Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dream Life


The topic for the Spin Cycle this week is Arts and Crafts. For the most part, I feel a lot like Jan. I dabble in a lot of things; don’t have time to finish what I start. In addition, I usually don’t even have time to start what I imagine.


I have always been one for dreams and fantasy. As I have gotten older, I try to keep myself more real and be happy with what I have and not wish for more. Maybe wish is too strong a word. But I have always been a sucker for a happy ending.


In my dream life I would be an artist full time. I would live on the North Shore and I would write, take photos, bead and make jewelry, garden, cook, bake, and generally partake of all things creative. In my dream life, one of these things would provide an income that would allow me to stay home, retire from teaching altogether.


What? It’s true. As much as I love my job when I get there, I would rather be a full time artist.

Every year until I got sick, I took my students to the reading festival at the University of Hawaii. Every year, I would make sure that the one author I did not miss was Lois Ann Yamanaka. If you have never read one of her books, you really should. She is my favorite local author. She used to be a teacher. And I personally think she could make a side living being a stand-up comedian.


One year she was doing her thing and one of the students asked why she doesn’t teach anymore. Among many hilarious antidotes she shared about the frustration of working for the Department of Education and the State of Hawaii, she said this to the kids… it’s been a few years, so this may not be her exact words – but the gist is there.


I had to stop teaching so I could write. Teaching is hard if you want to be a good teacher. You students need A LOT. Teaching sucked all my energy and I had nothing left. I couldn’t teach and write and I wanted to write. Ask your teachers (at this point she caught my eye as I was sitting in the front row). The kids suck the life right out of you – yeah?


I love to make jewelry. I used to bead and sometimes I would sell the jewelry, but mostly made special pieces as gifts for those I loved. I made myself the jewelry I always wanted. All of it was stolen when we were burglarized three years ago…. I would love to go back to beading and kick it up a couple of notches.


I love to take photos. Someday I would like to pursue photography as a hobby and get a better camera.


I love working with wood and hand painting furniture. When my children were little there was a furniture artist who had hand painted furniture in the upscale stores that cost a fortune. We could never have afforded it. So, instead, I went around to garage sales and picked up pieces, sanded them down, and hand painted them for both of our kids’ rooms. I’ve always wanted to take a wood working class and have a workshop where I could make my own furniture.

I love to garden and cook.


Funny thing is, I have not totally given up that I will get to my dream someday. Back when I worked at Roy’s Restaurant, he used to showcase a different artist every couple of months. One artist was a woman in her sixties. Lovely lady. I chatted with her one day and she told me about her life before she became a full time, working, making a living at it artist. She was from LA and had a career in some high maintenance sort of business. Then her kids grew up, went to college. I cannot remember if she was married but I have a hazy memory of a man sitting next to her at the bar. Anyways, I’ve blocked him from her story.


It turned out that the woman had started painting only a few years before. She was living the dream and had only gotten there after a full life of working for a living at a regular job.
Gives one hope. Yes?


For more spins on art, head on over to Sprite’s Keeper.

29 comments:

lisleman said...

I think many jobs "suck the life right out of you", but at least with teaching you probably put some life in a number of others.

All the best with you dream work.

Captain Dumbass said...

Don't let go of that dream. And buy lottery tickets.

Kristan said...

"I think many jobs "suck the life right out of you", but at least with teaching you probably put some life in a number of others."

I agree completely.

And I also agree it's never too late for your dreams. You're extremely talented, and I think there's still plenty of time for you. :)

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh yeah, it gives one lots of hope. Don't give up your dream, Pseudo! I for one want to see it come to fruition! Much love!
You're linked!

Cairo Typ0 said...

I'm a firm believer in holding on to one's dreams. It's never too late to fulfill one's dreams. :)

Liz said...

Gives me hope that it's possible, but I don't want to wait until I'm in my sixties...

Hope you and I both get there sooner!

Mango Girl said...

Always have Hope! Always Believe in your Dreams...Never lose FAITH!

I hope you get to fulfill your dreams and desires soon...can't wait to see what you create!

xo, Mango

kyooty said...

