In search of knowing myself truthfully, so I can pursue the stuff I really want (and reach it), I have tried to answer the following questions from both heart and mind:
1. How do you want to be remembered?
As a creative person who is passionate about art and literature and who is determined to pursue her creative goals. A person who does not give up on her dreams. Also, a person who believes in the greater good. A community member. A caring family member. A good friend.
(I realize that this person I describe above is the person I am now. But why don’t I say Author? Artist? Is that not what I want? Do I not write every day, so I see myself as a writer? Is my goal not to be published, so I can call myself a published author? And what about all the art I have created? Don’t I want to be remembered for that? Basically, I do not allow myself to go all the way!! This is a problem. Because I don’t believe I will get there and be remembered for my published work and for my exhibited work.)
2. How do you want people to describe you?
As a person with a strong sense of self and with a desire for passionate and productive relationships. As a dedicated community member. As a caring family member. As a good friend.
(Again, why don’t I say: as a successful artist and writer? I have to know that people find me strong, so I can keep pursuing my goals, and I have to believe that the relationships in my life are both passionate and productive. But are they? Good question.)
3. Who do you want to be?
Someone who is creative and expressive, someone who stands by her convictions of aesthetics and morality but also, someone who is open to new thinking and to new ideas.
(Why don’t I just say: A famous author and/or artist? Isn’t that who I want to be? Really? So, why don’t I say it?)
4. Who or what matters most to you?
I matter to myself. If I’m not happy I cannot be of help to anyone else. Continuity of life matters to me, therefore, my children and grandchildren. Room for expression, therefore, my artistic projects.
(Again, why is my answer not this: That I become a published author and a well known artist. And why do I not mention my husband, who supports me in all I do? I am afraid to say it like it is, and I keep seeing myself as this person that needs to stay strong to be there for others and for her art. Weird.)
5. What are your deepest values?
Life. Health. Environment. That life continues on a healthy planet.
(Okay, so is this what I write about? Is this what I paint? I am a storyteller. I tell stories about people and their lives. I paint fairy tales and other narrative work. I hope my values are part of my storytelling.)
6. How would you define success in your life?
Being a valuable family member. Being a successful immigrant. Being ready to explore. Being in love with people and with art.
(I could also have mentioned my Master degree, which in fact has prepped me for the writing process. Again, I stay on the fringe of things and I keep mentioning my family as my biggest success. Perhaps, I should write a book about that?)
7. What makes your life really worth living?
I’m a puzzle piece within my family, within my community, and I like to contribute to these puzzles, to make them whole and healthy. Also, my personal expression through my art projects is invaluable and motivating.
(How about this answer: That I am able to write hours at a time, morning or afternoon. That I have the opportunity to publish a book. That I have the opportunity to exhibit my art.)
My answers were written a week ago and today I added what’s in parenthesis, because I see how I prioritize. This is a constant challenge for me. Perhaps, because I grew up as the oldest of five siblings and had three children in my twenties and lived close to my parents most of my life. Not until I went back to school in my forties did I ‘leave’ my parents! And then after that I launched my art career and later my writing career. Here I am with space, time, and motivation to write! And still, I’m scared. Holding back. It’s a new feeling.