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The Cartography Of An Artist

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I was around six or seven years old when my step mother at the time was zipping up my winter jacket. For some reason I had told her that I planned to go to art college one day–and as she pulled that zipper right up to the edge of my chin, she looked me in the eye and said “I doubt it.  You ain’t ever going anywhere.”

I remember that exactly.

But what I remember more was the way I felt full of rage–and how instantly I began to form a map in my young mind of how I would go to college and prove this bitch wrong.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought.

I remember that, more than her hurtful, mindless words.

And guess what–I did go to “art college”.  I graduated with not one–but two degrees in Painting and Art History–and later I even went back and got my Art Education License.

Heck, I even went on to create a self-sustainable lifestyle supporting myself completely as an Artist.

How about that?

The truth is, she wasn’t the only person in my history that shun my desire to be an Artist–and that moment in my winter jacket wasn’t the only time a real obstacle was presented in my path.

My life as an Artist has been full of doubts, detours, and major distractions.

People have been mean, unsupportive, and have shared with me worlds of fear.  People who many time have my best interest at heart.

But I am where I am today because I chose not to believe them and instead follow my calling.

I meet so many women online that tell me their stories.  I hear about the terrible Art teachers, the unsupportive parents, the cynical spouses and those random strangers who shared with them some horrible truths that made them doubt, disheartened, and change their point of view.

The story is always the same–the years lost and a heavy sense of regret.

But what they don’t see is that they are no different than me.  No different than any Artist that has ever walked this land.

There are no yellow brick roads to becoming an Artist.  Each of us has our battles to attend.

And all those years you keep carrying around labeled as “lost” and those buckets of  broken dreams you keep behind your bed–they are simply weighing you down from living the life you truly were intended.

It doesn’t matter that you start believing in yourself at six, thirty-five, or eighty two years old.  What matters is that you finally draw those maps in your head.

That you finally let go of the rage.

And instead answer the calling that you’ve been hearing again and again.

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