"One of our chief needs as creative beings is support. Unfortunately, this can be hard to come by. Ideally, we would be nurtured and encouraged first by our nuclear family and then by ever-widening circles of friends, teachers, well-wishers. As young artists, we need and want to be acknowledged for our attempts and efforts as well as for our achievements and triumphs. Unfortunately, many artists never receive this critical early encouragement. As a result, they may not know they are artists at all."
an excerpt from: Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Something I often think about when in the presence of a child who is showered with love and support by their mother (or father), is that their true self will blossom more naturally and their true destiny in life will be found with greater ease. I can pick those children out of a crowd sometimes--they have an aura of peace about them, so much so that you can see the connection they have with their parents even when they are standing in a room all alone.
I can't say whether or not finding your purpose or calling is easier for those who end up as investment bankers, veterinarians, real estate brokers or teachers. But, from the perspective of someone such as myself, who was not born for a traditional path, it sure does seem like it would be easier to arrive at those destinations than to struggle through the passionate fire churning inside yourself, aching to be expressed yet not providing you with an answer to the question that is asked all-too-often: how do you make a living?
Perhaps my theory about those children who have been loved exactly the way they are and have been supported in all their endeavors, applies to everyone; perhaps even accountants need that type of love as children in order to become accountants. The problem I have with believing it is equally as difficult to become an accountant as it is to become a sculptor or multimedia collage extraordinaire, is that the world (parents, teachers, even peers) does not nurture and support artists the same way that they nurture and support "real careers." Some are lucky enough to have fabulous parents who make those "other" opinions feel totally irrelevant to a child, but without those fabulous parents (mentors and teachers) the road toward becoming a "creative" can be rough, winding, frustrating, confusing.....and often leads to a reoccurring doubt that we will realize our purpose in this lifetime.
I suppose this is a topic of great intensity for me given that I was never that child with the fabulous parents at home who was so confident and comfortable in the world. I have had glimmers of intense support throughout my life, but never in a consistent way as a child....so here I am, trying to figure it out....still. But, I have endless amounts of support now, as an adult, so the one thing I DO know is that I WILL figure out what my true creative purpose is. However, up until about a year ago I lived life oscillating between forcing myself to become a straight A business student, applying to law school, or working for an investment company and making sure that I live every day writing, taking pictures, painting, singing, dancing and feeling my way through to my purpose.
Life may have been different for me if I had listened to the teachers who awarded me the title of "gifted artist" and allowed me to miss math class in grammar school so that I could paint; perhaps I'd be closer to having it all figured out if I had followed my gut to art school instead of majoring in business; perhaps I could've achieved something magnificent in all the years I spent trying to be something that I am not....but, I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on all the artistic fuel that my struggle afforded me.
To all those artists out there wondering what the heck they are doing with their lives: you are on the right path, you are beautiful just the way you are and what you will contribute to humanity is so worth the struggle to find your way. I believe in you without even seeing your faces.