4 months ago I went Bra shopping.
A well endowed woman will know, this can be a should we choose to accept it kind of mission. We require a fitting and fashion show on each visit to the lingerie shop, all in the pursuit of a holder worthy of our boulders.
On this day in particular, the shop was super busy and the wonderful lady to whom I trust my fitting, forgive the pun, had her hands full. And so I wandered off to pass a little time until it calmed a bit.
On my stroll, I happened upon a gift shop I had never visited before & decided to go in for a browse. I wasn't five steps in the door when with the corner of my eye I spotted a colourful assembly, like a beacon calling me over for a closer look.
It was a collection of figurines by the artist I now know as Kelly Rae Roberts
I was a bit mesmerised. I read the dresses of these angels and I was instantly decided that the one called hope was the one for me. I am a counsellor and I love to have inspiring messages of hope in my counselling environment, I had to have this, I was hooked, but there was more to it than it just being another 'ornament' of inspiration. The words on the dress were important to me, the aesthetic called to me too but overall I was connecting here on a very personal level. I then read the tag that accompanied the piece. The 'about Kelly Rae' blurb.
Terry was with me and reading alongside me and I couldn't believe it... a part of me almost jumped out of my insides and slapped me awake. It told the very short story of how Kelly was a Social Worker who denied herself the thing she had been wanting... to paint, to be an artist, and when she finally listened and started painting, her heart and her joy burst open.
My jaw was on the floor... Terry knew, we just looked at each other and he said 'babe, I'm getting this for you'...
Someone else is living my dream
I could waffle on and on here now about what I felt in that moment, a feeling that not only lingered but threatened to torment me, because what I was reading about was someone else, called Kelly Rae Roberts, living my dream. A part of me was at once awakened, both open-and-broken hearted.
I took that figurine home and I got on the internet and read all about Kelly and her story. Within days I was rooting out the boxes of art supplies that had been lying around (but never thrown out) in my house for the past 7 years, and I started. I started painting presents for the birthdays of the women in my life. I realised quickly that I kinda sucked, hadn't a clue what I was doing, but I didn't care. I had to keep going.
7 years ago my nephew was on his journey to being born and I painted a canvas for him, it was beautiful.. I did the same thing for another nephew, and then for the new arrival of my friend... each time, I painted that one thing well, but it was mimicked from an image in a book I had. I then tried to paint something 'original', discovered I didn't 'know how', concluded I couldn't actually paint and I stopped, thinking, that's it, that's all I have.
Anyway, to make a long story short, since that day in April, since that day I found 'hope', I have been covered in paint, in dreams, in promise and passion. I have no idea what is happening or what's supposed to happen or what will happen... all I know is that I'm both sorry I boxed up my paints 7 years ago, and delighted I kept them and am using them now.
What I have discovered is that first and foremost this is an outlet I had been seeking for a long time. I was a long time chasing down something that would become my 'thing, my 'go to'. I tried yoga, tae kwon do, writing, music.. I realise what I was really looking for was expression. I looked everywhere but under my nose for the thing I needed to truly be me.
That's why I started painting... something in me wanted to do it and wasn't being allowed. On that day Kelly Rae Roberts reminded me and delivered the bittersweet truth, that I had packed it in on that part of me, boxed her off and denied her because she didn't prove herself quick enough for my liking; but also, that it wasn't too late.
I've since been following a virtual art trail of artists that are just blowing me away with their honouring of their creative selves, such inspiration & courage. I now have a circle of women, and men, who don't know me, but who inspire and drive me to live that kind of life. Live the kind of life that is full of expression. It's feeding so much about me that wanted to be fed, I have a love of learning that I didn't know I had 7 years ago... I didn't understand learning as a process. I was so black and white, I thought, you either have it or you don't.. and by 'it', I meant mastery. I didn't understand that 'it' could mean desire.
Now I know, I have 'it'.
So... that is why I am here, doing what I'm doing!
Why brought you here? Have you discovered, or are you discovering your 'thing', your passion, your authentic form of expression? Did you have an awakening that brought you to uncover your true self? I'd love to hear it!!!
Always, Amanda... <3