Don't let your limitations hold you back

When I was a sophomore in high school I enjoyed drawing.  I painstakingly copied characters from the Sunday funnies and images from magazines into my  drawing journal.

 One day I asked my high school art teacher if she would look at my drawings.  She agreed.  I brought them to her the following day.  She silently looked through them and then said to the whole class, as I stood next to her desk, that copying cartoon characters and magazine images WAS NOT ART.

I felt humiliated.  Sure, it wasn't fine art, it probably wasn't even good art, but it was the artwork of a vulnerable teen looking for guidance.  She shut down my creative self with her thoughtless remark.   It wasn't until I was an adult that I was able to recognize that that was her story and I could find my own story of my creative self.  I didn't have to buy her version of who I was and what I was capable of.

Everyone has similar stories; other people's versions of who they are, what their limitations are, and what they are supposed to do with their lives.

A fundamental truth is that we all need to create our own life stories.  We need to unhook ourselves from perceived limitations.  We need to vision what we want and find a way to make it happen, given who we are, and in the context of our current circumstances.

 This TedTalk is so inspiring:

When Sue Austin got a power chair 16 years ago, she felt a tremendous sense of freedom -- yet others looked at her as though she had lost something. In her art, she aims to convey the spirit of wonder she feels wheeling through the world. Includes thrilling footage of an underwater wheelchair that lets her explore ocean beds, drifting through schools of fish, floating free in 360 degrees. 

In re-purposing her wheelchair to create fantastical art, Sue Austin reshapes how we think about disability.  TedTalks

Check it out.

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