Friday, November 22, 2013

not parenting like my parents

When I was a girl I was always making things. Looking back at that myriad of menus and certificates and posters, I was happiest with paper, markers, pictures - piecing information and images together. I was designing but back then had no idea what design even was.

I'll never forget, particularly proud of a project, running to show my father when got him from the office. I heard the garage door open and was waiting at the front door as he came in. He looked at my work and said: you can't make money doing that. You should be concentrating on homework. 

My parents were the first generation in their families to go to college. My father continued on to medical school, my mother was a chemist. Making things wasn't a career option; being a doctor, lawyer, or accountant was. 

I took that to heart and shut down that part of me. Instead of exploring and researching what roads might be out there, I went the conventional route and never succeeded. I wasn't meant for straight up academia and my twisting path finally led me back to art school in my mid twenties. 2 weeks before my 30th birthday I graduated with a bachelor's of fine art. 

Even with that I've never truly owned what I do. I've never been particullarly successful and have often felt like perhaps a law degree or a more traditional career path would have upped my confidence and self worth. 

Which leads me to the next generation. My kids both have strong, incredibly deep passions that aren't academic. 

I revel in that. 

I encourage them to explore and express and delve into what deeply moves them. I cherish their focus, their commitment, their energy and enthusiasm. At least most of the time. 

I want them to own that how they feel and what they love to do are important. Vital. 

And I will continue to work on that for myself. 

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