March 14, 2013

Women, Community, and Art: Shannon Etnyre

The unity that is shared among women is something that should be celebrated each and every month. Earlier this year I dedicated 2013 to unifying women from the online community that have felt a deep soulful shift in their lives as a result of commitment, community and creativity! This month Shannon Etnyre has shared a beautiful post titled: Planned Happenstance of her experience. Let's show her some love ya'll!
My life seems as a thing of happenstance, planned happenstance.  I understand now that I am on the path I'm meant to be on, wandering in some direction toward my truth.  The feelings I have about my life, and where I am now, have been puzzling. It wasn’t until I read this piece from Anais Nin that I began to understand. In a letter to Harper’s Bazaar editor Leo Lerman, Nin expressed the following when asked for a short autobiography piece: "My life is not possible to tell. I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations. I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles. I weep when I find others play them for me. My real self is unknown. My work is merely an essence of this vast and deep adventure."
I do not feel as though I have any choice in the matter. It would be rather difficult to deviate from this adventure; my purpose and the sureness of my heart.  Turning away would mean denying everything that I am; to shrink into nothing, to pretend, to be a fake.

After a series of events mis fortunate events, I found myself lost.  I had worked my entire life toward this disillusioned dream.  Rather than follow the path of creativity through architecture, graphic design, photography, cooking, or writing, I chose an education in the very secure & snooze-inducing (really some days it was hard to stay awake in class) field of economics. I made it work by “creating” financial models & “playing” with numbers (Strangely I really love finance). 

I was doing well fulfilling my disillusioned dream:  job (check), health (check), career (check), great money (check), until I was promptly shown the door & I realized the dream was a bunch of crap. None of those things can “make” you happy. I had it all wrong; so wrong.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and they are right. I laugh to think I was cruising down this ridiculous task list and at the end I thought I would be served a big ol’ plate of happy. Truthfully, it was more like I had fallen asleep at the wheel, taking everything for granted, and someone wrote “SUCKA” on my forehead in permanent ink... ALL CAPS.

It’s been a rough road, full of lessons and realizations, about me and my relationships with those around me.  In the tough moments, the moments I can recall every millisecond of, I found strength, a strength I didn’t even know I had until I needed it. I found art again; or rather it found me. In a time when I had no idea who I was, art helped me gravitate back to my center, to become whole again. I had no idea where I was going but I knew art would get me there. 

It also helped me connect with my people, the ladies who’ve saved me in a number of ways; the ladies who’ve listened to my gripes and deep sighs. The dynamic we have is unlike any other, this creative community representative of all ages, with our own wonderful life experiences and sage advice. I shouldn’t forget the laughter. I need them as much as I need anything. They are a life-blood. They are family. We lift each other up. We encourage. We shoo away disappointment and discouragement, because there’s no sense in wasting time on that.  We empathize. We are true to each other. Dare I say we love each other?  It sounds ridiculous that you could love someone, or a group of some ones, you’ve never met. In fact I haven’t met any of them.

It is because of the bond of these women, our connection through art, and the unlimited potential we have created, that I have found my true self. They have inspired me to create my very real dream of, a creative community, a business platform, a reason to come together.  We are each other’s superheroes. We saved each other.
I was disillusioned. Then I was humbled. Now I am whole.  

xo, Shannon


Sydneyn said...

This is truly inspiring for those of us still on the path to becoming whole. What a wonderful testament to finding your center and your path even when you didn't know you were on the wrong one.

Bonita said...

Wow.....................*deep breath* after reading this I think I might have just stared at the screen for about ten minutes before I could really put together an actual's as though art serves as a therapy for you like it does for me...thank you for sharing yourself with us Shannon.

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Ann Marie said...

Wow! Love every word of this. Shannon, you demonstrate great courage of self and contribution to others. Sofia, thank you so much for providing the idea and platform for such a great series.

Shannon Etnyre said...

Thank you gals for being "my people" xoxo

Shannon Etnyre said...

Art is everything to me I was just do busy getting caught in society's expectations, I couldn't see it :)

Shannon Etnyre said...

It sounds silly but as soon as I realized "maybe this isn't the way" things began to quickly fall into place, before I was even ready sometimes, and my true path was revealed.

This Moment said...

Shannon-it's so great to read this about you:) I've learned even more. I'm so glad you are on your true's amazing what it takes for some of us to get here, isn't it?