There is a video that is doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment. It is about the Dalai Lama, and what surprised him most about modern humanity. It's a pretty sobering video about the realities of modern life. I shall link it here so that you know what I am focusing on. https://www.facebook.com/JayShettyIW/videos/1977663155881473/
As someone who has stepped away from the now normalized way of life, of pursuing a career outside the home, while someone else cares for your preschool to school aged children, the cracks in our decision are beginning to surface, in terms of my ability to fit seamlessly slip back into the world at large. My role as a stay at home mother, is now seen as old fashioned, backwards and very non feminist. The model of the nuclear family, introduced in the 60's has prevailed. Due to our old fashioned believes about raising the family, and my taking full care of the three children, I have become very isolated over the last 12 years. Staying within the four walls of my home, be that in the UK or here in Australia, may have taken their toll on my sanity, too! The extended family ideal, is no more, and the stay at home mother is seen as an oddity, rather than a necessity. We have future plans to re-ignite the extended family construct, starting with our own!
I have allowed myself to become a victim of my fears, amidst feelings that I am no longer good enough to venture out into the world, unless I am accompanied by my spouse or my eldest child. Trapped by the anxiety, I have let one day blend into the next, not expecting to see another soul, from outside my small family circle. I have lived reliant on tales from my husbands workplace or the dramas that go hand in hand with the school lives of my daughters. Occasionally, I have had moments of courage, and ventured out to a playgroup, or signed up for a school committee, I have tried relentlessly, to beat the demons that kept me a prisoner, and will continue do my very best at any outside task that I may be given along the way, although a constant battle, and one that I have lost on many previous occasions, I will continue to put myself in situations that challenge me beyond my wildest expectations. I often find that other areas of my life become compromised, despite all my valiant efforts, I make mistakes, usually in the form of social faux pas. Some are quickly forgiven, others are not, and so only serve to compound, and to push me further into my depths of isolation. I have yet to find a kindred female Spirit, willing to accept my short comings, and drag my fearful behind back out into the sunlight. If you think you are up for the job, then drop me a line, or better still come round and force me to leave my self made dungeon.
The alternative, to my lifestyle choice, however is laid out in front of me in the above video. To go to a job that I hate, to get money for a house that is empty all day, and to live only for the two extremely shorts days at the weekend, and for less than a month of additional leave each year? That all sounds crazy, and soul destroying, too!
The more you get, the more they take from you. So you see, there really is no alternative for us; If I wasn't a stay at home mother, the house would go to waste and our children would have to be cared for by others, and we'd have to pay for the pleasure, so any monetary benefit to my working full time in a regular 8 til late, would soon be swallowed up, and gone forever! That is where the 'follow your dreams', part of this video really kicks into high gear. Creativity is something that is unique to every individual, and I am lucky enough to have stumbled upon an aspect of which, that others can relate. My portraits of all the beautiful animals! Animals reflect the true virtue of life. They hunt for food, or for fun, they lay in sun, or swim in the ocean, if it pleases them to do so. They call ecstatically, and in unison to greet their brethren, whether it be across fields, forests, or in Juno's case, fences! They never stop to contemplate their loneliness, or whether they are on the right path, the path, is that which lies in front of them, should they choose to stay on it, or go crashing through the undergrowth, that is entirely up to them! Unless, you happen to be a dog, in Australia, but that's another story!
Whilst writing, I have come to realize, my isolation from the general population is a temporary circumstance, a necessary trial, that I must pass through, on my way to insuring that I am living my life, on my terms! I am using my own creative talents to benefit others, surrounded by an environment of my own choosing, this is all I, or anyone, can really strive towards in life. The beach, the turquoise waters, and smiling sun-kissed faces, are yet to come, but I am heading in the right direction.... they may still be over the hills, but they are not that far away, considering how far I have traveled so far! My advice is, that although it may not always be easy to take back the reigns of your own life to follow your deepest creative desires, that are in all of us, and the path before you is not always a clear one, or very forgiving, but once you have reached that point in time where there is no turning back, then you know you have already achieved your goal, and your life finally belongs to you, and to you alone....
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I? I took the one less traveled by!'
Hi, my name is Chrystal Carter, I am a mother to three lovely girls. I emigrated with my husband to Australia in December 2014, and have been living the dream, ever since! We are settled in the Dandenong Ranges and I have recently set up my brand new home art studio , in the heart of the hills, Tecoma. Here, I can follow my life long dream of being an artist drawing another of my greatest passions, animals, in particular, peoples beloved pets. I have always been fascinated by animals, nature and wildlife and where better to pursue my passions than here in Australia, and it certainly hasn't disappointed me! Follow me as a take on this new venture and brave new world, together with my wonderful family, and not forgetting my furry companions, Vin the Cat and Juno the Dog!