For years I have tried to find creative outlets in my life, having never been a truly "artistic" person, I still inherited the "Norris Creativity" Gene and have spent some years trying to find a way to best use what I have. Like so many of my family members we do have some spark of artsy genius within us. For most of us on the Norris side, theatre has been a huge part of our lives. I have cousins, uncles and aunts who are all somehow involved in theatre, dance, costume design, etc or at least were at some point or another in their lives. I first was introduced to drama (the theatrical kind, not the gossping girlfriend kind! LOL) when I was 12 years old. A now dear friend, Jen, had drama classes in the small town I grew up in and my Mum signed me up to a Musical Theatre Class in the spring of 1998. After going through a few years of bullying at school Mum felt like this was an opportunity to break out of my shell and try something different. It was painful how shy I was and the idea of singing and dancing was enough to make my stomach turn, but a change was needed!
We never (Thank God!) performed in public, only amongst ourselves during class time in the hall at United Church. Once a week we would meet after school and Jen would put a song on and would choreograph small dance numbers for us and we would sing along. To this day nearly 14 years later I can still remember (albeit slightly embarrassing) the words and all the moves to the song "The Business of Love" by Domino. I still remained incredibly shy but I had Sooo much fun and there was stopping us!
Anyways, long story short that one class so many years ago became the catalyst of change. I became more self confident (although I will always until the day I die be shy!) I became more comfortable meeting new people and loooved being on stage! I was never brilliant at it, but for about 6 years once a week I would meet in the downstairs of the church with a fabulous group of people and Jen as our director we would write plays, rehearse, play improv games, tour schools with our plays and perform during the annual arts festival, ArtsFusion! We all felt alive and we could become anyone we wanted and it was awesome! To this day the friends I made while in Drama are still my closest and dearest friends.
Through Public School and High School I picked up piano and the flute and so music also became a part of my life. With the piano my sister and I took lessons and then would study like crazy to take our Royal Conservatory Exams every Summer. My sister is a musical genius (as well as with her drawing and sketches!!!) so she was so lucky in never having to really try, the piano came to her naturally and she can sit down and play any piece of music you put in front of her and even has the beautiful ability of composing her own pieces of music!! I on the other hand...hahaha...always had to really work at it. Although I have the photographic memory to memorize pieces of music with no problem, my hands and fingers would never drift over the keys quite as smoothly, but I still loved it! The flute I loved and spent 4 years on the high school orchestra band playing.
Of course once High School came to an end and we all drifted our separate ways it became harder and harder to find somewhere to be creative. In Kingston I was lucky and was able to start Swing Dancing. Once a week I would catch the city bus to Queen's University and a huge group of us would meet in one of the uni halls and we would be taught a dance lesson for an hour and then spend the time afterwards dancing what we had learned! Swing Dancing was again brilliantly fun! we learned the Lindy Hop, the Charleston, Balboa, 6 step, 8 step....fun fun fun!! Since having Oliver, him and I have spent many afternoons blasting Big Band music in the front room while I dance all the old moves I was taught and he giggles away in my arms :)
Now a days I have found it near impossible to let my creative juices flow. With working full time, keeping the house some what under control, and being a full time wife and mother (Lovingly) I have lost my way. I love the life that Dan, Oliver and I have created but I sometimes mourn the days of creative freedom that I once had. Maybe that is why I have this blog...although I expect no one to read it, for me it is a tool to write my thoughts and memories down which has made do for the most part. I miss the days of piano lessons, drama, theatre, dance, swing...they filled a gap in my life where I could be someone that I am not. I could be confident, free, fun, goofy, loud, eccentric and these days I am not as likely to be these things as often.
I tried teaching myself new things and for ahile I was crocheting. It filled the void to an extent I could crochet flowers, blankets, hats and it kept my hands busy when I felt like I needed to create something...but in all honesty I hate crocheted things!! HAHAHA it's a cruel joke that I am able to make all sorts out of coloured wool but when I see the final product I feel like I've just aged myself 50 years. But on the plus side, Oliver will always have snuggy warm hats to wear in the winter :)
Recently I have become involved in paper crafts and scrapbooking and I think I have finally found my Niche! It is not performing but it's creating something using ordinary paper and turning into an extraordinary piece. I'm still in the learning phase and figuring it all out but it's the first time in YEARS that my mind is alight again with ideas and I find myself sitting in the spare bedroom upstairs at my desk for hours into the night while Oliver and Dan sleep! Many a time I have to force myself to turn the lights out becuase it's 2am and I'm still sitting there with my knife and papers trying to put things togheher! Most of the time I draw my inspiration from projects I see around me, I still find it difficult to make something from scratch, but my mind is thirsty for more knowledge and I love the challenge and the learning!
I've been working on cards the last few days and enjoying going through my drawer of scrap pieces of paper and putting them together in different way to see what works. I've also been trying to scrapbook some Halloween photos. The scrapbooking part of my new found crafty hobby is great because not only am I using my "Norris Gene" in a way that works for me but i'm also creating memories in a pseudo photo album for Oliver when he's older.
With that said I encourage everyone to keep that spark of artsy eccentricity alive as long as they can!! Find something that ignites creativity and interest in your soul and you will feel better for it!