Friday, January 7, 2011

Truly, happy?

5:365--Jan 5

"Life is like a bowl of spaghetti. Every once in a while, you get a meatball."Sharon Creech

Going back to work this week has been extremely hard.  The inspiration and motivation to do anything at the office has been hard.  Ever since we moved here two years ago, I am constantly asked if I am happy.  I respond with a resounding "absolutely!  I can't imagine raising my children any place else."  Well, now I am questioning if that is true.  Rather, I question my happiness in general versus the happiness in living in the Midwest.  

I am a strong believer that excessive eating is rooted in the unconscious fears/concerns/anxieties and is consciously expressed and suppressed by food.  I don't need a psych PhD or MD to figure that out for myself.  But as I review all the things that bring me down, I can't define that one thing.  So I am questioning if I am truly happy here and in what I am doing for a career: away from family; away from friends; giving up my house; missing my mother, etc.  There are so many downers outnumbering the "happiness".  

The biggest thing is career.  I came into the legal profession because my Mom forced me to.  Okay, she didn't take a belt in her hand and threaten to beat me if I didn't go to law school; she did something worse.  She smothered my spark  The spark was art.  I had been a prolific drawer.  I can remember always having a sketchpad and colored pencils in my hand.  She never approved.  

I recall that when I was about 11-years-old, we got into a fight once about it that I threw away my sketch pad in the street and marched home behind her.  When I got accepted to Art & Design high school in NYC, she didn't allow me to attend.  I had to go to the local high school because she claimed it was within walking distance, and it was safer.  While she did encourage me to audition for LaGuardia School of Performing Arts for Art, I am sure she was secretly relieved that I wasn't accepted.  She told me that fashion design wasn't lucrative.  O-kay!  Because of my lack of strength to push forward and continue with my art, thereby denying myself the dream of attending FIT, I stopped drawing in High School.  I attended a good liberal arts college and then onto Law School.  Not bad for a girl raised in Spanish Harlem by a single mother who only speaks Spanish.  I don't want to minimize my accomplishments and who helped me get here, but all of that doesn't bring me unbelievable joy and excitement.

I am a believer that we should follow our passion.  When we wake up in the morning, do we wake up with the joy of starting our day and doing what we love?  Many do.  But I am going to put it out there.  I don't.  It pays the bills.  It assists my husband in raising our children.  I am teaching others a skills that helps countless people.  However, I don't wake up filled with that burning flame of excitement. 

I don't ever discourage my children from what is their passion.  I think Amazon will run away to be on Broadway in a Musical.  She will sing and dance her heart out; and I will have to send her a stipend monthly because she will be a starving artist.  Moose will be a scientist that discovers a pre-historic critter that he won't stop talking about in the pre-historic-critter-talking-circuit.  My Lootie Tootie, will be a . . . hmm, not quite sure what she'll be yet, but I am sure it may have something to do with Dora the Explorer.

My point: I am certain that the parenting I received as a child to do what is "right" and "sensible" is what is making me miserable and I compensate by keeping quiet and eating.  I then find any excuse to eat for whatever else ails me. I am still doing what is right by working in my unchosen field, but I long to do something that brings me joy.  What that is?  I can't quite pinpoint.  I love photography.  I love graphic design.  I love creating: sewing, knitting, quilting.  I love decor and interior lifestyles.  I love writing.  If I could, I would combine all of those to create my own magazine empire.  I stare at magazine stands and sigh; wishing that I could be a part of their creation.  Good thing blogging gives me a bit of that (you'll notice that I never post without a picture--even if it isn't relevant to the topic).  However, it doesn't pay the bills.  I hope that when the kids are grown and gone, I can finally engage in the career of my choosing and wake up in a blaze to do what I love.

Are you truly happy?


  1. "I am certain that the parenting I received as a child to do what is "right" and "sensible" is what is making me miserable and I compensate by keeping quiet... "

    Okay, I'm not exactly what I'd classify as miserable, but I do think that the parenting I received (and don't get me wrong: my mama raised me right!) DEFINITELY contributes to my rampant, damaging perfectionist tendencies and how hard I am on myself.

    Sending you love. <3

  2. That is beautiful. Please try and carve away some time--even if it's 10 minutes to write or draw or just plain doodle. It may not earn you a living now, but cultivate your creativity.

    And if you ever start that magazine, please hire me as a Writer! : )

  3. Hi. Have you thought of keeping an art diary. You simply paint, draw doodle whatever your heart leads as often as you can.

    Buy an art book/diary with reasonable paper and simply do it like Lynda says.


  4. I love your photos. They are amazing. You may not be working in the field you chose (how many of us are?) but you are putting art and beauty into the world anyway. As soon as I stopped mourning my 'lost' career I became a happier person. I figure if I really wanted it I would have fought harder for it.

  5. That was beautifully written. I am really touched by it. I hope you have time in your week to create a little "creative" time. It is hard when there are 3 kids and a job, but it may make you feel FULL, rather than having to use the food. I, too, am struggling with what I need to fill me up rather than food. I admire your writing this. I have done it in some form, but this really touched me. March on, I would LOVE to see some of your creations. Have you ever posted any?

  6. Lovely. I think the idea for an art journal is a good one...but I am also all for shaking things up. What's the worst that could happen if you leave the law?

  7. At least you are trying to give your kids what you didn't have. Im guessing thats what your parents were trying to do for you as well?

    Are there any dreams you can start on now?


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