For the longest time I got anxiety when someone asked me, "What do you do?" I would struggle with how to answer. Do I gauge my audience and just answer one occupation, do I answer all of them? If so what order? How will they judge me? How will I come across?
I am an artist. I am a hairstylist. I am a stay at home mom.
The dichotomy of a creative life. It's inherit as a creative that we embrace unique and otherwise not defined lifestyles. But, I am not a bohemian making it up as I go. I'm a mother, and wife. I run a household full of play dates, school commitment, swim lesson, meal planning and occasionally cleaning. Oh, and then I work part-time too. Why is it that we feel less of an artist if we supplement our income somehow? It's only taken me 40 years on this planet to figure out that it's OK. I like my day job it's part of who I am. It enables me to make the art I want. Everything I do as an artist is affected by all the other facets of my life. I am a whole made up of all these diverse parts.
For the longest time I felt that as a professional artist I had to downplay the fact that I am a mother to be taken seriously. The same went for mentioning that I am a hair stylist. I felt pressure to define who I am in one easy concise profession. If I had to I would say Artist. Honestly it is the current that ties all my selves together. I use my artistic abilities as a stylist and most certainly creative problem solving as a mother.
I feel that there is a belief that if you are not solely focused on a one part of what you want, then the rest goes lacking. I am starting to not see it that way. They are integral parts of what makes me, me. They may not always be in balance. ( Ha! They usually aren't.) They are always connected. I am each of these things, and that doesn't make me less of any of them.
Perhaps I am making assumptions of what other people are thinking, and how they may be judging me. Perhaps, society is a little more accepting to whatever persona I put out there. I have control of my own narrative. By being comfortable with who I am and what I am doing, and confidently owning it people will believe it too. Maybe it's all been in my head, and I should give the benefit of the doubt to those I encounter. So, I am an artist, that does hair and raises two crazy kids. I love that about me, and I hope you do too.