Monday, May 17, 2010

Creative Outlet


I type that word, half expecting to hear an echo back, repetititve yet strikingly quiet, as if uttered from a mountain top where I am standing alone.

It has been a long absence. Probably the longest I've had since I started blogging back in 2003. I was a high school junior when I discovered the blogging world. Since then, it has been my creative outlet.

When I was younger, I carried around a bright pink art case-slash-drawing board. It was filled with sketchbooks, how-to books, my prized colored pencils (what the "real artists" used) and my collection of drawings. My work. I liked to draw people. Just heads. I had no idea how to draw arms, legs and bodies, but I could draw heads, as long as they were looking straight ahead. Each person had a name. Whenever I got a break in my day - one that allowed me to sit for more than five minutes - I would open up the art case and pull out my people. I loved getting compliments on my drawings. They really weren't anything amazing, but to me, they were special.

As I grew older and started going to real school (read: private school in England), I discovered other artistic abilities that I had. I could mold clay. Not well, but I was darn proud of my "nature pot" that I made in seventh (?) grade. The art studio in my school felt like home. There were so many tools and machines in the room that I didn't know the purpose of. But I wanted to use them one day. I always earned 1+ in art class. That was the highest grade you could get. I was so proud.

My other favorite class was design. Later, they changed the name to "Design: Resistant Materials" to make it sound more classy, I think. Or perhaps more rugged. Since I went to an all girls' school, we were always looking for ways to be better than boys. In design, I made an acrylic clock, a wooden jewelry box, a metal CD shelf, a bowl using the vacuum former, and a very large wooden chest. The design room felt even more like my home than the art room did. I made the highest grades in the class, despite the fact that my teacher really didn't like me and made me cry on several occasions.

When I was a sophomore in high school, we had to drop every fun class that we took to focus on our GCSE exams. Don't ask me what GCSEs are - just know they were very important and took two years to study for. We had to take a small selection of "core" subjects, and then got to pick three additional classes. I chose to take ICT (computers), design and art.

My choices were rejected.

Apparently, three project-type classes was a lot of work. I could only pick two, and then I needed an academic subject.

So I took design, ICT (computers were important, I thought), and German.

I loved design. That's when I started crying all the time because my teacher was mean.

I spent the next two years of ICT learning how to use Microsoft Access and creating a ginormous database. What a waste of time.

And German... well, let's just say that I don't sprechen Deutch anymore. No one in Texas really uses it. (Who knew?)

That's when art died for me. I did take one art class in college, though. My work got best in class. :-)

Ever since my sophomore year of high school, I really have been missing a part of myself. That's probably why I started up a xanga during my junior year of high school. That, and the fact that all the cool kids in America did it.

Speaking of xanga... I just check out my old account. I still exists.

Writing was a way that I could express myself and let out feelings. I'm not good at it - at all - but I do enjoy it. In my head, I am a much better writer. But when I sit down to publish my thoughts, my extensive vocabulary and lengthy sentences seem to fly right out of my brain. I think I checked once, and my blog is at an 8th grade reading level, which is appropriate, considering that I teach 8th grade. Not to read and write, thank goodness. I teach them about the world that our beautiful Father has created. That goes down much better than reading and writing could.

Since I started teaching, I have had barely any time to myself. Even on the weekends, I spend 8 hours or so grading student work. Blogging never comes to my mind as something to do when I have an ounce of spare time. My life is teaching, and I am not sure it was ever meant to be that way. Actually, I can say with confidence that I was not made to spend all of my time teaching. My life was not meant to be about work.

My heart has been yearning for that creative outlet again. It's like fresh air for me. Since the summer is close, I have been planning creative things to do. One of those is to blog regularly. Wait for it - it will happen. Another is do re-vamp a piece of furniture that Nana is kindly giving to me and Austin. It was made in the 50s and bought by my great-grandmother when she came to live with Nana. I will finally have a project! I have some more things on my list, but I will save those for later.

Right now, I am focusing on completing my first year of teaching. It has been one of the hardest years of my life. I'll probably write more about that once I finish.

I can't wait to tell you more about what God has been doing in our lives for the past few months. It really is blog-worthy.

You might just have to wait until June, though, because this "blogging time" is very unusual for me to have. It just so happens that I have been sick recently and left school early today. My second day off this year.

I got home, ate lunch and then fell asleep for several hours. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. It feels like mono all over again, minus the constant vomiting.

Anyways, since I had some time off, I decided to blog. Just a little reminder that I am still here, and I still check my blog several times a day to read the blogs that I follow.

I'll be back.

Until then, I'm counting down the days until June 4th.