Finding the Joy and blogging about it
I recently completed a Foundation Art Diploma and learned a few things on the way. The main ones?...
1. That I am not one thing, but a bunch of things. Rather than finding a passion for one medium or subject, I found that I zinged with multiple. I wanted to learn and keep learning. It was the process I enjoyed more than the outcome.
2. That No. 1 is not a Bad Thing.
Through most of my life I have been a few steps behind. I come to milestones and realisations later than the majority. I have never known what I wanted to do with my life - never had the elusive "purpose" - and so I have floated.
In my 38 years I have loved creative writing, making puppets, singing, dancing, photography, performance, reading, baking, helping customers, making personalised gifts, songwriting, acapella, DIY flatpacks, musical instruments, illustration and more. Some of these I would practice alone and would not dream of showing anyone the end product. Add to this my newfound art-crushes of printmaking, textiles, pottery, drawing, painting and engraving... I enjoyed all of these things and yet I have never loved just one of them enough to focus purely on it. I could not seem to push all the others out for the sake of one expert specialism.
It is only now, after having spent the Art Diploma year in enforced reflection (thanks SRJ!), that I realise I don't have to. It turns out I don't need to feel guilty over not having a favourite. It doesn't make me less of a person just because I want to hold onto more.
And so to Joy. It's a bit of a buzz-word at the moment (and you can take it as red that I've been Sparking Joy all through my belongings thanks to Marie Kondo), but it really is the feeling which is tying together all of my loose ends at the moment. Why do I feel a connection with all the things I listed above? Because they bring me Joy. They make me smile as I'm doing them. Sure, sometimes it may be a smile on the inside, while on the outside my face is squiffling in concentration, but it's the Doing that makes me happy. It's the feeling of letting my hands do the work, of allowing my worries to melt into the fuzzy background and for them to thereby become smaller. It's the learning of new things, letting other people's knowledge seep into my bones so that I can share it with them. It's the reaching out - something I have always found so difficult - to offer my thoughts, my opinions, my creations to others, because if I never share I'll never truly grow.
Don't get me wrong, I am nowhere near being an expert in any of the above, but loving something does not mean you have to be conventionally good at it. It is not the end product I'm reaching for. I enjoy the trying. I enjoy succeeding. I enjoy knowing I can try again if it all comes out wrong.
So that's where I'm heading with this blog and the reason it is named Joy in the Process.
Because there is joy to be found in the way we get there.
Because we are all in the process of creating our own joy.