Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Last week, I went out to dinner with a neighbor, and we later stopped by Target so she could finish shopping for gifts for children in need. She needed to buy supplies for three girls and three boys of varying ages, and I was happy to help.
At one point, I spotted a huge Hello Kitty display in the children's clothing section and squealed out "Hello Kitty!" with exuberance before I could stop myself. An employee I hadn't noticed in the area burst out laughing, and I cowed my head, embarrassed, because I hadn't realized how loud I was. As we passed her, she said to me, "That's awesome. Even I'm excited now. I love your enthusiasm!"
My neighbor then said, "Kerry, the older girl is about 12. I think Hello Kitty may be too young for her."
To which I replied, "I'm 32 and haven't outgrown Hello Kitty yet. I think we're safe."
Some Hello Kitty Band-Aids eventually wound up in the gift boxes. =^_^=
I get stupid excited about silly things, to the point I actually lose my inhibitions in my passion. I become completely un-self-aware, which is a welcome break from the hyperawareness I practice the rest of the time. Sometimes I catch myself, like above, and the hyperawareness takes over with crippling embarrassment, but nearly every time the person I'm with comments on how they envy my passion and hope I never lose it.
I find I hope the same.
My passions can be blinding, to the point I throw myself into them without abandon and momentarily forget everything else around me. I've lost hours doodling or futzing with a photo concept until I get it just right, forgetting sometimes to drink or eat meals.
I still remember once, when I was much younger, using crayons to create a stippling rendition of a tree while sitting on a balcony of some hotel I was staying in with my parents. My parents had been calling me for a while, but I never heard them, so intent was I on making those little colored dots on paper. When they found me and spoke my name from right behind me, I was startled so badly I dropped my crayons, and the drawing was whisked away by a gust of wind. I was heartbroken, and we searched for it as well we could, but it was time to leave.
To this day I think it may have been the most beautiful, inspired thing I've ever created. And I keep chasing that moment of utter devotion and creation that takes me into my own little world for however brief a time.
It's why I keep picking up my camera. I know that the pictures I take aren't world-shattering or world-expanding the way many images I respect by fellow artists are. Most of the time, I'm okay with that. At others, I wish my humble images would open another view of the world to others, shake their foundations a little, or make them contemplate the grandness of life and its infinite variety for just a moment.
...and then I'll get an idea that washes all that angsty self-doubt and loathing right away, and I can't wait to go creating again.
Sometimes, it's just wonderful to act like a kid again. I highly recommend it.
Stop overthinking it. Just go create.
And laugh a lot while doing so.