“Aren’t you ‘thrifty’?”
This annoyed me to the core as it was used in such a nasty way. As someone who grew up in a creative family- we are all very artistic, always making something using my imagination, reusing and recycling. From playing dress up to playing house, I created my own world. I never felt I had to apologize for it.
l went to secondary school and Miss O’ Connor taught me that art could be amazing. In one of our classes she asked for an example of art used for politics or crime. I answered with Bob Dylan and Banksy; this was obviously a good answer as I was allowed to borrow one of her precious books. This drew me into a world I had briefly visited but never had the balls to walk barefoot. I have so much to thank her for.
I then made a mistake and I changed schools. My education took a turn. Manga was deemed cool and I was diagnosed with anxiety: My whole education suffered. I managed to scrape through my Leaving. Barely. I just had to get out of there. I didn’t know where I was going but it was going to be through the only thing I was good at.
I had always wanted to do nursing but I didn’t get the points to even consider it. My option was art and I did a PLC in Tralee. An amazing year that I wish I could redo every year. Just go back and learn, express and develop ideas. I’d even love to teach one!
A few years later I decided to bite the bullet and go for nursing. I worked evening and weekends, was in full time education, got full distinctions across the board. It’s a tough world for a mature student without children it would seem. As much as I loved working in the hospital, the current state of the nursing world has my heart and brain in conflict. Maybe it wasn’t the path for me.
So I spent some time wallowing in this pity party and naturally went back to what I know- art. I picked up a pencil and started sketching. I woke up each morning with a new idea and I was happy. Anxiety has always barricaded ideas and as an artist I’ve found a release for emotion which hasn’t taken a physical toll on my body. No amount of medication, harm or excess has freed my mind like picking up a pen.
And so to the person who described me as ‘thrifty’, don’t make people different to you feel like shit. If you are reading this and you know of an artistic child with endless imagination do not try to put them into the ‘normal’ box. Help them flourish and grow. They’ll become amazing humans and we sure need more of those.