When I was pregnant I called my Dad crying one night because I was so afraid that after I had the Twins I’d get lost in them and not be able to find myself. He told me I’d figure it out and that it would all be okay. I see now that he was right but I wasn’t completely wrong either. There are definitely things that I miss about my old life. Right now I’m stuck on one big question: How the hell am I supposed to be visually creative with a full time job and two tiny terrorists in the house?! I spend so much time trying to keep up with them, half ass clean my house, keep all of us fed, write my blog, and get my brain back to normal after work that I want to be creative but feel like I almost don’t know how anymore. My old hobbies seem too involved and/or expensive for my current lifestyle. The thought of getting excited to start on a project only to have to put it down after a few minutes when a baby starts crying seems even worse than not starting at all.
Before I had The Hun and The Conqueror I had so many hobbies that I’d pick up and put down at random. A perusal of my craft supplies reveals them to me. Plastic molds and blocks of glycerine remind me that soap making was entertaining for a while. (That one pretty much went the way of the Dodo when I realized that I was a sub-par soap maker who couldn’t figure out what to do with all of my weird smelling soap.) A box of yarn and the start to a blanket from my crochet/loom days. I pick this up during the winter but this year things were too crazy and it’s too damn hot to sit covered in yarn in the summer. Beads of various sorts take me back to the many times I’ve embraced the Janis Joplin look and draped myself with strings and strings of beads. Bags of buttons and mirrors from some collage projects. Squares for the top of my crazy quilt piled up waiting to be sewn together. Tools from the pottery classes I took that I keep saying I’ll take again.
Harder to look at are the relics of my favorite mediums. These are the hobbies that I’ve let lie partially out of fear. The fear is admittedly irrational…and yet I find it hard not to lend it an ear. What if I’ve lost my skill (not that I was ever amazing to begin with)? What if I can’t create anything? What if I’ve changed and the things that brought me such joy are no longer pleasurable to me? The half filled sketch pads. The boxes of colored pencils. Ziplock bags filled with colorful embroidery thread. Thread that I used so long ago as I spent hours decorating jeans and book sacks. My paints. My box of paints and my brushes are the worst. I keep them out of sight. They make me sad and a little guilty. Seeing my paints makes me long for the time before kids. For the time when I could skip dinner and go straight to painting and paint until I was satisfied with my work without anyone bugging me.
I grew up watching my Mom scrapbook, sew, and craft when she had the opportunities to. I love those memories of us together and enjoy it to this day when I get to watch her show off her projects with pride. She likes to say that I make her do projects all the time but we both know that she comes up with most of the ideas on her own. I’ll find artistic me again. I have to for my sake and for my kids’. Maybe I’ll even find a new creative hobby to add to my list.