Updated: Sep 14
A human journey to living an artful and healthy life is not always a smooth and easy journey
Perspectives on our lives vary, depending on whose opinion you listen to:
My sisters would say I grew up spoiled because I got to take gymnastics classes, horse riding lessons, dance classes, school sports, and many activities involved in 4-H, and didn’t have to compromise since I grew up as an only child and they grew up together. My parents remind me that I got to do a lot of things they never did, nor did my sisters, as kids.
The inside perspective, my perspective, is when a tragedy struck my family when I was 7, I was left alone. It’s true, I got to do a lot of things as a kid. I tried to be the best in activities my sisters had done as kids (they’re significantly older) not because I was particularly interested in the activities, but because I wanted to belong. I thought that if I could excel at the same things they did, gymnastics, horse riding, track, then they might think I had value and would include me.
Those feelings from child/adolescent-hood of feeling unworthy, a failure, unwanted, unwelcome developed into a woman with a choice: to give up, indulge and live in those feelings every day… or not. The outside perspectives from those who mattered most was, I was spoiled. But who mattered most?
I remember trying on a new dance costume for an upcoming competition and my mother said, “don’t you think you’re too big for that costume?” I was 12 or 13. What I heard was, “you’re too fat to wear that, it’s embarrassing.” Did I have an irrational thought reaction? From my perspective, no. Because lived history didn’t provide me evidence to the contrary.
Jump to today, perspectives of my life and the person I’ve become:
Friends, acquaintances, and strangers have said I’m “brave” and an “inspiration” because I’ve done such a variety of things. That I’m “badass” and indestructible because when I say I’m going to do something, anything - jump out of an airplane, board down an active volcano, move to another country - they have come to know I am a woman of my word and do it.
The inside perspective: I’m not brave, I’m still looking to belong, and the feelings cultivated from childhood of unworthiness haven’t gone away - but they don’t get to drive the car. That shadow sits in the backseat where I can see it in the rearview mirror.
How I got to where I am today: I worked on myself because all along I knew deep down that I had a purpose, that I mattered. And MY opinion about myself is the one that matters. I coach because I want to be for others the coach and role model I wish I had in my life. My human journey continues...
About the Author:
Amber is a multi-passionate person. She is a NASM-CPT personal trainer and nutrition coach who works 1:1 with clients in online coaching - with a special flare for working with artists of all mediums - opera singers to cross stitchers., and all creative folks between. She is a working artist herself and her paintings and sculptures can be seen in her shared studio gallery space at the Northrup King Building in NE Minneapolis, MN, or online at Amber Art MN.