Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saying "Yes"

It has always been easier for me to say "no". Difficult to say "yes". Usually, impossible to say "yes". I find it easier to tell you what I do not like or want, than to state clearly what I do want and like.

During the past "Year of Big Changes", I have struggled to say "yes" when asked the most mundane things. Lunch? So many problems with lunch on a new diet. I struggled with this one and in the end had to say yes to lunch and then work on where we ate. So many places have terrible salad and even worse soup.

But this post isn't about lunch choices. Rather it is about life choices. Negative doesn't begin to describe where I grew up. My glass wasn't half empty. It was bone dry. I couldn't see a future. If I had been able to visualize a future, I would have realized that college was the doorway to that future.

I just saw the four years away from home as an emotional "resting" place. I rested my way into depression. I had the time and freedom to indulge in depression. To sleep so long, that I had no idea if it was morning or evening. What day was it? I was lost. I couldn't remember what classes I was taking. Combinations to locks. Assignments. Lucky (ha) for me I hadn't fallen into alcohol or drugs as my brothers had in college. I was using sleep to disappear. Sleep to say "no" to life.

There were periods of time in college when I pulled myself together. I did the work, studied for tests and even got decent grades. A semester here and there. Never enough to get to be a habit. And, of course, I had no major. Really. I just took classes I liked. No declared major. Four years of college. The last two years most of my classes were fine and applied art with English work in the 400's, Philosophy, and ancient history. No basketweaving. I failed Lettering and Silk Screen and Pottery. Because I never went to class. Never did the work. Was completely overwhelmed by the processes. Didn't understand the processes.

In my art work, I have learned to say "yes' nearly all the time. Unless the work is for a competition. Then it's all no. I work well (sort of) to a deadline now. I still would fail lettering and possibly silk screen. I want some bowls of a certain style, so it's possible I would complete a pottery class. I would love to do more intaglio printing.

I still say no to the really scary things in life. Things I can't control. Driving on the highway in traffic. Full time employment. The dentist. My father. My brother.

But I have said yes to marriage, children, moving 12 times, learning to drive at 30, working, learning to cook, owning a dog, creating a blog and losing weight. I even agree to going out to a movie once a year sometimes twice. I'm learning to say "yes". Feels good.

1 comment:

kathy said...

WOW! And saying yes to all the good years does the glass look now?