Sometimes Thing Don’t Go As Planned

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. While you know I’m not the biggest fan of turkey, stuffing, especially not deviled eggs, and just Thanksgiving food in general, I have to admit that I had a magnificent time with family. Any day that gives me the excuse to see my family is a good day to me.

This year my mother (and her hubs and mother-in-law) provided us with turkey, ham, green bean casserole (the one Thanksgiving food I truly love), corn casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, homemade noodles, stuffing, sweet potatoes, two kinds of jello creations, chocolate pie, and of course pumpkin pie with the option of whipped cream. And I’m sure that I am forgetting something here. What did she ask me to contribute to this feast?

Pickles and olives.

Aside from the green beans, pickles and olives are probably my second and third favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving. I do appreciate the fact that my mom didn’t assign me a food that I’d have to spend hours preparing and cooking. That was very considerate of her. But I think that little fact might also have something to do with the fact that she didn’t want me or the guests to have to endure some sort of Angela creation, a.k.a. disaster.

It’s no secret that I’m not Mrs. Betty Crocker. In fact, I actually wanted to cook yesterday, and while I did end up with some very tasty soup and a delicious fruit pizza, I spent approximately five hours in the kitchen dirtying about seventeen different knives (all steak in style), boiling over pots (yes, plural) of water, spraying powder sugar everywhere, and I can’t forget, breaking the garbage disposal.

Sorry. No Rachel Ray here.

However, there is one place in life where I usually feel right at place and truly confident in my abilities. That would be in my art studio…which happens to be the living room floor at the moment.

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I’d say that November has been a pretty darn creative month for me…in the craft category, not food. I love creating things. No matter how busy I become as a wife, as a student, as a nurse (someday), and mom (someday), I will always find some time to be creative. It may not be very often. My families’ grumbling bellies may have to suffer, but it will be worth it.

Because being creative makes me whole.

I love finding paint dried up and hidden on the side of my hand a day later (and on Tia’s tail). I don’t mind cleaning up tiny scraps of paper, and I don’t mind when my fingertips are numb from being burned with hot glue.

However, as in the kitchen, sometimes things just don’t go the way I expect. Remember that cute fabric that I was excited about a couple of weeks ago? Well, sadly, that didn’t go as I expected.

It was supposed to be a Christmas ornament for my most recent Dinner Club get-together’s ornament exchange. I stayed up really really late the night before and made it while my husband played his video game. At one point he stated that it didn’t look like an ornament. I gave him a dirty look, told him he was mean, and insulted his own creativity…all the while I should have listened to him. Seventy-five percent through I looked at the thing myself and thought it was ugly, but decided that it’d be better when I was finished. When I was finished, the husband’s statement was confirmed.

I went to the store the next day before the party and bought a real ornament.

My creation did not look like an ornament, and there was no way in the world that I was going to give that to someone, let alone a friend. It did have some nice elements to it. I loved the colors and the combination of patterns. I adored the raw edges of the fabric and how it was rolled up into little flowers. I couldn’t let the thing go to waste…so I gave it to Tia to use a play toy.

She still needs some convincing.

Now these pieces of wood? I’m not even going to get into that. Aside from the five hours spent in the kitchen, part of which I was cleaning up to grossness that was supposed to be in the garbage disposal, I spent several more hours trying to salvage these babies.

I’m starting over tomorrow.

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Sometimes things aren’t going to go as planned. Sometimes you’ll have to scrap certain things and start all over.

And it will all be okay.

ang

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What Are You Really Good At?

For the past two weeks now I have faced twenty eager and excited seventh and eighth graders every afternoon for volleyball practice. For the most part they all seem to be happy, positive little (maybe I shouldn’t say little…I have to look up to most of them!) people, but you never really know how they are feeling inside. I only just met these girls, I don’t know their backgrounds, their history, or where they came from.

I know that middle school can be a really tough time. I recently discovered my old journal from middle school, and let me tell you, it is quite comical to read how dramatic I was! However, as I was skimming through it today, I really realized how confused I was. I didn’t have any idea where I fit in or who I was. I wanted so bad for people to like me (especially the boys…”Well, Tom still hasn’t asked me out. I hope and pray, but nothing ever happens. I also like some other people, but I’m sure they don’t like me. Oh well.”)

Knowing that middle school can be such a dramatic and possibly traumatic time for these pretty little volleyballers, I decided to add a new strategy to my coaching. I gave all the girls homework over the weekend to write down something that they think they’re really good at. It didn’t have to be related to volleyball, but it could be. They could choose to write one sentence or an entire novel.

