In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the interesting task of itemizing everything in our home—toys, towels, tools—everything. It’s strange to account for the pieces of our family of five’s existence by the things we have around us in our home. Often, I thought, “This is it. This stuff defines us.” Weird. But on the other hand, it doesn’t. I am still me without all the stuff (which could lead me into a million ruminations on why do we have so much stuff, which always ends with the thought of less being really more, I think). But, as I was itemizing, and reflecting as I typed, I noticed the date on one of my first paintings—summer 2004. It’s been five years …
I still remember the day in the craft store, towing my three little boys, all under five years of age, around in their stroller, realizing I had always wanted to paint, and daring to pick out a handful of tubes of oil paints, a brush, and a standard canvas. The toothpaste-like consistency of the oils took a while to figure out, but now, after taking painting lessons from a local artist, and over one-hundred canvases later, I’m hooked. I’m confident I’ll never earn the ranks of Michelangelo, but the act of working toward expressing myself in a new way and listening to and moving toward the internal seed of a dream unique to me has set me free in ways I cannot begin to explain. To dream, and then take the steps toward fulfilling that dream, is priceless.
Why create? Why try something new? Why venture outside the box other people (or our own minds) impose upon us?
To those who have never had the experience, I find explaining the feeling of personal accomplishment impossible to quantify. There’s no other comparable feeling in the world. Moving toward the deep roots of personal dreams is exhilarating beyond description.
To those who have had the experience, there’s no need to explain or quantify … you already know.
Today is the first day of the last half of 2009. Today is a great day to listen to your heart and decide to try something new. Only you know what it is. This summer, dare to take the chance to try out a dream, and discover the thrill that follows accomplishing something you’ve always wanted to try.