Sunday, May 9, 2010

As I Write My Life, I See Me.

Art. Art has surrounded my universe. Writing. Drawing. Film. All of these things have been a part of me. It just took me a while to see it.

As a child I would draw up a storm. My father painted and sculpted. His art work was in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. What was his nine-to-five? My father was a carpenter, now retired.

I would also write - stories, advertisements for movies I invented (invented, not wrote, I would just write up and draw up the ad for the idea of a soon-to-be-released film in my mind), and poems. My mother was quite a poet. What was her nine-to-five? My mother was a computer engineer and a business entrepreneur (travel agency, real estate, jewelery, interior design, etc) now retired.

And then there was film. My parents loved renting movies and going to the movie theater. As a little girl, I would memorize lines from films.

While immersed in a film, I would watch a scene and repeat the facial expressions, the words, and try to conjure the emotions (sometimes during the movie, and sometimes after when I had a chance to rewind it and be alone). For example, if you ever saw the movie Splash, my mom wasn't thrilled when I stole the Morton's salt, jumped into the tub, and then threw myself out of the tub yelling "I'll be right there!" while I "dried" my "fins" (aka one ankle crossed over the other) with a towel (I couldn't use the blow dryer - thank God).

I was quite the little performer.

I got my creative genes and my drive from somewhere. But I never thought to pursue it in High School or College. It just wasn't practical to me.

I won the art award in High School. My High School teacher was pushing me to go to FIT. She didn't want me to waste my talent. I thought, what am I going to do with a degree in Art? To this day she is disappointed - seriously.

In college my professors wanted me to become a writer. They loved my writing style - heck they helped me hone it, but I disappointed them all and went to Law School. My mentor was disappointed  - but I think she knows that I've taken to writing once again. Hopefully she is less disappointed.

I thought that my career had to be practical. There was a lot of pressure from my family to "make it." There was also a lot of doubt from my extended family that I would. And so I did what I could to prove the naysayers wrong.

While in law school to release my anger, frustration, and creative energies, I painted, I sketched and I wrote. wrote, and wrote. Funny, right?

Why did I repress my creative side?  Why was it only an outlet and not a goal?

I gave away my art to friends. I gave away my poems. I can't understand why it took me so long to realize that art - in all its forms - was my passion. And I don't understand how I would give my passion away.
Whatever your passion, I hope it doesn't take you long to find it. But if it does take you a while, as it did for me, I hope you have the courage to chase it.