Defining Moments Defined

Ok, straight off I need to disclose that I’m a therapist. I know its in the tag line but I want to emphasize this because  it just feels fair  (and legally sound) that you should know. I decided to start this blog because I’m a junkie for defining moments and I want to hear yours.  I am not here to help, or give advice. I won’t, and can’t, be doing that.  What I will be doing is commenting upon, and maybe analyzing, the themes that come up. I will offer my biased opinions based upon my professional training and my life. I hope you will offer yours. It should be interesting and fun.

It works like this: you look back at your life  so far as if it were a movie. You see the star  and the supporting actors. The script was partly written by the screenplay you landed in, and partly written by you. Yes you. Unless you arrived on this planet as a rock,. 

So anyway, to find your defining moments you watch the movie of your life and you stop it HERE,  and then THERE, into  still shots….which of course stop time…….  and you capture, perhaps for the first time, one of the moments that had to happen for you to become the person you are today.

The cool thing to me is how these defining moments change in our memories and perceptions…. …that’s ok, that’s fine.   Blogs are not written in stone and neither are our definitions of ourselves…The journey outward means nothing without journeying inward as well. Come back later and tell me other defining moments, that piece together the story of your life…

Think about it, if you will, and tell me one of yours….

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2 Responses to “Defining Moments Defined”

  1. Jimiyo Says:

    Defined and Refined

    The message of my story is that you can be whatever you want to be, provided your heart and work is in it.

    “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men…”

    It seems the heart compels one to become who they dream to be with an unrelenting veracity that can not be ignored. Persistently doors were closed in such a way, as if life

    were leading me to the path of my destined identity. It was as if the heart was in communication with the world, prodding and guiding me to acknowledge that I was to be

    an artist.

    During my childhood and young adulthood, I often received the trite compliment of being good at art. I never believed it until my late twenties.

    After graduating college, I had sent out 40 resumes and demo reels of my digital art, and after 40 rejection letters, I gave up and began working in sales.

    For two years, I refined my sales ability and reached a high level of success. Though, at night, I would go home and labor on my true passion of creating art. Many times, at

    many different jobs, there would be someone who would say “You shouldn’t be working here,” because my art abilities were evident to them. I used to brush off the

    comment knowing that obtaining an art job was quite difficult, or in my experience it had been.

    For two years, I trudged along making good money, rising up the ranks at the sales position. I had saved for a down payment on a house, and I was close to closing a

    mortgage. The mortgage would seal the commitment I had to the sales job. I was about to pledge full allegiance, to accept my fate in the rat race, to began dressing

    in the obligatory khakis and dress shirt everyday, and learn how to feign fondness and suck up to those who would help to open the doors to the top of the corporate ladder.

    Then my grandfather died.

    Something about having someone relatively close to you die to make you question your purpose in life. Soon after his death, on my 28th birthday, I looked around at the

    sales office lit by the dull, buzzing fluorescent lights, listening to the chatter of sales pitches, the frustrated tones of rebuttals to all the repetitive common objections that

    used to suck the life out of me.

    I looked around.

    My heart paced.

    I wanted to vomit.

    I lined my awards and recognition certificates I had accrued over the past couple years, dusted off my desk, leaving everything neat and orderly. I fetched my manager,

    and told him,

    “This is my message. I’ve won awards, worked hard for you guys, but I’m leaving all this, I’m just a number, they won’t give a shit. I’m just Sales Rep 403745. I quit.”

    Although I had managed to be promoted to the most difficult to attain level of a sales representative in the home division, I had been turned down several times for more favorable non-sales positions. If only they had opened the doors, I might not be an artist today…

    I left all my awards and walked out a free, unemployed man with no plan but to crank out some artwork and see if I could survive.

    Obviously, I didn’t buy the house.

    (I lied to my father and told him I had given them my two week notice, but I did not. I don’t remember lying to my father about anything else except the one time he found a

    humongous stash of liquor and beer in my truck when I was a teenager. It was mine to drink, not my friends… Sorry.)

    It’s a curious thing, that during my employment as a sales representative, I was awarded an “Elite Artist” title at http://www.gfxartist.com for my work I was creating after

    the long hours at the office. I would have to say it was one of the most pleasing absolutions of being an artist I have ever received.

    Back then, I had not began to see myself as an artist. Maybe just a hobby artist…

    The story goes on…

    Defining moments seem to come in small affirmations, but once you began to believe, it materializes quickly.

    Shortly after quitting, I was involved in one of my first art shows where I sold a painting.
    Shortly after quitting, I was featured on a major art website for a piece I created, and a tutorial I made along with it.
    Within 2 months of quitting my sales job, I was hired as an artist at an apparel design company. They contacted me.
    Within a month of working there, I was given a raise.
    Within 6 months of working there, I was given another raise.
    Within 9 months of working there, I was promoted to Art Director and given another raise.
    Within a year and a half of working there, I started my own apparel line and began selling quite well at craft shows, online, and in boutiques. I was featured in a about town

    newszine, a blurb here, a blurb there, I was becoming known as the ‘Jimiyo, the shirt guy.’
    Recently I won $3500 for a design I submitted to http://www.designbyhumans.com

    After 2 years of working as an artist/director…

    I resigned.

    (Jimi, you seemed be defined as a quitter in my view eh?)

    The job had defined me as an artist, but more than an artist, I was becoming defined as an independent soul seething for freedom. By the end, I felt trapped and stifled. The art director position was more an administrative position, and much of the work became mundane, grunt work.. Now that I believed that I was an artist, my heart swelled to grow creatively, and it urged me to find freedom.

    What better way to affirm my identity as an artist and my yearning for freedom but to make a major life change and break all chains binding me? Not only did I quit my art job, I recently left Tennessee where I had lived for 25 years to a remote ranch in Utah, confident, or possibly naive enough, to believe that whatever I chose to do, I could do it.

    I can now truly say, that for the rest of my life, I am certain that my identity is that of an artist. Whether I will become successful or not isnt even a question. Be it that,

    even if I do not attain the financial success I wish, I am living the identity that was predestined for me. My heart will never bother me, prod me, at least on the subject of

    being an artist.

    Now, I yearn to be an better artist, and then, an artist business man.

    There are many talented artists out there working at an unrelated job or experiencing only a modicum of success. For the world to acknowledge you as an artist, more than just your typical amateur, it seems you have to attain a certain level of notoriety and success in the business of art.

    So now…

    I yearn to be an artist businessman.

    We’ll see if that is what the next level will be…

    Thanks for reading. I have a blog about my progress or the lack thereof on the pursuit of self defined ‘artist businessman.’

    ;j

  2. Cheryl Says:

    It’s taken some time but I think I’ve finally decided what was the first defining moment in my life. When I was little, every summer my family would rent a house at the beach. One morning when my father, sister and I were headed onto the beach, the sun was so hot it made the sand too hot for me to step on. I told my dad and sister this but unfortunately they didn’t think the sand was hot so they kept walking towards the water. I was stuck. I wanted to swim but did not want the hot sand to burn my feet. I stood on the deck for a few minutes trying to think of what to do. I finally figured out that I could slide my feet through the sand so they would not have to touch the top part of the sand that was so hot from the sun beating on it. This is my first defining moment because it was the first time in my life I had to figure out how to handle a situation without anyone else’s help. While it seems like a silly childhood memory, when faced with challenges in my life I often remember this moment and it helps me think of how to face the challenge without ‘burning my feet’.

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