At what point does a person step forward and say, I am……whatever choice you make?

For me, knowing what I wanted to do in life came late. The problem wasn’t lack of ideas. Or even lack of passion. I simply spread myself too thin. I had lots of talents, many skills, and way too many interests. How was I supposed to pick and choose?

Filling out that little blank place—you know, the one that says occupation—always made me uncomfortable. I resented being defined as a ‘housewife’ and I was more than a ‘mother’. But what was I supposed to call myself?

Self-employed indicated getting paid for a skill; I couldn’t, in all honesty, put that down. I couldn’t even say the words out loud when somebody would ask me what I did for a living. Not without putting qualifiers in front. I’m hoping. I want to be. My dream is. I couldn’t just say: I am….

Epiphany is a wonderful word. By definition, epiphany is: a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence.

I experienced such an event. A moment in time when I was blinded by a thought, so powerful, it changed my life. It happened in an art class, while putting paint on paper. I was captured by the flow of the paint, how the water carried it exactly where I wanted it. How the brush, the paper, and I were one. I looked up to see the art instructor looking at my painting and telling me: “I teach hundreds of students every year. Some have the touch, some haven’t. You do.”

Such a simple sentence, spoken without thought, made a profound impact on my life. I walked out of that class with my thinking changed. That was the defining moment in time when I realized that I had to stop splintering my time and energy, and learn how to focus.

I had to stop bouncing from project to project. Stop accumulating ‘stuff’ and choose my direction. And I had to stop putting ‘qualifiers’ in my sentences. I’m not ‘trying’. I don’t ‘hope’ to be. I am.

For a long time I had to ‘fake it until it became real.’ I said I was a writer way before I actually believed it. I have studied, learned, focused, and worked hard to hone my skills. I made personal goals and accomplished them. I have a long list of goals and projects lined up before me. The qualifiers are gone.

When asked what I do for a living, I have no hesitation in filling in the blank. I no longer fill in housewife. Under occupation, I put…artist/writer. I’m done with qualifiers. I am…

About C. L. Roth

C. L. Roth was born and raised in Kansas. She has a deep love for the prairie state, the Flint Hills in particular. She is married, has two sons, four grandchildren, is an artist, writer and full-time caregiver. Life experience has taught her that normal doesn't exist, it's the journey that matters, and the best way to succeed is simply: Never Give Up.
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