It was so cute, sometimes funny, and inspiring to see what they had to say. They best part about this exercise was that they ALL thought that they were really good at something!

I wanted them to do this because there always comes times in our lives when we doubt ourselves, feel like we are not good enough, or feel like we are unworthy. Writing down what we are good at reminds us that none of those negative feelings are true! We definitely always have something to be proud of.

It wouldn’t be fair if I made the girls do this exercise and didn’t do it myself. So, me? What am I good at?

Art. I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember. I love to draw, paint, design, and create.

Many of my friends and family have questioned why I am going back to school for nursing when I have such a passion for art. This really is a legitimate question as I’ve considered it plenty myself. I do love art, but I’d like to keep art for myself. I want to always love doing it and love what I am creating, and I think if I was forced to do it then I might lose that love. I want to be a nurse to put my passion for caring for people into action. However, I truly hope that someday I will be able to combine these two aspects of my life. A girl can always dream!

Now it is your turn! Tell me…what you are really good at?!

ang

From Sidewalk Chalk to Anatomy Textbooks

With my nursing interview being this week, I had been pondering a question that I knew I’d be asked for a long time.

Why do you want to be a nurse?

It seems like a simple question, but for me it’s not quite so easy. When I think back as far as I can remember, I knew I had a passion for art. From filling up coloring books when I was little to covering the driveway with sidewalk chalk in my adolescence to taking all the art classes possible in high school, and then to graduating with a degree in graphic design in college, I spent all the time I possibly could devoting myself to art.

Art gave me a way to express myself and my feelings. Sometimes art was an escape from reality…other times art was a way I could show the world something I was proud of.

I took the least amount of science classes possible. I took the bare minimum that was required to graduate in both high school and in college. I did well in my science classes, but I despised every second of it. Learning about cells and chemicals wasn’t going to do anything to improve my sketching technique.

Then on May 22, 2006, my life changed forever.  It was the day I was admitted for treatment for my eating disorder.

After being in recovery, I continued on to finish my degree in graphic design two years later. I tried to pursue a career in art, but unfortunately the job market wasn’t ready for me. For two more years I worked other non-art jobs and felt like a failure. Why did I try so hard to do well in school and make good grades and go after my passion? Why didn’t someone just tell me it’d be too hard to get my dream job? What actually was my dream job? And most importantly…did I even want to be a graphic designer and create designs for a company I wasn’t passionate about?

Then two things happened. First I started angheartsdesign. It is my own design company where I can design for the things that I love: weddings, brides, babies, friends, family.angheartsdesignI enjoyed being able to design beautiful things for beautiful people, but I still didn’t feel quite complete. I had been giving eating disorder recovery speeches for a few years now, but there was this growing passion inside of me to do something more.

Trust me, you learn a lot about yourself when you go through eating disorder treatment. I learned to things about myself (that now I think are pretty obvious). I am a perfectionist and I am a caregiver. Now I realize that both of these traits aided me in my eating disorder. I wanted to be the best at everything and I wanted everyone I knew to be happy…what’s wrong with that?! Well, it’s nearly impossible, and it can be extremely detrimental to put all your energies into.

But I’m never going to stop being a perfectionist. It’s my nature. It’s me. I do want to be the best I can be at everything I do. (Key words: best I can be!)

And I’m never going to stop being a caregiver. I want people to be happy. And now, more than ever, I want people to love themselves…to cherish their lives and their bodies. I don’t want self-doubt, eating disorders, and negative body image to hurt anyone else!

So, that is what drives me to do something more. I am channeling my inner perfectionist and caregiver on this mission to become a nurse. I know that I will be able to reach out even more to people as a nurse, and I know that I will love it. Being back in school and taking all these science classes that I originally avoided, I have already found out that I love learning about the human body and what it is capable of. I still love art, and I still love creating designs for angheartsdesign, and I do still hope that someday I can combine these passions of mine somehow.

When it’s all said and done and I actually am a nurse, I don’t know if I will be working directly with eating disorder patients. That is where I picture myself, but if there is one thing that I have learned through all this, it is that God works in curious ways. Who knows, maybe He wants me to work in women’s health, or pediatrics, or who knows where. All I know right now is that I need to trust in Him, and He will lead me on the right path. He hasn’t lead me astray yet.

ang