I'd love to have the talent and vision and stamina to stay at something artistic but I just don't have the eye for it.

The kids do suck the life out of teachers, I don't teach my in laws did and well my MIL needed to leave it so she could continue to express herself in other ways. She's a quilter, and wow!

Now about this jewelery, it really says something for your work when a burglar can see the value in stealing it. It was probably very beautiful!

Mama Dawg said...

Ok, I swear we're cut from the same cloth. I love to do all those things and would kill to do it full time.

If I ever win the lottery, we'll set up shop. Deal?

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Two of my kids are now away at college and one is still here. I feel like I'm just beginning to be able to have a few moments for ME. Yes ... I have hope!

Amy said...

I hope you get back to these things that make you happy.

only a movie said...

Although I love my job and find it very creative, I am looking forward to my third career for when I'm not able to run down the hall after the kids...
Something creative in the self-employed, make-your-own-hours, sort of field would be good for my autumn years.
And I would love to collaborate with you when one of us hits the lottery.
'k?
Great post!

A Beach Diary said...

Aloha,

I love this quote...

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not, remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." ~ Epicurus

I believe everyday that you are alive, you live your dreams. It is all in how you look at life.

Mahalo, A Beach Girl

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Some days the kids suck the life out of you, but other days they put it right back in. Like mine did today.

Teaching is a form of art - shaping young minds and admiring the finished product on graduation day. You are already an artist.

Joanie M said...

Don't give up! You may get to live your dream!

Melissa B. said...

I dabble in this and that, too. I'd love to focus, but I'm afraid if I had the time, I'd acquire more hobbies instead!

otin said...

It would be a great world if we could all live out our dreams, but then again, our garbage may never get picked up and our BigMac would never get cooked! :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hold that memory close and go for it. Don't have regrets later!

Dingo said...

So many things are on your "love to do" list. Don't wait until the ever elusive someday to do them.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Wow, you sound really multi-talented. And you're right; we have lots of time when the kids are all gone. That's when I'm going to get my novels published and go on book tours. Maybe to Hawaii, where I'll buy some of your hand-painted furniture, jewelry, and photography...

ds said...

You sure are multi-talented! Don't give up on your dreams. Dreams are what keep us going...

Sandi McBride said...

I think that is what I would wish for the world, to be able to live the dream...as long is didn't mean a nightmare for anyone else, of course! Loved this post, it says so much to me about what I want to do with my life! And it gives me a kick start. Now get busy beading and making jewelry. We expect photos of your handiwork...
Sandi

Beth said...

Yes! It does give one hope. Like you, I love the idea of writing, taking pictures, gardening, and cooking. While I do love the kids, school (in general) does sucketh the life out of me.

Now I feel inspired. I think I'll go grab that camera now.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hope!!! What a powerful thing!!! I pray all your hopes and dreams come true!!! Your art will enable you to soar...and I look forward to watching you touch the skies!!! ~Janine XO

WhisperingWriter said...

Never give up your dreams.

You never know.

Mrsbear said...

This gives me hope too. I used to think back when I had a full time job, "when I become a stay-at-home mom, I'll find plenty of time to write". Ha. Most days just slapping together a coherent post is difficult, much less something longer or deeper. It's hard to manage insight when there's a small person clambering on to my lap, slapping at the keyboard an demanding my full attention. I hope you reach that dream of becoming a full time artist. The woman at the restaurant is proof that it can happen. :)

blueviolet said...

I SO hope that you will realize some of these dreams one day. You obviously have a knack for it.

Wild Child said...

I have some dreams, too. I believe that you can get there, and I understand the waiting until later to pursue. I think they will be no less sweet no matter how old we are when we achieve them. I hope you can try to get back to some beading. My mother started quilting in earnest when I went to college. Maybe when your two are both out of the house, you'll find a little more time to start one of those dreams on a part time basis, until you can give up the teaching. *hugs*

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Like Movie, I love my job but I would love to do something a little less mundane and lot more creative. That would be the life! Right now, tho, I'm just glad to have a job.