When I was a child I loved to make things: stories, drawings, knitted scarves for my cabbage patch doll. All of it was play, the important work of childhood. It is the way in which children learn who they are and what they like. But, with age, comes responsibilities. Childhood things are left behind. I put my notebooks and sketchbooks away and concentrated on getting into college, getting a degree, and getting my first job. It was the sensible thing to do.
…then I awoke one day and found something was missing.
I was happily married. I enjoyed my job. I had good friends. We had a beautiful little girl and a boy on the way. Yet, there was something missing. I had already picked knitting back up. I would occationally write up a short story here and there. I kept a file of ideas on a USB key.
Having a second baby re-focused me on them. They were so little and they needed me. As they got bigger, I pursued other interests, both because I loved them and because I wanted a career. Still, in the back of my mind I continued to have the feeling something wasn’t quite right. Something was still missing.
My second career ended, and my focus turned to homeschooling. I spent a large part of the first year lost as we went through the deschooling process. So, I took up my knitting more seriously. I began to draw again. I started stepping away from Facebook political fights to chase hashtags on Instagram. I made my first poorly timed attempt at NaNoWriMo (we were moving.) I learned to spin. I started taking photos again.
Slowly my inner self woke up.
At first I felt a bit guilty, but then I realized I was showing my kids by example. I was teaching them to use the resources around them to teach themselves. I was teaching them to go after the things they wanted.
Last year I also started to come to the realization I wanted to make making my life’s work. I’ve come to believe that it is everyone’s life work. Creating is part of what it means to be human. We all do it in different ways, as scientists, as poets, as surgeons, as teachers, as sculptors.
I want to make every day for the rest of my life.
I want to write novels.
I want to take film photographs.
I want to knit sweaters.
I want to spin my own yarn.
I want to cook.
I want to play music.
I want to create.