May 21, 2014

On letting go

I never had many problems in letting things go when it comes to physical things. I’m one of those people who likes to gather stuff, and keep them for any possible future use (you never know when you might need this or that!). But also, I’m one of those people who like a big clear out once in a while, especially when my space reaches saturation point. And when that happens, I throw away everything I have never used, everything I’m not using anymore, everything I will probably not be using in the near future.
Physical things are very much replaceable and, although moneys are involved, if you really need something you have thrown away you can always buy it back (thank you ebay!).
Where I’m not very good at letting go is opportunities.  I have always struggled to make decisions when choosing between options, could it be school, career, friendship or artistic path. I’m always afraid that if I choose just one option than I will deprive myself of the opportunity to try something different.
I always tend to pick the solution that will give me more options to choose from later on. The more wide and generic the choice is, the better. So I often end up with one foot in two, or more, shoes and basically delaying the real decision at a later date. I always thing I’m missing out on something if I choose one thing over another. But what I’m really missing out is the opportunity to give that thing a real chance and the freedom to really focus and put my effort on just one thing.
Some people might argue that it’s always better not to put all the eggs in one basket. But from my personal experience this is true up to a point. Diversification is probably great if you have already achieved something in a specific area; if you have, than nothing stops you from trying something new and, if it doesn’t work, to go back from where you left.
If you, on the other hand, are just getting started on something, than you should really give it the best shot…”put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket!”
I like trying new things, but then when a little more commitment is required I pull back. Not because I lose interest or I’m afraid to work hard, but because that would mean closing the doors on things that seems brighter and more intriguing from the outside. And what if I get stuck in that specific role forever?
To give you a practical example of what I’m talking about, over the past 10 years, more or less, I have been experimenting with lots of different things. I started with traditional watercolours, then outdoor sketching, moving on to botanical painting, to making mini-books and sketchbooks and trying lino printing and hand carved stamping. Adding some knitting, crocheting and quilting in between.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy learning new things and experimenting, but at end of the day, I have been distracted by so many things that I didn’t have the time, or the courage, to take any of them seriously. I switched from one subject to another before giving myself a chance to become good at it, and to fully explore. So after 10 years I really can’t say I excel in any of the areas above. And worst of all, my confidence gets shaken up every time I see somebody’s work and achievements only to find out that they have been doing it for only a few years.
 So after reading Ali’s assignments from the One Little Word® workshop last month, I thought it was really time to LET GO of something more meaningful than just getting rid of some clothes! Let go of all the noise, of all the things that distract me to really be who I want to be. It is not an easy task, and it will require a lot of work and inner search to actually understand what I really want from life, but hopefully I will get there.

In the meantime, and since we will be moving home soon, I made the decision to take with me only my watercolours and hot pressed paper (great for botanical work!) and have another go at it. It will be manic with a new house to furnish, a new town to get accustomed to, a newborn, a toddler at home and the summer holidays. But even more because the time will be tight, it will be good for me to just have one single thing (that’s an overstatement!) to focus on. And let’s see where I’ll be in September, when hopefully, most of the things will be into place, and I will have time to reassess.

1 comment:

  1. i think there will be a lot of changes for you these weeks and you've taken the good decission, and yes, for september all will be in its place and you'll see clearer what you want to keep with and what not (well, this is my spanish versioon in a bad english translation hehehe)


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