There are days that I can’t believe that I am sharing so much with the world. For the most part, I like my little corner and never thought that I would put it out there to be so exposed. And, I confess, I kind of just leapt. Earlier this year, my friend Susan, a friend from college, emailed me commissioning one of my paintings. When I saw her almost three years ago, at a little reunion we had over a long weekend, I showed her some photos of my work that I had in a show in Colorado Springs. She mentioned she would like one and I pretty much just laughed while blushing and blew it off. I guess she meant it. That email was just the kick in the pants that I needed.
I could find 100 excuses to not paint, even though it was what I wanted to do more than anything. Why? Guilt. How could I spend our limited family income on supplies? The boys need that money for camps, cello rental, glasses, shoes for different sports, preschool tuition, not to mention the ridiculous medical bills we have had for the past two years. Shouldn’t I spend my time working on house projects? Getting everything in order? What about volunteer time at schools and for the community? Aren’t those more important? How could I possibly add one more thing to my day?
I was so flattered and in turn energized by Sue’s request, the wheels started to spin. I need to be held accountable. I need deadlines. I need structure. So I decided to put myself out there. I made this blog public and I set up a Facebook page. Was I insane for doing so without having all of my ducks in a row? Perhaps, but I knew that if I didn’t, I would never start, never try. It was just going to have to evolve. My house is messier than ever, but I am learning a lot and finding a huge shift in priorities. I am getting lost in the paint and finding my true nature at the same time. It is a wonderful place to get to spend a little part of my week. I feel so happy to have paint under my nails. Those things alone have made this vulnerable jump worth it.
Susan is a petite, spunky, intelligent, funny, loving and interesting woman. She lights up a room with her stories and isn’t afraid to make fun of herself or stand up for what she believes in. I first met Susan on a preview weekend for college. She was ready to take on the world. Her confidence beamed. Eventually, we both ended up being in this great group of friends. Everyone was so different and it was quite the opposite feel of a sorority. Sure there was lots of teasing for the fun of it, but mostly what made us unique was celebrated and cherished. Sue is still doing that 20 years later and from 2000 miles away. Over the years we have met up at weddings across the country and always pick up right where we left off. Chris and I love hanging out with Sue and her husband Wes. They are such a great couple.
|Susan M. Sturdevant- Colorado Springs, Aug. 2010
The weekend that I saw her last, we had a lot of fun catching up and we had some pretty good political discussions, too. We started off not really seeing eye to eye on much of anything, but we were able to listen and gain some perspective from each other. By the end of the weekend, we were able to agree to disagree with respect for the other. And on our way to the airport, we actually talked about how we wished our communities and leaders could do what we had done. I will ever be grateful for the joy, support and perspectives Sue has given me. And, now I really wish there weren’t so many miles between us so I could give her a great big hug!