Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are you a Dabbler?

In my cyber travels of late I’ve run across many women who refer to their creative pursuits as dabbing. "Dabbling!" they seem say in some self effacing way like “I’m not particularly good in any one thing” “ I just know a little about a lot but it’s of no consequence, you understand.” “ I’m an amateur…. a dilettante… Just passing through don’t mind me” “ I’m just all over the place and haven’t a clue what I’m doing or where I’m going with this.” “ I’m unfocused and can’t stick to anything!”
There appears to be this undercurrent of failure. A belief that success lies in a well-defined field such as "I am an oil painter!" "A Quilter!" " A Potter!" "A Specialist! Learned and committed to my area of expertise!"

Oh! I just got a chill from childhood. That chastising voice that always felt it was her place to set my standards and fit me to the label! Bad voice! GO! (I call her the Headbitch! And we have ways of dealing with her uppity little ass! But that’s for another day)

Where was I? Oh yes Dabbling. Well I wanted to share the liberating concept a girlfriend blessed me with decades ago when I was feeling frustrated and confused by the driving force to ardently pursue varied and multiple creative avenues. She told me I was a DABBLER! What!!!! A DABBLER!! I was hurt and insulted to the soft gooey centre of my creative ego!
My lips quivered as my eyes teard up and all the shelf doubt and insecurities rushed up to yell “I told you so... you're just a DABBLER!!!”

But then she explained to me the Art of Dabbling. It’s the ability to gobble up endless and varied skills. It’s the strength to not be limited by definitions or expectations or outwardly imposed restrictions. It’s the gift of the open mind, the creative heart and the welcoming soul. It’s the inclination to pursue knowledge and skill without expectation.

She gave me a very empowering view of my creative process and a deeper understanding of myself. It really changed and enriched my approach to learning. I still wondered where this would all lead and had my angsty times but as the years went by I came to be more comfortable with my creativity as a journey not in need of a destination or a label. I try to follow my compelling inclinations to explore anything and everything that calls to me. And I enjoy the Aberrant Muse as she flits about chattering wildly about all the possibilities.

So to all you uncertain Dabblers I say let curiosity and intrigue be your guide. Embrace your Dabbler-ness; shoulders back, heads up and tiaras on an angle. Off you go!

1 comment:

  1. Well said. It's a neat word. Wouldn't make a good name for a blog on creativity - The Dauntless Dabbler. As for me - I am Uber Dabbler!