Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Art Blog: Who Are YOU?

I have often made comments on this blog about being very happy with my age. I can honestly say I would not want to be any younger unless I could “know then what I know now”. I will gladly take the wrinkles for the wisdom. The knowledge and comfort with myself has been a long time coming. Finally, it is here. I love it.

This post is aimed at artists, but it can be applied to anyone. These words are meant for women, but they could fit some men’s lives too. Something happened yesterday that reminded me how thankful I am to know myself so well. I love the understanding I have for life. I know who I am. For the most part, I know what I want. I figured out if I don’t like it, I don’t do it anymore. I realize now, I deserve good things and great happiness. I want joy in my life and I do the things that will bring that bliss. I stay away from life situations that will bring me discomfort or misery to my life. There was a time when I didn’t really understand the very basic concept: “I am worth it!”

Too frequently, women give away their heart, soul, and identity. They willingly forget about themselves in order to please other people. Sometimes it happens when we enter relationships. I know about this. It has happened to me. In fact, it happens to many of us. Does this sound familiar? I remember a time when I fell in “love” and pretty much put art on hold for a couple of years. I still worked on my art, but not much. Instead, I sat on sports arena bleachers for hours, days, and months on end. It was all for him. Ironically, I HATE sports! I hate being in any kind of audience. I am a doer, not a watcher. I don’t blame him. I did it willingly. I sat there and sat there and sat there because I had given myself away.
I will repeat: I gave MYSELF away.

In no way am I advocating for anyone to remain alone. I am not suggesting that at all. I just want to remind everyone to be true to yourself first. Know who you are and hold onto it at all costs. Luckily, I have always had my art as many of you do too. When the bleacher boy decided to ditch me after three years, I was devastated. However, I already knew my true self was an artist. Also after this experience, I realized I learned a huge life lesson which is to never put myself second ever again. I learned to keep my own life. I learned to make my own friends. I learned to have my own money and stuff. I learned to always have a backup plan in case of unexpected life changes. I felt lucky it only took me three years to learn this and not a lifetime. I learned that being in a relationship is like the dessert in your life. It can be great and delicious. We just have to make sure we understand our own identity is the main course. Listen to me now. Hopefully, it won’t take decades for you to figure this out.

”Mine” by Sheree Rensel
Acrylic on Canvas
Click for detail view

Just remember to do what makes you happy. However, if someone comes along and tempts you to give yourself away, say
“NO! I am MINE!”


Barbara J Carter said...

Yes, the desert can be a beautiful place, especially when (as right now) the wildflowers are in bloom. But perhaps you meant dessert? :)

I think I've always instinctively protected myself. I feel sorry for women who give away too much of themselves. But mostly it puzzles me. Why do they do that? Low self esteem?

Whatever the reason, it's a good lesson to learn. Preferably earlier than later!

Sheree Rensel said...

YES! I did mean dessert! LOL LOL Thank you so much for catching that for me! I fixed it.
I think the reasons people do that can vary. When it happened to me, I had just spent six straight years in art college. I think I was just trying out a new lifestyle. Obviously, the old one worked better for me. LOL LOL
Thanks for your help and feedback!

Eva said...

It didn't happen with me in sports but in a more subtle way and difficult way - asking to be the spectator of male artists. Performance art was big in SF in the 80s. I was told that I was out of it for not being that interested in watching the boys blow up their machines or whatever, in not being interested in working + supporting their projects. That was like the end-all. I just felt out of it until years later when I looked back that I realized that the forced role of spectator wasn't what I wanted, especially for their stuff.

Sheree Rensel said...

Eva, It is kind of ironic for me. I knew from the start I didn't want to get involved with anybody who was related to art. I knew that would never work for me. I think I chose "bleacher boy" because I knew it was so far from what I was interested in; I thought he could do his thing and I could do mine. My time and obsessive nature had always been precious. However, it backfired. I fell into a very strange, deep well.
I too didn't really realize what was going on until it was over. I knew I had gone against everything I believe in and know to be me. Some of us tend to do that when we are young. I forgive myself.

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Nice post.
Indeed...history does show that women artists tend to get involved with men who overshadow them. I had many times stated not only that I would never get married again-but that I would "never" ever date another artist. Then, I fell in love with one. Suddenly- I wanted to get seemed like the most romantic thing to do.
We've only been married 4 years -but I think what is most important is that we think of one another's art as equally pertinent,important and valuable.
Same goes for how we think of one another as individuals: mutual respect and admiration. Love.
Life is so rich and fun-because of the diversity of us, humans. We all mature, experience,enjoy, so many different ways-but what matters most always, is LOVE!

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

I posted...and long...but I think it is now lost in cyberspace :(
Great post.
Longstory short...:
I enjoy musings of my own on this vein... as an artist in love with another artist.