When I was young I always thought of myself as an Artist, a Creator, a Performer. Somewhere along the line I stoped thinking of myself that way. Why? I think I create more now than I ever did as a kid. I work in video and T.V. Production- and I am always churning out product. Somewhere along the line I sacrificed those titles: Artist, Creator, Performer. Now its something I do rather than what I am. So with this journey I keep thinking "Why shouldn't I wear the title?"
I've met people who proudly put on titles like a poncho. "I'm a Filmmaker." Or "I am an Artist." I rarely wear them. I think, the expectations that I think go along with a title can be intimidating. If you say "I am an actor" people say, "Really? What have you been in? Anything I've seen?" (I know this first hand, I was a child actor. I was in plays, musicals, I even had an agent and auditioned for multiple film rolls, but chances are most of you haven't seen anything I've been in.)
I loved drawing, and at one point said I wanted to be a cartoonist. I had a character that I was sure I'd invented called "Bouncy." It was basically a smile face with little lines all around it (for fur), and hands and feet. Panels and story-lines about bouncy, his pet dog, and his world filled lined notebooks and printer pages in my room. I'm sure they were fairly mundane, but I loved them. That was the key, I did It because I loved it!
I can remember the day I didn't think of myself as an Artist anymore. In 8th grade we could "audition" for an advanced placement art class. I was so excited, and nervous at the time. I remember being asked to draw a quick sketch of Mickey Mouse. I froze up... I flopped and didn't get into the class. I stayed in art that year, but gave up the title. Now I was just someone who liked to draw.
I've learned since that time, that titles are less about what others think, and more about the names we give ourselves. As we've been shadowing different families and hearing their stories I am impressed with the titles they choose to wear. Some titles don't help us, and some do. So I'm practicing wearing helpful titles, and this year, one of those titles is "Dreamer."
I hope you are wearing some helpful titles today.