I’ve been spending a lot of time looking inward lately, as part of figuring out where I want to go from here (figuratively, and even literally) and I’ve decided to create a collage about who I am, or who I want to be. So I was rooting through some old magazines in search of things I like, when I realized: I don’t even know what I’m looking for.

I used to know what I liked, when I was four. In nursery school,  they gave us used greeting cards and a pencil. There were no instructions. I don’t even think they said “draw”.  It was my favorite part of the day. I could create whole worlds of people with twenty buttons on their shirts and animals with sixteen legs.

Come to think of it, that’s still one of my favorite things to do.

When I was ten, my classmates voted me the Best Artist in the Class, but the teachers told me: “Art is not a subject. You can’t live on art. You need to learn Science.”

Eeeeeewwww, Science.

I stopped drawing. Instead, I wrote.  In grade seven, the language arts teacher read one of my short stories aloud to the class, and asked if anyone could tell him who the author was.  He knew no one would guess it was mine.  My fellow students (very possibly even my teacher) thought of me as the stupid kid.  I’m pretty sure here’s why: I am visual-spatial, which means that even now, when I listen to a news report on the radio, I have to vis-u-a-lize each story and while I’m doing that, I miss a lot of the details.  So when I was called upon in school, I’d be so busy trying to figure out what the question was, all I could answer was, “um……..”, and the kids would laugh. I couldn’t wait for school to be over, and I don’t just mean the school DAY, I mean the whole thing.  What was it – thirteen years?

It really wasn’t my intention to tell you my life story, but it’s interesting to me how, if you’re paying attention, life will serve you the things you deserve. When I got out of school I fell into a vocation.  I was offered a job as a publicist for an entertainment agency.

I’d paid my dues of course, spending countless afternoons walking the streets of downtown Halifax (not doing what you’re thinking) – stapling flyers to telephone posts. Lots of flyers. In the winter.  With no gloves.  In a snowstorm!  With flyers blowing all over the place while I re-loaded the stapler. (Okay, I just wanted you to appreciate how not-fun that job was. But I did get into the shows for free.)

Then suddenly I had my own office and band biographies to write, and press kits to assemble…and I actually developed relationships with the press and radio folks and eventually promoted a recording nationwide and negotiated airplay for a virtually unknown band, which led to a contract with a (fairly) major label.

Me with Marvin Birt

I sold merchandise, managed a fan club and wrote a monthly column for a nationally known (at the time) music magazine.  I got backstage passes and met cool dudes (and had many vacuous affairs – though for the record, not with the guy in the picture).

Then, just as suddenly, I moved to Toronto, where I wrote copy for the sales department at Warner/Chappell Music…and then, ever-more-suddenly I got married and pregnant, and over the space of twenty years, gave birth to and raised four (pretty cool) kids.

But is that it?  Is that all I get?

Is this because I didn’t learn Science?

I don’t want that to be it.  So I’m going to make a lovely Therapeutic Collage (which sounds like something you get done to your intestines) and maybe it will tell me something.

I’ll keep you posted. +O


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