Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Vacation Over.


I start my 8th and FINAL quarter in less than a week and I am sitting in my apartment wondering where in God's name the 730 days that are the last 2 years have gone. This time of year makes me think about all that led up to me coming to Portfolio Center, how much my life has changed in the past 2 years and how much I have grown. I think all of this changed started on 9/11, really...I had recently ended a pretty unhealthy relationship, moved back to Baton Rouge, was thinking about starting graduate school for Social Work and then BAM.

The world changed when those two towers fell to the ground.

At that point I realized I could either make choices from a place of safety and security or I could go for what I really wanted and not apologize for it. I chose a relationship my family could not understand or accept because LOVE was more important than acceptance from my family. It still is. Allowing that love into my life opened my mind and heart up to the freedom to create and express myself artistically. I had always been a "dabbler" in painting and drawing but never considered it something I could turn into a career. I was too logical and in my head to make that connection. Now, I cannot imagine doing anything other than what I am doing...and I've really only begun.

And yet I am nearing the end of my first big step. My first BIG commitment both financially and emotionally. As I go through my apartment, cleaning, organizing, gathering my work from the past 2 years, preparing for the next 3 months, I frequently come across reminders of my pre-PC life. Pictures, letters, boxes, a dog collar, feathers, seashells, wine labels...I keep everything. I wonder if I'll always be a pack-rat. I wonder why I am such a pack-rat. Some people argue that these things are not important, that we collect TOO much. I guess I keep these things as evidence of my existence...where I came from, who I love, what matters to me. How I got here in the first place, what I have learned along the way. I think those things are important....more important than a chair to sit in or a bed to sleep in because when it comes down to it, we have to be able to find peace in our heads and hearts.

I used to wish I had fewer boxes of memories. I used to think it would be nice to fit it all in some tidy leather-bound scrapbook with my initials embossed on the cover...I used to think I would have been more successful, more happy, less searching, less complicated if I had chosen safer things, things that had some security built in. I used to WISH I could just be happy doing what seemed more normal, more linear, less random. I imagine now that, like the chaos theory in math and physics, " the behavior of chaotic systems (aka, Mary Campbell) appears to be random, because of an exponential growth of errors in the initial conditions but these systems (aka Mary Campbell) are deterministic in the sense that their future dynamics are well defined by their initial conditions, and there are no random elements involved." So, perhaps, all of these seemingly disconnected events and choices have really just been pushing me to this point. I think I have always believed that; otherwise, I'd probably be working at a bank right now wearing navy blue pants and a matching jacket with my name tag proudly displayed on the lapel.

7 comments:

Tania Rochelle said...

Yeah, except your name would be Gertrude.

Anonymous said...

A few days ago I googled a phrase and your blog was one of 527 results returned. I am not a blogger nor do I read blogs on daily basis but I was compelled to visit your site. I think I stayed on the site long enough to read each and every entry. Whether or not design is your true calling, you should always write. You have a gift a uniqueness/insight that draws the reader in that makes them think and want to turn the page. Don't ever stop writing.

MCALDWELLC said...

wow. thanks!

Anonymous said...

No, thank you. You are the one laying it all out there for our consumption. It is hard to imagine "your story" (complete with pictures); 12 years old and committed, I just can't fathom the hurt you went through.

Two of my favorites from your blog that everyone can benefit from reading over and over again.

"It is hard to stay in the place of yielding, though...I think we all have an instinct to control, to manipulate, to force things to be what we think they should be rather than allow them to be what they simply are. And isn't that true on every level...how many times have we gotten angry with a spouse, friend, or family member because they are simply BEING who they are...we get angry because it is not what WE need. But the truth of the matter is that our job is to respect and support people in becoming their most authentic selves...not try to morph them into what we need. Going home reminded me of this lesson...when you view people through their lens of who THEY are, it is much easier to love them unconditionally. It is a gentle reminder that we all need to be loved for who we are...flawed beautiful people with unlimited potential."

"It is only recently that I have realized that I must let go.
Maybe even today.
I had been thinking that something was holding me down.
I wasn’t really sure if it was outside of me or within me.
Then I remembered that the details didn’t matter.
All of it belongs to me."

As I read entry after entry I could not help but think of a recent article from the Washington Post Magazine titled "A lost brother's lost words" by Jill Hunting. Jill lost her brother and you lost your sense of self.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/14/AR2007031400193.html

Alison said...

shiesh! and i was going to say that i have lots of boxes of feathers and wine labels hanging around, too.

Howard said...

I hear you. All of it. Any other life isn't worth living. If everything went as planned, what fun would that be? Right?

Oh, and 8th quarter was my favorite because it actually counts. At least you have a real critique with real people and if they like your work they offer to pay you every two weeks to come do the same thing for them. You'll do great.

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