I was reading. And while reading, I put on Moving Art: Oceans by Louie Schwartzberg. I found it on Netflix. It is wonderful. Soothing, with beautiful music accompanying wonderful oceans and skies and sea animals. The music reminded me of a friend of mine. When he stood in line for talents, he got dumped on. He is very gifted. He composes music, plays the piano, organ, guitar, directs a church choir, leads/directs our local theatre group and a myriad of other things. One thing I always admired and enjoyed was his ability to sit down at the piano and just improvise. He was a vocal coach and he can sing. Thinking back, I remembered hearing he had taught at Julliard as a young man with only a bachelor’s degree. Very gifted.
Those thoughts led to a crazy faux conversation about worth and self-identity. He was a composer, but wasn’t “known” for being a composer. He was known as the man he is. He wears many hats. He is also a husband and a father. He likes to have a good time. He smiles and he laughs. He enjoys his life. If I had to label him, I’d call him a gifted musician. At one time he was a good friend and taught me much.
That led me to myself. I’m a mother and grandmother and a wife, but those things never seemed to define me. They just were. I was a cake decorator specializing in wedding cakes for 34 years. It began as an interest to learn and be creative and ended in a career of sorts. In the middle, I returned to college and finished my bachelors’ degree in music and was shy two courses of getting my masters. I studied voice. I sang with the symphony. My sister died and I quit school and continued working.
I’ve painted. Canvases, vases, mailboxes, gift cards, and tables. Oils and acrylics. Am I an artist? No. I haven’t done that in a while. I like to crochet and knit, but my attention span is short. I like to make rosaries but arthritis made me stop a few years ago. I like to blog. I like to read, but that goes in spurts also. I like to think. I like to pray. Am I a singer? I used to dream of making my living getting to sing. And I learned to do it better than many. But I haven’t done that in years.
And so, what defines me? What defines a person? I remember the day I thought about my cake decorating. I was at work in the middle of ordinary. I had the eureka moment of when did this thing I do turn into a career? my life’s work? That was never my goal. I didn’t dream of being a cake decorator. So what happened? Time happened. Life happened. Time passed.
And so now that I am handicapped and house bound, who am I? I am still a mother and a long distance grandmother and a wife. But since I spend most of my days alone my life has gotten even smaller. I always was an introvert and now my world consists of tv characters and my husband who still works full-time and my daughter who has two jobs and finds time to help me get out of bed in the morning and helps me prepare for bed at night.
And so, the thinking becomes the primary focus. The crazy twists and turns of thinking; add in prayer, and reading and blogging, and tv and solitaire and yatzy and my exercises and my day is over. Who am I? What am I? Who the heck knows? I am who I always was but different.
I was a cake decorator. I was a singer. Today, I am me. I am just me. I am living one day at a time and trying to get stronger. One day I may be able to walk again and live a more normal life. Funny…I never thought of myself as normal. For now, I am just me. The part of me that makes up me is ever-changing and evolving and learning and doing and growing, but it is still me. And so here’s to discovery. Thinking is fun, isn’t it? And the journey continues…