I reinvent myself every decade whether I need it or not. I didn’t always know this but became aware over time. Age and history do have some benefits. Now that I realize I do this, I can tap into my intuition to guide my next step and discover a new path. The path and course of reinvention is like walking up a spiral staircase. A natural evolution with a widening view.
I used to play a video game called Sonic the Hedgehog. The player proceeded along a path and was presented with challenges in the landscape. The goal was to figure out how to overcome the challenges and proceed along the path to the end goal. The player could find tips and gain points to help overcome setbacks. As the Hedgehog made its way to the finish line the tasks became increasingly difficult. It took me playing many times to be able to reach the end and jump through the gold hoop to win the round. But the game wasn’t over. After jumping through the gold ring, I proceeded to the next level where I found myself in a similar landscape, following a familiar path, yet the tests were different. I could use my previous experience to evaluate what I thought would be the hidden challenges. By using my experiences and seeing them in a new way I could advance and avoid the traps and challenges. My knowledge base had to evolve. I needed to see the problems in a slightly different way. I needed a new perspective.
I see the evolution of my experiences in a similar way. I travel around the seasons, progress through the years, having similar experiences, yet always seeing them from a new perspective. Like climbing the spiral staircase rather than jumping through a gold ring. As this climb proceeds, I begin to get a broader view. I take some of my experiences and let them guide me to a new place. When I was in my twenties, I spent most of my time exploring my art, my identity, and the world. I felt I had time to explore. Later I would feel the pressures of society and biology knocking at my door. I was incredibly open to my intuition and followed it without fail. I stumbled a lot, but in hindsight it was the falls that taught me well. My art practice ran the gamut from painting, carving, stonecutting to silversmithing. I always felt my jewelry designs were miniature sculptures. My goal at the time was to travel and have as many experiences as I could.
The next evolution found me seeking more structure and stability in life and art. I continued to make jewelry, but I began working for someone else to assure a steady income. I coupled this with bartending at night as well. Then I returned to school and studied both fine art and psychology. Following school I became a mental health counselor. I saw the evolution from bartender to counselor as taking listening to the next higher level. My art also found a new outlet in printmaking.
The following decade found me as a full-time artist and businessperson. I worked constantly and every step was to ensure the survival and evolution of my art career. I made the conscious decision to pursue painting and not sculpture as my art form. I also wrote books, taught workshops, and continually evolved and created daily. My business grew and my painting improved with practice. I trusted my visual voice.
I am once again ascending the spiral staircase and reimagining my next move. I revisit my visions and excitement of my twenties with a new perspective. I am making my youthful dream a reality, creating large-scale sculptures. My hands may not be able to hold the pneumatic tools, but I have learned the art of collaboration. There is a synergy in working with others to bring a vision to life. I am allowing myself to say no to some projects and to let the visions emerge. I feel like I have reached a point in the evolution where I can revisit my inspiration of my youth and approach it with a fine-tuned voice. There are always doubts, but if it were easy, I wouldn’t be as intrigued and excited to see what happens next.
How do you see your journey and how does your evolution and reinvention inspire and excite you?