After my sad-sack post from yesterday I woke up in a great mood. Sometimes just allowing the emotions to be written down and presented to the world takes away their power, and I'd say that's a good thing. And now, at the risk of sounding like a self-help book, I present the following:
I've been thinking quite a bit about balance, and the contradictory feelings that fight for dominance in my head at various points. I can be excited and energized by a new idea, sad over not getting into a show, bored by housework, and thrilled with my kids all at once. In occupying the dual roles of mother and artist I feel grateful that I'm passionate about each, while at the same time wondering if it would be easier to just be a mom and focus on the girls while they're small and not attempt the juggling act. I guess it's partly the guilt factor. When I'm caught up in my work it can be hard to pull out of that mental space and really be present for the day-to-day child-rearing. Being a parent requires so much energy and its own level of creativity, and I can feel pulled in a million different directions. I recognize each side of it--both how lucky I am to be a mother and to have this outlet with my photography, but then struggling to find a balance between the two. The other side of it is knowing that of course I shouldn't sacrifice what I'm passionate about in order to give everything to my children, which is a recipe for resentment. I want them to feel that I'm there for them, but that I also have a life that includes time for myself in which I can honor my intellectual and artistic side. Balance, indeed.
Today I must say I'm feeling the luck part more than anything. Starting this blog somehow has cleared the worries from my head and I'm itching to get to the computer, while at the same time feeling more connected to Edie and June. I think I'm realizing that what I have the hardest time with are the transitions. When I'm on the cusp of starting up a new series I become full of doubt, cranky, and conflicted. It's similar to how things are when one of the girls is about to take a developmental leap. Edie will get into a state where she's easily frustrated, whiny and somewhat impossible to deal with, and then all of a sudden it's like her brain has reorganized itself around whatever new skill it was trying to process, and she's suddenly older and wiser and calmer. I'm like a preschooler that way--I don't recognize that I'm in the middle of a restructuring in my head until I've come out the other side. So recently I've been kind of a freak, and then suddenly my new series took shape and I thought ok, that's what it was, a transition. Why it's so difficult to see this when in the middle of it I'm not sure, but it may just be part of being human. So even though there are times when I feel like I'm sacrificing certain parts of being a mother in the service of my art and vice versa, I'm realizing that maybe it's less about the balance between the two and more about moving from one phase to the next. The lesson I suppose is simply to stay in the present. As long as I do that the next step will take care of itself. Amen.