Saturday, May 21, 2011

Who was I, who am I, who will I be?

I'm going through old art-career-related photos, and came across these promotional portraits that my husband took of me in 2003. I remember he kept exhorting me to smile during this photo session, but I wanted to seem like a serious (literally) artist.

I'm a month away from turning 49, which means that half-century mark is only a year away, and it seems like the right time to re-examine who I am, both in my mind during quiet moments of contemplation, and in the literal world, by going through physical evidence of who I have been. Hence, my recent photograph and paperwork sorting. I figure that this process will help me figure out where I am now, and where I want to go next.

It's so interesting to me to look back at this 8-year-old old photo and remember the circumstances of my life at that time. I had just moved to a new town, 70 miles from my previous residence of 9 years. I had just left my newspaper editing job of the previous 4 years and had embarked on a new career as a teacher. This photo was taken in the new studio I had just moved into. I was represented by a prestigious gallery in Boston, and was anticipating my second solo show with them in the upcoming months. I felt happy and hopeful. And it was right that I did, because many wonderful things were about to happen to me.

Could that really have been 8 years ago?! It seems like only yesterday, and yet so much has happened in my life, it seems like several decades. The years of my 40s have been rewarding learning experiences. I have far more self-confidence. My ability to communicate, to observe, to understand, to be patient, to be humble, all have grown. I am the best artist and teacher I have ever been. I have found my footing in the world.

So what does the future hold in store? That's what excites me, that I can now take all this additional knowledge and understanding, and carry it forward into new experiences.


Nancy Natale said...

Good post, Catherine! Comparing the past to the future is something my wife and I were just talking about last night. How could I have anticipated what happened to me in the past year (all very good) and what made that year so much better than previous years? Will the coming year continue in the good vein or revert to the lousy? Periodic looks back are beneficial reminders of the journey and struggles to see the markers along the way.

Catherine Carter said...

Your great year (which inspires me very much!) brings up an important point: these big successes are the result of ongoing perseverance! I forget this a lot: that big events don't "just happen" - each little step brings them into being.

Thank you for commenting! So glad you liked the post.

Trace Willans said...

I turn 49 this year as well but not till July, which is not that far away!! And I too thenk her for my 40's when finally I started figuring stuff out and doing it for myself. I do hope the 50's are going to be even better.

Catherine Carter said...

I have no doubt that they will be! Thank you for reading.