Sunday, September 6, 2009

Challenges and passion

It isn't often that I come home from just seeing a movie, and find such huge similarities, to many parts of my life in it. That is the case with this movie.

The movie was Julie and Julia. There are really so many similarities to what we are all experiencing at this time in our lives. Yes, this movie is about Julia Child's cooking, but mostly about her personal challenges, she set forth, to make her life more meaningful. She wasn't one to sit around darning socks, or wait on her husband hand and foot. She wasn't satisfied with joining women's card groups, or taking hat making classes. She hadn't found her passion...
until she found cooking!
Does this sound familiar fellow artisans?

Once she discovered her passion, she was on a mission. But the act of cooking, by itself, wasn't enough. She set goals for herself. One was to become published. Yet, she understood she couldn't do it alone. She needed the love and support of family and friends. Just like the star of the movie found out, played by Amy Adams. In the movie, Julie, her character, sets her own goal. She was driven to cook every recipe Julia published in her book, within one years time. She starts a blog, and wonders if anyone will ever read it, or be interested, or respond!
Sound familiar?

This post really isn't a review of the movie. I'm writing from the heart, about how moved I was to see someone like Julia Child struggle, to overcome her challenges she took on. The best things in life DON'T come easy! Her motivation wasn't just about money and success, although she hoped for a few bucks as a result of all her hard work at getting published. She wanted to feel like she brought a service, a joy, to women. All the while being able to fulfill her passion of cooking. It wasn't just cooking that gave her joy. She was willing to give so much of herself, so others could benefit. But she needed the help and support group of friends and family.

I feel such a kindred spirit with Julia. I think many of my friends will too. Making jewelry is a passion. I feel it is truly my life's work, since retiring from a job of many years. But, making jewelry is in itself is not the reward. If you can't see the joy it brings to people, why do it? So I started selling a few pieces. Then I saw that my jewelry pleased a few, so I started jurying in to art festivals. Every little baby step, allowed me to gain more confidence, and set bigger goals. Then I decided to teach a class. That was extremely rewarding. A little more confidence was built, so I set a goal to get published. That was a big one! Now that has become a reality. Recently, the opportunity arose to submit to a national jewelry retreat, as a teacher. So, what the heck, I held my nose and plunged. I was chosen to participate. But, these things happening are truly because of having, like Julia and Julie, the gentle nudging of friends and family.

I'm in my late fifties now, and just starting to understand a few things about life. I might be a late bloomer, okay, for sure I am. But I am really understanding some basic fundamentals about how to make your life more fulfilling.
Don't settle for less in life than will make you happy. I'm talking about goose bumps happy. I'm talking about jumping up and down happy. What ever that might be. Don't be afraid to try....anything! Because if you don't, how can you accomplish your goals? And set those goals! Big ones. Ones that make you nervous, make you shake, make your heart race. And a little bit of struggle to make them work out is worth it. If I can do it, anyone can.
Nothing can hurt you for trying.

And the most important lesson to attaining these goals for me, was to find a support group. One that shared my vision. If you don't have one, please find it. It can be girlfriends, boyfriends, family, anyone who encourages you to do what you want to do. My mother and father divorced at an early age. I was three. My mother died when I was eleven. The only support I had was my older sister, and she never stopped encouraging me. I never had a support "group". Now I have a wonderful husband, who never stops encouraging me. And I am lucky enough to have a fabulous circle of lady friends, who continue to encourage me to set new goals, and lend the support to see me through them. I have met some wonderful "jewelry" sisters in the last couple of years, fellow kindred spirits, looking for the same thing I am. This has been the most rewarding treasure, since picking up my first jewelry tool.

I wish each and everyone one of you, the warmth and support from friendships I feel in my life. It is such a rewarding thing.
And, if you haven't challenged yourself recently, do something about that, okay?
You have the power to accomplish whatever you want to, don't forget.
Plant one foot in front of the other. Take baby steps if you need to.
Set goals you've been putting off for whatever reasons.
And find friendships that share your vision.


SharonP said...

Thank you so much for your wise and truthful words. You said you are in your late fifties and just now understanding a few things about life--wow, it's true! I'm 55 and just now beginning to uncover some of life's truths! It took this long for introspection and self-discovery? Better late than never!

I discovered I have a passion for creating jewelry and now have the freedom to experiment in many genres. Now is the time to set goals and move forward in my quest for artistic expression. Your blog is a source of inspiration and encouragememt to me.

Congratulations on your fruitful journey and please continue to share that journey with us!

Diana said...

Great post my jewelry friend!

Anonymous said...

You have the talent of making beautiful jewellery but ALSO a talent with expressing yourself with words. I really enjoyed reading this post.

Gisele, Ontario, Canada.

Stephani Gorman said...

Hi Riki, What a wonderful post! Speaking of knudging from friends, to get a jump start on reaching your goals, you have now pasted the knudge along. Thank-you , just what I needed to hear this morning. I would also like to see this movie, sounds really cute!:) Hope you are having a great day so far! Hugs, Steff

Charlene said...

Riki, What a great post! I am so excited for you to have been chosen to teach at ADORN ME! What a treat that must be for you! I can't wait to meet you in person.