"Sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey. They don't need to, it's not for them."
I keep thinking about this quote I found over on Pinterest. I keep thinking about how it resonates with my work as an artist and writer and maker. But I also keep thinking about how it resonates with my work as a parent. My work as a wife. My work as a friend. A daughter. A sister. A dreamer. A doer. A lover.
I keep thinking about how often we spend so much energy trying to fit in. And I don't mean trying to fit in a high school peer pressure kind of way. I mean fitting in at work. Or among our peers. Or among our families. Or among other creatives. Or among the very people who trained us, mentored us, taught us, led us, or otherwise helped us find our way. I mean fitting in among the people who actually matter.
And then I think about this quote and I think about how our choices can't always resonate with the people we love or admire and, frankly, I'm not sure we're taking the chances we should be taking if we're getting smiles and nods and pats on the back all around. I think it's our job to stay close to our intentions. Our priorities. Certainly our values but I think we have to challenge our selves to do this even when it won't make sense to the people we love. Maybe mostly then. This all makes me think about courage, vulnerability, and belonging in the important work of Brene Brown.
I'm tidying up the end of a very huge work project and I'm about to turn 180 degrees to complete another. The first has kept me very busy for the past five months and the second has played a smaller part in my thinking for almost two years now but it's about to take center stage. And as I'm tying up one project and committing to another I'm overwhelmed with this sense of my own individual journey. My imagination. My inspiration. My vision. My center.
And I'm realizing that all I really have is my inner compass. I mean, I have my family, my friends, my colleagues, my community, my experiences, my education, my training, but what I really have to drive this work right now is my own inner compass. And all I can really do is try to get as clear as possible on what I see, hear, want, need, imagine and then try to make that manifest out in the physical world where other people can see, hear, experience, and engage with what I'm making. It takes real courage to align with that compass in a public space. But what is our journey if we are not courageous, right?
It's not that different from making anything else that takes imagination and inspiration. A wedding. A party. A special event. Building a home. Redecorating a room. Planning a garden. Or even planning a family. It takes guts, right? Not just making art but making a meaningful life. And really getting clear with our selves on what we want for our unique journey. How we want it to look, feel, sound, taste, smell, and who we want to be there holding our hand when we bring the whole thing into view. Because if it's really our own and it's really unique to our vision then it's probably going to confuse some of the people around us. Because it should. It's not for them.
It's so hard to put a finger on imagination and yet it guides us to every major milestone. The risk required to imagine anything and then to see that through all the way to completion. A new baby. A new city. A new adventure. Or just a new project on our work desks. But I think it's mostly about trusting our imagination and culling our own unique journey. Being courageous. Filling up with love. And really owning our inner compass and the direction where it points.