Monday, June 14, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp: Drizzle (Day nine)

Today is day eight of Creativity Boot Camp. Maegan's thoughts for the day included asking us to examine why we began creating in our chosen media in the first place. As my best friend and I were chatting tonight over coffee, the first time we've been face to face in a year, I was taken back to a place of our childhood and reminded of my inspiration to write in the first place. And a simple memory morphed into something much grander.

Drizzle (Day Nine)

She's been living in a cozy terracotta-floored apartment amid the hill country of Tuscany for a year.
And the year prior, she called a small Florentine apartment above stone-paved streets home.
Places I only see through prints she's painted me and the snapshots of pictures she develops for my mind during a venture home while we're out for coffee and I'm intently soaking up the descriptions of her new {yet-so-very-old} home, life.

{Picture drawn by Jaime Dobbertin}

But before her home was Italy, she lived down the hallway from my bedroom in an old restored house we shared in college. And before there was college, she grew up in a large Victorian house just down the street from mine, encased in cornfields and small-town thinking.
And we used to vow that we'd break free from that tiny town, we'd pack our book bags, head to the Californian coast and live simple lives, spend our time on the beach, snapping pictures of sunsets and oceans and basking in colors and culture.
We'd embrace the beauty of a bohemian life; we'd breathe beauty, art, nature and truth. But we'd stay true to ourselves -- Monty Python would always be funny, The Lawrence Arms would always be the greatest band that ever existed and speaking our own made-up language would never get old or tiresome or juvenile.

Fast forward eight years.
One husband, a dog, two kids and a house later, I've secured the American dream. Well, the typical American dream, but not my American dream, not our American dream. I'm living in suburbia, buried under weighty things like a basement full of boxes and a business and a mortgage and all of the responsibility I'd so desperately never wanted.
And she's been away for the past several years, learning a new language, falling in love with a culture, an Italian man and art restoration. And she seems like she's made it; it seems like she's living the dream -- art and beauty and truth and love --we'd planned {sans the beaches of California} so many years ago. And, essentially, she has.
I always think she's going to come back changed -- a little more ingrained in her new culture, a little more sophisticated, a little less small-town girl, a little less us. I always think that somehow having made that jump into living what we'd dreamed is going to make her so different than who we used to be.
Until she reminds me as we talk about our lives now and our lives then that she really still has the same heart, it's just encased in a grown-up body and drizzled with a little more life experience.
And He reminds me that even though He's graciously blessed me with the things I never thought I wanted or needed, that these lovely gifts are really still part of my dream. Slowly, fluently, He's changed me, He's changed both of us, incorporated new truths into our lives, sprinkled new definitions of beauty and love on our hearts that is so starkly different yet so strikingly the same and still what we've always found precious. Because these things, though so different, remain anchored in love and laughter and beauty. A Bohemian lifestyle all grown up.


  1. I find it so interesting that while we think we know what we want, we really don't. It's amazing to see what happens with our lives if we let it! Although Italy does sound really nice right about now ;)

  2. This post hit home on so many levels. The thing is, growing up, what I have now is what I ALWAYS wanted. Now that I have it, (and yes, love it in my own way), I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that it's okay to want it, but to wait for it. To do other things before committing to it. And so now I'm thinking of ways to change it, for me and for my children.

  3. I am so thankful God didn't give me what I wanted, opting for what He had planned for me instead.

    I'm happy you are able to come back to each other.

  4. I can really relate to this post. Though I am in some ways your friend in Italy and my BFF is you. But none of it matters when we're together again.

  5. This reminds me of the definition of happiness as not having what I want but wanting what I have ... I've long thought too much of material things in that statement, and no, it's not material things at all. Thank you for a thought-provoking post!

  6. I loved reading this, because (no surprise!) I had so many of the same dreams, hopes. And knowing that you can have that anywhere, suburbia or wherever (!) is such an incredible realization.

  7. I can certainly relate... My "dream" was to move out east to study painting at an art school like RISD or Parsons. Paint, travel, learn and live. Marraige, kids, and a mortgage? It's a good thing I met my husband-- my soulmate who has embraced my passions, and helped me channel it in a different way. And I've never been happier.


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.