Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Let's stop and smell the roses together
Hi Everyone! Welcome to ArtyPants. My aim here is to contribute to and invite social discourse on a variety of topics with a spirit of respect and curiosity. As the name suggests, there will be an element of Arty-ness to all of this. I invite you to use the Further Reading Section and Questions for Discussion at the end of each post and join the conversation. Followed by an Art Skillz Challenge and Further Afield. At times I will summarize and respond to research on human development (specifically child development, given my background in Montessori) and will tackle different systems in our society (starting with education!). There will be lighter pieces in which you will laugh as I relay my personal (mis)adventures, from living abroad twice, leaving a perfectly stable job to explore an unconventional business concept, to developing a personal practice in kindness and self-care. And finally, with me being a true English major at heart, there will be a smattering of reflections on books, food, music, shows and movies, because who doesn’t want to spill their guts about these things?
The name ArtyPants takes its inspiration in part from my childhood and from a recent personal breakthrough. Growing up, I had a great intellectual bond with my dad and cherished any opportunity to challenge him mentally. We would have rhyming duels that would start from out of nowhere, and whenever I proved victorious (which, I must say, was fairly often—sorry dad) my dad would typically admit defeat by saying, “Okay, smarty pants!” My brilliant educator mom (who is, luckily for the children of Houston, Texas, now in the sunset of her teaching career) modeled curiosity in action and was always finding new ways to encourage tinkering (we would take apart old telephones, for example). Smarty Pants has thus become a term of endearment that makes my heart sing because it reminds me of the engaging environment my parents created that shaped me into my curious, engaged self.
The recent breakthrough I mentioned earlier has to do with me coming to understand how deeply my life is enriched by carving out specific time for creative practice. Being human, I’ve always had these massive urges to make things, as we all do, but I hadn’t truly invested myself and my energies into giving them greater life until the last few years. Art has been a balm for my soul, in times of joy and sadness. When I need to return to myself, I find that I turn to art, to the simple flow of creating things with my hands. In part, this could very well have something to do with all the tinkering I did under the guidance of my mom. Writing is another creative practice that I truly enjoy and want to share. This blog is a chance for me to hone this craft and share it, putting it out into the world.
I am embarking on one of the biggest (and most intimidating?!) adventures yet in my quest to connect and broaden my understanding of myself and the world. After all this time of standing at bay not quite sure what to make of social media and how it informs the fabric of our existence, I am joining in. Why not? We are all going to be asking a lot of questions over the next few weeks in the wake of this virus. One thing I have learned in the short time since the outbreak is that I am more open to something than I thought. That something is the possibility of experiencing social connectedness by way of social media and the interwebs. This is me dipping my virtual toe in the virtual water...
Yours in Art and Life,