1. 14 October 2015
My darling dear, Gins
We all have our theorieswhen it comesto the clichéd "When life throwsyou lemons"... Some claim
it is for tequila, othersprefer to make lemonade. I once heard you should put them in yourbra to
make your boobslook bigger! Whichever we choose, the fact remainsthat we have a plan and that
we are prepared. Well, kind of, I suppose. The past year hasbeen flooded with lemons. I started to
collect them and made all sortsof stuff out of them... And then, one day, life pulled out that lemon
tree and chucked it at me - rootsand all. Branchesand lemonsand thornsand leavescame flying
at me. What do you do? Play catch? Hide? Run? Which all seemed like ratherlegit thingsto do, but
no, I decided to fall down to ground with my armscrossed over my head.
Being a creative person and practicing creativity asa career can sometimesbe overwhelming. You
become drained and lose interest. It might not seem that bad, but not being motivated to create, is
life threatening to a person such asmyself. I once made the harsh statement of "being creative is
all that I am" and, getting back to my previoussentence, if I am not that, what am I?
Thinking about the year that was - from funeralsand memorial services, unrealistic deadlinesand
creative blocksto sleeplessnightsand the vivid experience of having my relationships
compromised - I sometimesam amazed that I am still breathing. I am not a talker. I don't seek
sympathy and I don't ask for help. I. Just. Don't. I suppose it is unfair towardsthe people who love
me, but I feel they know me and should know that, even though I don't talk, I sort of expect them to
listen. And just because I don't ask for help, doesnot mean I don't need it. They didn't.
While aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, I came acrossa post of yours. I saw a related post a
couple of weeksearlier - I acknowledged it and I forgot about it. But thistime you yelled at me. I
can't remember the exact wording, but it boiled down to: get your shit together one bit at a time.
Yes. I needed to do that. It wasa comforting invitation, and I did not need to ask or tell you
I signed up for your eight week workshop: I can crawl. (And at that stage I felt I already mastered
the art of crawling, what did I have to lose?) To be rather honest, I wasslightly apprehensive (I have
alwaysbeen spiritual and religiousand believed in holistic healing and alternative medicine to a
certain point, but never considered myself to be on the complete opposite side of the average belief
system), but I attended my first class. It wassuch a delightful, pleasant experience and you made
me feel completely at ease. You respected my beliefs, shared your thoughtswhile listening to mine.
After day one, I just knew that it wasthe best thing I have done for myself in months. It wasa
project for me and I embraced it.
You went so many extra milesmaking it the most comprehensive and insightful workshop, that I
will never be able to expressmy gratitude in full.
You made me realise that it isOK to fall face down onto the ground. It isOK to be twisted and
confused and angry and frustrated and bruised all at the same time. But it isalso necessary to lift
my chin and drag myself up...even if it isjust on to my kneesto crawl. Bit by bit by bit I will get back
onto my feet, you assured me. And I now know that being creative isnot all that I am, it is
everything I am and that ismore than enough.
Thank you, Virginia, for showing me how to get my spark back. Forreassuring me that it isfine to
go back to the drawing board and start with my crayonsall overagain. It hasbeen a life-changing
experience and I am looking forward to phase two!