years that question, and years that answer

Nov 21, 2005 | Life in Progress

gina and i had an interesting conversation today about why neither one of us really pursued what seems to be our natural, intrinsic capabilities and interests – hers being creative writing, mine being art.

there are a couple of very defining moments for me in my life, decisions i made or paths my life took that fully determined the next many steps and years of my life. one of those moments, and i feel silly for even writing this but it’s true, was the 8th grade cheerleading tryouts. i didn’t make the cut, and i was absolutely devastated. but had i made it and become a cheerleader, i wonder how different my highschool experience would have been – probably an entirely different set of friends than i have even now, as most of my closest friends are from those years. and with different friends, i wonder where i’d be today? i remember Clare once talking about this exact same thing – how she didn’t make the cheerleading squad and how this likely was a good thing in the long run, as she probably wouldn’t have found theatre, but still, it freaks me out to think about little moments like these that are crossroads in my life that potentially steered me towards a completely different life with different people in it.

another decision that changed the course of my life was deciding to forgo art classes at Stanton in the 9th grade. instead, i switched my elective to the school newspaper for the remainder of highschool. i wonder, what if i had not made that decision? what if i had stayed in the art classes all the way through? i clearly remember feeling that there were some really good artists in my school, and no way was i up to speed with their capabilities, so i’d stick with journalism, the safe thing to do. that’s who i was at 14, 15, 16 years old. i was unsure, insecure, just like most kids that age. little did i know of myself. and again, it freaks me out that a decision i made at the age of 14 could have such a profound impact on the course of my life.

and while i’m on the topic, why in the world did i rush through college to graduate in 3 years? and speaking of rushing, why do i find myself rushing, even now, all of the time? rushing to get to work in the mornings. to home after work. through my workouts, conversations, projects. i’m a full-on rusher! never feeling like there are enough hours in the day, i’m constantly hurrying around. i need to slow down! anyway, back to what i was talking about. college – rushing though it. why did i not travel abroad for that 4th year? or why did i not take more electives? like art. dancing. photography. anything. and why did i choose social work in the first place? gina and i reminded ourselves tonight that we choose social work, rather than creative writing or art, because we were on a mission to actually get a degree that we could use, something practical, something that would bring us a paycheck, and fast. i was in such a rush to be financially independent, that i didn’t really take a moment’s breath to take advantage of the time and resources available to me.

they say there are years that question and there are years that answer. those were all definite question years. the last couple of years have been answer years. i’ve learned to be more of myself, and to just live my life how i’ve always envisioned it. and that’s happening now. i’m glad social work came into my life. it will never leave, but it’s nice to get back to what my heart tugs at, and what gives me inspiration. and it’s just so nice and hopeful to find the answers amidst all of life’s beautiful questions.

Sending much love,

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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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