Fair warning, a lot of feelings and emotions are discussed, this is a very personal essay, so if you just don’t need that in your life, sit this one out.
I try to keep a running list of all the people I have to thank for my motivation to create and express. Without these people, I really don’t think I would be where I am right now, and since I just added someone to this list, I wanted to finally put it down in writing, for posterity.
- Where would I be without the high school boyfriend who told me he was annoyed by my personality? He specifically told me that he didn’t like people “who were interested in so many different things”. It was in that moment that I realized I could do better, so I dumped him and hung up. I like having a lot of interests, and if choosing to follow them means missing out on settling down with him in small-town Florida, then I couldn’t be happier. Looking back, I should have gotten out when he said that he didn’t think women should go to college. Oh well.
- My boss, who after eavesdropping on a conversation between me and another person about art, informed me that nothing would ever come of it, so I really shouldn’t bother. I’m bothering more than ever and loving it. Sometimes value added can’t be measured in cash, you miser.
- My high school friend who said she would pay me to make her prom dress, I made it to order, and then she gave me excuse after excuse about why she couldn’t pay me back. I haven’t worked for free since.
- And now, the new addition, the new girl at work who couldn’t take a joke if it was gift-wrapped with her name on it. Girl, you take yourself so seriously you are driving people away from you and you don’t even notice. I have so much I want to say to you in the moment, but I don’t and when I get home that energy has to go somewhere, so I turn it towards art and sewing. Instead of responding in kind and tearing you down the way you tear everyone else down, I’m going to add something to the world that people can enjoy. Thanks for the motivation, kiddo, I’ve gotten a lot done with it.
Someday I’ll do a real thank-you list. It will be very sappy and heartfelt, I promise. I’m really happy with my life right now and looking back, I realize that I’ve proven a lot of people wrong. Yes, I’m not rich or living in a cool town, but there were people who with or without negative intent, planted seeds of doubt in my mind. I wondered if they were right, and I would only find out after it was too late. I’m happy to report, they were all wrong. I’m happy and I’m pushing forward and the only time I look back on them is to have a nice laugh.
Come back next week for a special remembrance of my high school history teacher. I’m pretty sure he hated me, but I’ll always think of him fondly.