Once upon a time, I was a creative genius…
Armed with a bin full of feathers, a hot glue gun, and a 2am coffee buzz I would sit at my kitchen table with the madness of a scientist who just used the lightning to create new life where there was none before. From the outside, I’m sure I just looked straight crazy. But in my mind’s eye, I was expressing some deep part of my Native American roots and communing with the feathers as they told me what it was they wanted to be. I realize now, I may have been talented, but I was also extremely sleep deprived and something was missing from my life.
I grew up a creative person. My old friends, my parents, my teachers, etc. would probably use the words artistic and creative to describe me. I wrote. I drew. I painted. I sewed. I played piano. I acted. I directed. I did none of these things perfectly. I was not a protege. But I did them all and they made up a piece of who I was. WAS. W A S. 3 painful little letters making a word that describes something gone, something that no longer IS.
When I first started making headbands and jewelry from feathers, I was sad. I felt like I had become a mom (a good one) but nothing more. I am not belittling being a mom. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. It’s by far the most rewarding, and it’s definitely the most challenging. Somehow, in the challenge and the hustle, I lost my identity. I lost my ability to be anything but a mom. At the time, I had 2 children. I was waitressing. I was a nanny to my nieces, and I was working opposite shifts of Lewis and doing every day the same. So I found something that was for me.
I spent money we did not have, and time I could have used sleeping, or cleaning, or doing laundry; curling nagori goose feathers with safety scissors or twisting peacock swords into new unique shapes and images. I burned my fingers on hot glue and I didn’t even feel it…possibly because it was some serotonin/dopamine induced haze. I needed to create something that was mine and mine alone. I needed something to be proud of that was not a tiny human. ANYTHING.
As mothers, many of us bury ourselves in our children. We do for them. We do because of them. And we do to benefit THEM. But who are you? What do you do or do you have that is uniquely yours? And if the answer is nothing, how do you survive? I felt guilty at the time for being tired the next day, or for thinking about things I could make when I should have been reading Hop on Pop and doing puzzles. I felt like I was taking something away from Renna and Sam. So even in my joy, my mom brain was able to turn that into guilt and somehow what was entirely about me, became about them in the light of day. But not at 2am. At 2am I was alone in the quiet and I was creating something I saw in my head. Something I hadn’t seen anywhere else before. At 2am, I was gluing myself back together. At 2am I felt whole.
I’ve changed directions with my creativity more times than I can count in this life. And I’m sure I’m not done yet. I went from feather creations, to hats, to dance clothes, to felted animals, to painting, to sensory toys, to websites, to a masters degree I had no idea what I would do with, to a blog 😉 . But what I do know, is that as time has passed I am able to beat that guilt away (most of the time). I see in my children a 2am spirit. They are creative. They look up to me. They imitate what I do, and they will stay glued together because of 2am. I didn’t take anything away from them. I showed them a spirit. I showed them what life looks like when you’re feeling more fulfilled and you can create. And I truly don’t think they’re any worse for the wear…yet. This is a bit of rambling, but it’s almost 2am, and I’m pretty sure my point is, that when you hold on to those pieces of you, you ARE doing for THEM. And they will do for themselves some day.
To see my feathers and glue site (down since I found out I was pregnant with the twins 5 YEARS AGO) go here: www.fancythatfeathers.weebly.com
Also, now you know why I am always wearing hats…well that and for ALL the days I don’t wash my hair…