The Zoey Blog: Hold on to young ideas... FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hold on to young ideas...

While I waded through the nonsense of another school board funded whirl through the bowels of public education this afternoon I was thinking about the gas in the tank of this whole, "Heart On My Sleeve," project. Sometimes -- most times -- we slip through life without ever paying attention to the motivation behind the things that we do. It seems parenthood and this particular project has got me paying attention. The thinking got sort of deep-end-of-the-pool deep this afternoon. Before I knew it I was thinking about being twelve years old, and about trying to fit in, and about making things that had value to me, even if they didn't make any sense to other people. I was waistdeep in self-actualization before I could say "Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs" ten times fast.

One of the things that keeps rising to the surface of my motivation to do this book is remembering what it felt like the first time that I made something that had an obvious and genuine value to someone else. I remember drawing pictures that may or may not have been any good, but that other people latched onto and held up as if I had actually made something worthy of their attention, and in those moments I felt twenty-six feet tall. You could probably have seen me grow bigger right before your eyes, because I was encouraged and I was happy. I swelled with confidence in those moments and I'm certain it had everything to do with the person that I became later.

See, back when I was little I knew that I wasn't an insider...I knew that I wasn't cool or popular, and I wasn't even all that determined to be either. I lived in the middle of some decent sized chaos -- a single parent home and a confusing step-life, a near fatal car accident that altered my pre-pubescent days, and then tossed into the mix was just the general malaise of growing up far from those places where anything was happening. I remember trying out for baseball teams and getting cut, and trying out for hockey teams and getting cut, and trying out for basketball teams and getting cut. I remember making friends easily but always with the kids who didn't make any of those teams either. I knew the cool kids, but they were jerks, and they guarded their world with an alpha aggression that confused me. How could the back of the bus be that important, and what was the big deal about playing for that team, or hanging out with those people? I don't ever remember wanting to be a part of that messed up world. It seemed mean and hurtful to me, so I made my own world of wonders and possibilities.

When I was a kid I sketched a lot, I wrote a lot, and I dreamed a lot. I took pride in being myself even if I didn't understand that what I was doing was planting seeds of confidence and independance for later on. Back then I just wanted to express myself. Now, about a billion years later I shouldn't be surprised that what grew out of the ground was, indeed, confidence and independance. Now I'm a lot less worried about where I fit in, or even how I fit in (trust me, I'll make you believe that I do), and it's more important for me to get back to what once was important, expressing myself. Somewhere along the way we all lose the need to explain ourselves, to express ourselves, and to push things to see how sturdy they are. I'm feeling the need to go back to that place. I'm tired of studying my grown-up lines and I want to improvise again. I want to hold something up that you may or may not approve of and prop it up with a #$%& it attitude. I want to get out my scissors and glue and make a masterpiece...figuratively...and I'm dragging Kelli along to help because I think she might not be opposed to that exact same notion.

When the dust all settles it just comes down to a pretty simple concept...If you wanna see something, you make it. I guess if other people were doing it I wouldn't want to do it, but they're not, and someone really should. Every day I'm feeling more and more like I did when I was twelve and I really can't imagine a much better turn of events.

I'm hopelessly attracted to those places that don't seem important, or those things that seem undervalued and not only does this project feel like one of those, but so does the notion of finding yourself all growed up with a full sketchbook that no one has ever seen.


Blogger Beth said...

I am loving the idea of your book and can't wait to see it. Let me know if you need any english teacher type editing or stuff..I'm your gal!

February 16, 2010 at 5:41 PM  

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