I’ve had some cool insights and exciting ideas while thinking about the Alphabet Game, and I must say that the letter “P” has been one of the most enlightening thus far.
BUT… I have to back up and talk about the “M” word first… Memories. I realize now that some things really ARE worth forgetting—mainly things that I learned (or absorbed into my unconscious) when I was younger.
I mean, you would think I knew that already—my recovery story is titled Unteach Me after all. That says something about my memory right there. I KNEW that some things should be forgotten, like my prior ways of thinking, but… well… I FORGOT!
So where am I going with this? Well… I realized that there are two ways in which I still tend to look at things all wrong. I had to stop and adjust my Perspective (one of the “P” words of the day!).
Since I began blogging here—I’ve had a habit of trying to stuff myself into a Pigeonhole (that would be a negative “P”). If you were to follow my posts chronologically, you’d see something like this…
My name is Janet and I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m also a writer. No… wait… I’m a photographer! Well, I’m actually going to school to be a graphic designer. Scratch that. I changed my major because my future is all about psychology. And I’m still pursuing graphic design… BUT… I’m an artist! Oh… hold up. I think I was right the first time… I’m a writer! Well, one thing’s for certain: I’m still sober!
I know. It sounds a tad neurotic, or obsessively compulsive… no? Well, not really. It’s just an old, ingrained habit of mine—something I acquired years ago—feeling compelled to categorize, analyze, and define things, including myself.
What’s cool about it now is that—while thinking about the “P” words— I discovered where a lot of this stems from.
You know those questionnaires that prompt you along, to see if you qualify for something? The one’s that let you CONTINUE if you can answer the question YES, but make you STOP if you answer NO? Well, if you don’t this may be harder to visualize but I’ll give it a try anyway.
When I think about my future, and I consider all of my Prospects (a somewhat neutral “P” word)—writing, photography, art, graphic design, and psychology, to name a few—one of those questionnaires plays out in my head. I am able to answer YES to almost ALL of the questions. Until I get to the last question, the one that always screws me up:
“Are you able to make money doing it?”
If you answered YES, click CONTINUE
If you answered NO, PLEASE STOP HERE. YOU DO NOT QUALIFY.
Aha! You see my predicament here? It’s a trick question! I’ve been proselytized by a phrase that I heard many times over when I was young:
“If you’re not going to school then you need to work and make money!”
I have only TWO choices in front of me. Ever. Go to school, or get a job that makes money. Now… I know my parents weren’t trying to stuff me into that pigeonhole, they loved me far too much for that. BUT, sometimes things we hear get buried in our minds. They go in deep, and they hide out in the dark. These things can even get twisted. They literally sway our decisions without our consent!
I realized that—once again—I was looking at all of the wonderful and creative things I am SO Passionate about, and I was reducing them down to a tragic YES/NO challenge—Can I make money at them or not?
That really IS tragic! Even if I NEVER make money doing them… why on earth would I stop?!? And who in the hell said I have to choose ONE and discard the others?!
Now… I see the error in my thought process. And from this point forward I will pursue my passions (the healthy, moral, and legal ones, obviously!) no matter what. CASE CLOSED!
So… to wrap up my thoughts on “P,” it’s exciting to know that this new Perspective has opened the world up to me.
The Possibilities are endless!
NOTE: The letter “P” left me with some honorable mentions.
First, the featured image is another one of my experiments in Portraiture. It’s an artsy take on a woman I photographed at a Retreat, and I’m calling it Perspectives. Second… maybe I had food on the brain while thinking about “P,” but some of my absolute favorites are Pasta, Pizza, Pickles & Pine Nuts. And… last but not least… Peppers & Pepperoncini!
—Peace & Love—