I have admonished you before: Don’t Hide Your Light. You do not need to go back and read that posting before you read this. Today’s topic is a bit different. The fact is, many people may not realize nor value their own talents.
I’ll use myself a typical example.
I’ve been told by others how wonderfully artistic I am. My first memory of appreciation by others of my artistic talent came from Mom and Dad who kept my kindergarten art throughout their lives. I agree, there were very nice finger paintings and in second grade a very colorful nice piece with of a chain of abstract flowers included in my childhood portfolio. I did have a seventh grade teacher steal (fail to return to me) my model of a Spanish house with a courtyard. At about 19 I drew a portrait of the minister during his sermon, and left it in the hymnal. When the Minister said he wished he knew who that person was because they had a real talent, I just kept quiet. I taught myself to crochet and have given of that talent to everyone I know. My sewing gifts have dressed several members of my family, including a couple of brides, and now enfold my grandchildren with my love. I am also a fairly good cook, and I loved baking. My friends call me Martha Stewart!
I call myself a generalist, someone who likes many things and toys with everything, but the idea of making it a career, as Martha Stewart has done, never occurred to me, and how to make a career of my artistic bent was entirely beyond my knowledge. Also, support of my creative endeavors was not consistent. My family certainly never thought of my creativity as a career path. Some of my family members suggested my creatives gifts were simply a way of avoiding spending money on a “nice” gift.
When it came to deciding what creative pursuit I would focus on, I decided on my writing. My earliest compliment on my writing came from my third grade teacher, for a story entitled “April, May, and June,” three young witches who landed on the roof of a young girl. In sixth grade I had created a pen name, A.E. Hutton. (Funny my last name is now Sutton.) As I declared my goals to study writing to my family, they thought I was being foolhardy, and were just happy I had a husband to take care of me.
I’ve always loved old houses, and Hubby and I have saved many a house from neglect and disrepair. I’ve always wanted to know an architect, and it wasn’t until I was 61 that I realized that might be the career I was really meant for, but how would I really know?
My lack of a best seller, journalism awards, and trending blogs has some saying I am a failure. I’ve used my skills to give to many organizations, and get things done. I look at all the ways I have used my creative talents to make a home and share with others, and frankly, to live a life of creative and personal freedom that others envy, and I don’t feel like a failure. Things could have been different, possibly, but I still don’t know what path would have led to financial reward and personal fame that some equate with success.
What would be worse is to be one of the many people who don’t even recognize they have talent.