Tuesday, June 01, 2010

An Inauthentic Life

I recently started an ecourse with Kelly Rae Roberts. Her suggestion was to journal about our fears as a way of removing the blocks to our authentic creative self. Before I even had a chance to read her inspiring words I journaled this post while on vacation in PA.
At 61, the whispers I've heard my whole life have turned to screams. All through life I've ignored their message because I've been in pursuit of money. Whatever I had to do to earn the dime, the quarter, the dollar, the hundreds of dollars at craft fairs, auctions, home shows, and yard sales. The money, always and in all ways it's been about the money.
First I had a father who wouldn't give me a dime that wasn't earned in some way. Then it was the husband who dragged me from one dream to another always depending on me to fill the gaps and stem the flow of cancellations, shut-offs and shortfalls with whatever art form I was involved with at the time. At no time could I afford to listen to those quiet whispers that told me to express myself creatively whether or not it brought in the money.
That's not to say that I haven't lived a creative life. I have most definitely been creative. For over 40 years I have found inspiration in many places and expressed it in a myriad of ways, all of which have brought me moderate fame and some money. BUT...all of the creativity that I have expressed has been 'borrowed' from someone else. At no time has it been authentic.
At no time has that little voice said "Oh yes, Carolyn, yes! This is what you were meant to do!" But wait...that little voice just whispered that's untrue. One time, oh yes, one time it was all about me. My authentic self was given free rein that summer of my 14th year when it was all about my love of sewing. I think of it as the summer of the Singer, the Barbie and Jake's Fabrics. Then, oh, then it was truly me being expressed through needle, thread and fiber. After that intense three months I continued on through high school with sewing and designing my own clothes. I've often wondered what might have happened when I told my parents I wanted to attend F.I.T. in NYC. What if they had said yes instead of an emphatic, NO! Would those whispers have become my authentic voice. Would I really have become the designer I longed to become? And now, 43 years later does it really matter?
I've done everything that others only dream of doing but it has always been me mimicking some other artist's work because it sold well and brought in the much needed money. But now when I listen closely the whispers still persist. Louder now because time is no longer a luxury. And they are saying ..."hurry, hurry...take the time to find your voice before it is silenced forever."


  1. Wow...are you right. I have been creative for a good part of my life. Like you I have been using others ideas"Oh I can make that" instead of me using my own ideas. At this point in my life it has to be about the money but since it takes money to create money, I will not be creating to sell but creating to create with the bajillion craft supplies I have already. You have inspired me to create from my own vision instead of what my eyes see that someone else has created.
    Thank you Jersey Girl!!!!!

  2. I love your story! Thanks so much for the bavery to share it with us! I'm learning from you and your are an inspiration! Have a lovely merry happy day and lots of love to you!