I don't want to grow up.
My daughter just turned nine, and she told me on her birthday this week, tears in her eyes, "I don't want to grow up." It was so unexpected and sweet and beautiful to hear.
As an adult, I look back on my childhood days longing for that fuzzy sense of happiness I associate with childhood. I definitely put on those rose-colored glasses when I want to remember a time that was sweeter and easier, when I was able to make the best of it and be able to laugh and smile despite life's troubles (which, in hindsight, of course seemed so much simpler.)
This year hasn't been the easiest, but it's been amazing. I've learned so much and grown into myself immensely. Earlier in the year I felt stagnant in my creative work and knew I needed a change. Stubbornly, I put off doing the hard work of returning to square one and reconnecting what made me want to be an artist in the first place. It was scary. I didn't want to give up on what I had put all that hard work into. I pursued other distractions, ignoring what my gut instincts were telling me. I didn't want to listen.
I have tried and failed and picked myself up again so many times this year, I've lost count! Man, change is hard. But I've kept going. Through the grace of God, I found my compass again, and it was pointing at the drawers in my workroom that have been collecting dust and cobwebs for the past few years. I've been sitting in there for weeks now, creating, with no intention other than to make things that make me happy and to reconnect with my artist-self. I now make things that kindle that spark of nostalgia and fuzzy childhood happiness inside me. Things that make me feel like that part of me doesn't have to grow up. Ever.
I feel like myself again and I feel proud of my work. You won't see any more veils, hair accessories or jewelry in my Etsy shop or at craft sales. I'm not following trends to make sales or growing a business to try to make a decent paycheck. Those things would be nice too, but for now they've been stripped away in exchange for the freedom to make what I want and enjoy when I sit down at my work table.
Growing up and all the responsibilities that grow with it will always be there. But for now, I'm counting my blessings and enjoying what it feels like to be a kid at a craft table again (that's truly what it feels like! Sometimes I almost feel guilty about it...) ;)
I'll be sure to post some photos of what I'm making very soon. Thanks for reading!