When I was young, I was what my parents wanted me to be. They decided I should learn to play the clarinet. I made noise with all my grade school classmates in band class. My grandfather was a professional musician and gave up on my tone quality saying it was contaminating his ear drums. Folks should have bought me a guitar.
As a young adult, I decided to be who I thought I wanted to be. I rose fast as a restaurant employee in the kitchen, from dishwasher to head cook. This was an upscale dinner house and I cooked a hundred meals an hour every night. Made it clear to the bosses I wanted to learn to bartend, but they never gave me the chance.
In my thirties, I became what everyone else expected me to be, a good father, provider, protector of the fort. When I had some spare time, I took up painting with water color. I got a primitive set-up, nothing fancy. Sat on the hill in my backyard and painted my sanctuary. The green grass, the house with all the shadows of the siding, the shake roof, my new deck came out fantastic for the brushes I had. I painted the sky and treetops I could see in the front yard above the roof’s peak. I was a bit disappointed with the angle I had of the hot tub, but other than that, I had captured the essence. A sister-in-law saw my painting and innocently asked if one of my small children had painted it.
Now in my fifties, I am becoming who I was meant to be, a creative soul. Getting too old to play stupid games with people and their rules. I am learning to speak my mind and let my imagination soar. I don’t need to blow through a woodwind to make a quality tone, don’t need to be a bartender to come up with stories, I can paint pictures with words my sister-in-law can’t even pronounce. Foolishly, I shared a story recently with what I thought was an open minded friend. Offended, they didn’t even bother reading it all. It was meant to be read for what it was, creative writing. My feelings were bruised by the response and I will recover, not sure our friendship will and that hurts.
We all know what sticks and stones can do. Take care, there are actions and words that hurt too.