Tuesday, August 13, 2013

what do you live on?

I was combing through one of my old college journals yesterday looking for some metalsmithing technique that I could've sworn I had taken notes on oh, 15 years ago!!!  Every semester our professor required us to journal.  It could be info on things we were learning, sketches, notes from a visiting artist lecture, our inner most thoughts and feelings, you know, what ever, and at the end of the semester we had to turn them in for a grade.  I found it a little intimidating and I never did very well.  It should've been an easy A for me because I like that kind of thing.  Not sure why i was so pitiful at it back then.
Anyway, I was looking through this journal and could not find what I was looking for.  But I did find:
  • a xeroxed photo of Andy Gibb that I had glued down 
  • a cheat sheet on ring sizing 
  • my friend Chris's doodles of metal band logos 
  • recipes for metal patinas 
  • a note from a beginner student wanting me to teach her to etch in my off lab hours (why did I feel the need to GLUE that into my journal?  I must've been desPERate! for content!).  
  • There was a photo of Tom around the time that we met looking like a baby!  
  • There was a postcard of Willem de Kooning in his studio.  
  • There were sketches 
  • lots of song lyric snippets and Rod McKuen poems 
  • ideas that never came to fruition and a few that did but shouldn't have.  
It was a big ole mish mash of stuff.  But as I was flipping through, at the top of one page I had written:
 "What do I live on?"
I immediately wrote that exact sentence into my current journal.  What do I live on?  What an amazing thing to ask yourself!  I mean really, there are so many ways you could think about that.

There's the obvious : food
The lesser, but still pretty obvious : love
But then what?  I started really trying to dig deep.  What do I live on?  What sustains me?  What do I NEED to even get through each day?  For me, I've decided that the question can also be put: what can you simply not live without?  What do you live on?
My marriage. My marriage sustains me in the very worst of times.  It is a life vest in times where I might otherwise not care to wake up in the morning.  It makes me proud, it gives me a stable base that I can put everything else on top of, it's the very definition of comfort.  It is everything.

The support from my family.  Sometimes, I'm embarrassed to say, I might take this for granted.  I don't mean to, but sometimes, when you've had something your whole life and you have no clue what life is like without it, you can take it for granted.  I am extraordinarily happy and lucky to have never known life without the support of my family.  And the only reason I even know that this is a big deal is because I have friends who do not have this.  What a bizarre circumstance!!!  My family, and by family I mean my mom, my dad, my best-brother-in-the-whole-wide-world, my grandparents (all of them, then and now), my aunts, uncles, and cousins, from the family I was born into, to the family I got when I was about 13, to the family I married. They ALL encourage me and brag about me to friends (really, they brag about me!  It's nutty!) whether its jewelry or dog rescue.  They tell me they are proud of me.  When I wanted to change majors to get a metalsmithing degree they said "ok" (and paid for it all I might add!)...
they might not always agree with my decisions but they let me make them, and they let me make my mistakes too.  And I learn, and they help me up, dust me off, and push me out there again.  I'm damn lucky.  When I hear about people who are criticized by family for what they do, who they love, their up and downs, I want to say "here, come to Thanksgiving at my house.  It'll all be ok."
My work.  I would curl up in a ball in the furthest corner of a room if anyone told me that I could not do what I do anymore.  I love making. I love taking a pile of ingrediants and turning it into something recognizable.  Whether its sheet silver and wire that becomes a ring or flour and milk that becomes a loaf of bread.  I want to make things.  I need to.  I do literally live on it, both physically and emotionally.  And how insane is it that I do get to actually live on it?

Pleasing people.  I'm not sure if this is good or bad.  But it's who I am, good or bad.
I have this great need to please people.  I'm sure it has a lot to do with why I love making things - when I make something, be it a necklace or a pie, and I send it off, it's making someone on the other end happy.  And, good or bad, I need to hear about it.  I want to know that you loved your pie (insecure much?)!
I just want you to be happy (read with a desperate tone).  
None of this is to say that I don't displease people from time to time!  I certainly do.
And it's like the worst thing in the world to me.  I can't stand it when someone is upset with me!
I literally cannot sleep, I obsess on it.  Tom will say "just let it go!"  Umm, okaaaaaaay.  Well how in the heck do you do that?  Sign me up for that workshop on letting go because I am the thing that comes before novice when it comes to letting go.
Laughter.  I neeeeeed laughter to live.
My friendships.  I have friends that I simply couldn't go on without.  Friends who understand who I am and let me be.  Who don't want more than I have and know i'll give every bit of me when I can.
Coffee.  Don't judge me.

And there are things that I can't live without, but I am.

And then there are the little things, the things I do live on that maybe I shouldn't, but life wouldn't be nearly so fun without them....gummi bears, a 2:12 person to dog ratio, New York City, air conditioning, butter, cream, magnum pi, perry mason, & Law and Order,
yarn, a bath tub, my iPhone, kitchen aid mixer, Miz Mooz shoes,
James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Van Morrison, and Nina Simone's version of Here Comes the Sun.

What do You live on?