yes, I certainly wish I had the same skill set, but I find myself looking at what I can do, and then come the what if’s. What if I had gotten that kind of family support? What if I had gotten the same amount of training? What could I do if I dedicated myself to my art? What if I had stood up to my father and insisted on lessons? What if I had taken the job in the art gallery when I was nineteen? Where would my art be? Would I still be struggling to find my artistic voice? The problem with starting the what if’s is that if I had made those choices, any one of those choices my life wouldn’t be where it is now. Has anyone ever read “The Five People You Meet In Heaven?”, by Mitch Albom? It really makes you think about the ripple effect of our lives. All the people we interact with in even the smallest way whose lives are changed in that instant because we are in them. That’s what got me working on the project today. Because when I really think about taking any other journey than the one I have taken, whether the decisions were taken out of my hands or not, there are more reasons than I can list as to why I wouldn’t change a thing. I have two beautiful children, and they are both good, decent and kind human beings. If I hadn’t married my first husband I wouldn’t have my daughter, and without his sister my son wouldn’t be who he is. My path led me to my husband. You’ve heard about finding your “soul-mate”? This is the real deal here. I have a tremendous amount of untapped talent, and its true that I’m not really sure who I am as an artist, but it’s also true that I am a good mother and wife. If I had the chance to go back, the chance to follow one of the what if’s, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything I’ve done, every place I’ve been, every choice I’ve made, both good and bad, is what makes me who I am, and has given the people who are in my life. And if I ask myself what if they weren’t here, well, that possibility is more painful than I can imagine. My art is here, my talent isn’t going anywhere, what if this project makes it better? That is a what if I can live with.

Hear that sound? It’s the sound of the chip beginning to slide off my shoulder.Image

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