Sunday, October 12, 2008

Deeper Meaning Pages

Dear Halloween Fairy God Mother,

This year I want dress as a 19-year old lady of the evening. I know, it’s not good to glamorize a profession that is usually demeaning for women, but it’s only make believe and I wonder what I would do with that look and this spirit. I’ll gladly turn back into the 40-something, slightly overweight, wrinkle cream wearing, fabulous cook, gifted artist, currently unemployed, loving newlywed that we know and love today. But just for one night, this is the costume I want.

(click photos to enlarge)

Pumpkin carriage, magical mice, and Leslie Ann Warren’s singing voice not required.

I’m about to embark on a 12,000 mile journey to attend my 25-year college reunion. The reunion has put me into a reflective frame of mind. I’m so glad I am who I am and I fully appreciate that the choices I made in college have had a tremendous impact on today’s Norma Anne. I haven’t keep a lot more than photos and journals from my college days, but the one thing I do still have is that leopard print backless dress from the photo you see. And just in case you haven’t known me over 20-years, yes that is me….

The gentleman with me, affectionally known as Mr. Last Laugh, went on to graduate law school and is living and working successfully in New England. I"m not sure if he'd want more information than that released, but if he's reading this I send my genuine affection. He's certainly made doing laundry more enjoyable over the years....

College was one of the most intense times of my life. After years of “thurapy” and the proper medications, we now see clearly that the intensity of my experience was directly related to the fact that I was Bi-Polar I living without diagnosis or treatment. Before you run and change your phone numbers or email address and lock your doors, I’ll just qualify that I have been in treatment since 1995 and I am the poster child for taking your medications—even when those medications have to be tested and tired and changed four times a year to be effective.

I’m actually grateful for the diagnosis and even the disorder because it has allowed me to do some magnificent things, passionately love some incredible people, and draw closer to my Creator. My only regrets are the relationships I couldn’t maintain and the people I hurt or neglected in process of understanding my mental health.

Deeper Meaning Pages
What does all this have to do with a creative arts blog you ask? Well, journaling and scrapbooking have been an incredible outlet for healing in my life. Creating what I call my “Deeper Meaning Pages” (yes, this is a class I’ve taught repeatedly and is available currently—just email me) has been a lifeline for me.

The page shown here is called “Still” and it shows my senior college photo from 1983. We were able to choose a quote and mine came from Alexander Pope, “Woman’s at best at contradiction still…” The journaling muses over how obvious it is now that I lived at both emotional poles then. I have resolved that, still, I am grateful for the path I was given.

When you scrapbook and take photos, don’t let them all be sugar-coated memories. Explore and understand that who you are now will always relate to who you were then and who you will be tomorrow. Blessings to you from me and Sheena of Jungle circa 1981.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Awesome! And glad to read that you're well and enjoying life.