Tuesday, May 12, 2015

An Invitation: To Consider Your Life's Path

 "You can't know how your life is going to turn out until you're living it"
 - Khaki, Dear Carolina



Kristy Woodson Harvey's character Khaki in Dear Carolina has it right - your path in life isn't revealed to you, really, until you're walking down it. Would 18-year old me recognize the life I'm living? Is it what she imagined? All I know is that as long as I could remember, I've loved to paint, and to be doing it every day now makes me feel pretty lucky. It was a bit of a curvy, non linear path, true, but I wouldn't trade a step I took to get here. Even the corporate years - I needed that time at Starbucks and Nordstrom to learn and prepare for the work I'm doing now. Designing a creative, self-directed livelihood hasn't been easy, it took 20 years, but most every step has been lovely, even when my feet hurt.


I'm inspired, though, by so many of the younger women I'm meeting now who don't worry so much about how to build a creative life - they just start living theirs. Like darling Katie Mitchell (pictured here) who lives in Paris, travels the world, and creates joy for her customers, and a living for herself, through her brilliant photography.  No stops for her in an entry-level office job, she's part of a new, entrepreneurial creative class who aren't so worried about traditional career paths.


To me, though, it's not about the path as much as enjoying your time in the garden - even when you're not sure if you are wandering in the right direction.

What about you? Would your 18-year-old self be surprised by the life you are living now? Did you always have a destination in mind?  

Do you feel like you've arrived on your path, or have you always been walking down it?

This post is part of our international blog party, By Invitation Only and will be the last gathering until the fall. Please take a minute to pop by and say hi to the rest of the gang, see what they have to say on the topic, and wish them a happy summer. You'll find them all on Splenderosa.

22 comments:

  1. You were born to paint, Jeanne...you've created an inspirational, joyful life full of beauty something you can't visualise at 18 but are so appreciative of when it arrives...I love the quote too, how true!
    Have a fabulous week :) xx

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  2. Put me right there, Jeanne. Put me in your painting. Though I love the real place, I could spend a few hours in watercolour, bleeding color together with the paints. TAKE ME NOW!

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  3. Sometimes I still feel like I'm 18..... am going to get it together....any day now!!

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  4. I love the "enjoying the time in the garden" reference...so important to enjoy the journey along the way! I don't think i was quite sure what I wanted at 18 quite honestly....I had a whole host of ideas from being famous to wanting to become a dr and look at what happened...neither!
    I am so happy you found your true calling...it would be a shame to have this wonderful gift of your painting and not to be able to share it with the world:)
    I regret I could not participate this month, just too many balls in the air but look forward to seeing what everyone came up with! Enjoy your day Jeanne.

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  5. I'm still discovering new things to do! I look at several smart, young women I know that seem to have it together and they are in their late twenties, early thirties. I'm in awe. I love your work and clearly, your time wandering/working in the "garden" was important to your future, talented today-self.
    xo,
    Karen

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  6. Dear Jeanne, You are indeed living and creating your passion and the life you are meant to. I feel fortunate to be doing so also! We go through so many chapters in life and who knows what lies ahead!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  7. STARBUCKS!!!!! I did not know that!I bet you were one of many who pushed them front and center!
    I think it's MARVELOUS that you are doing what YOU Love to do!Plus, your clients Love what YOU do even more I would guess..........I never did get a snap of my house to send you!WE still have time!Perhaps, today while I "sniff the roses"I can take a couple of photos.................still need to get that Julia Childs rose!!XX

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  8. Lovely Jeanne... and such a perfect quote...
    Your paintings are heavenly such wonderful interpretations, what else could be better than that ? :) xv

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  9. At 18 I just couldn't wait to get out of the little northwest Missouri hick town I'd grown up in and go to university. However, the value of my degree in journalism from the premier journalism school in the country, waned as electronic journalism replaced print. I ended up taking totally unrelated jobs, taking minutes for homeowners association boards of directors, merchandising for a silk floral distributor and finally becoming an on-site property manager for a high-end homeowners association in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now I'm retired, scraping along on Social Security and living in subsidized senior housing. No, my life has not gone as planned. I do live in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, have access to a one-room family cabin in the Rockies and just try to keep positive. My philosophy, even at 71: Things can only get better!

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  10. Oh Jeanne...I knew that this post would be special for you after all that you have already accomplished in your life and the unbelievable courage that it took for you to turn your back on security to fufill your dreams. And look, now your work brings so much happiness to countless people all over the globe. It is wonderful!

    I do dearly love the image of enjoying your time wandering in the garden...I seem to be on quite the aimless stroll at the moment so it was a perfect reminder!

    Merci, belle amie et Bisous,
    H

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  11. You are exactly where you should be " Creating!"

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  12. what beautiful thoughts and images to ponder, lovely jeanne. ha! i think my 18 yr old self would be horrified in some respects but also relieved. she would never have believed 'artist' would be part her future self's identity. i'd love to go back and tell her to stop chasing the wrong things and to relax. she was always worried about silly stuff and pleasing people. peace to you.

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  13. Oh now that's a really interesting observation...that the current generation of young women realise they can just living from right now, right here... without waiting, waiting, as we did...waiting for I don't know what....but you are right I don't think we learnt to enjoy the garden until we got into our wiser years. The current generation are inspirational, powerful, creative and more realistic....it's going to be an exciting future.

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  14. What an interesting question! When I was 18, I did know what direction I wanted to go...I wanted to be a mother. It took a few more years, with a detour into the uninspiring world of Wall Street, but my life's work DID end up being just that. The one thing I failed to consider is that they grow up!! Thank goodness for second chances and discovering my new career that I am equally passionate about...and one I NEVER imagined for myself.

    I am so happy to see YOU pursuing your passion...your talent and eye for beauty makes me smile every day! xoxo

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  15. Your paintings are amazing! You're doing exactly what you should be.
    xoxo

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  16. Thank you so much for the shout out…we LOVE the Dear Carolina art you did and hope you saw it on our post last week…you are a true talent, my friend!

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  17. You are a lucky duck! doing what you want to do......and being very clear about it!

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  18. What a beautiful post, Jeanne! I love thinking about our 18 year old selves…I think mine wasn't aware of what a creative path could be and so she pressed hard on the accelerator of obtaining a business degree and being very "serious". Ha! I think she would be delighted to know that she'll relax A LOT and find herself walking a ziggy zaggy path that has led her to so many amazingly creative souls. And, she'd be highly amused that she became obsessed with beauty, home and flowers.

    LOVE that painting of Luxembourg Gardens!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  19. I love this post so much, Jeanne! Thank you for your sweet words, they mean such a lot to me. You are truly an inspiring lady and I'm so thankful our paths crossed here in Paris xo

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  20. This is a lovely post! I am in the process of figuring this very thing out: how to combine my passions with my profession. Thank you for the inspiration!

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