But there’s a “Me” in Mentor.
First of all, I wanted to share at least one of my school projects here. I’ve butchered it now, but before I made the edits it was the backside of an album cover I created. I haven’t been too thrilled with many of my projects thus far, but the good news is that taking the classes helped me figure out that I needed to go in a completely different direction. And I’m so happy I did—so it’s all good!
Secondly, I thought I would elaborate on my idea—my vision—about a program for people who are in recovery. My initial thoughts about it started when I was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my (sober) life. My passion for photography and art —or anything that entails creativity really—was where it all started. I imagined an art gallery of sorts, with walls covered in various pieces done by people who are new to recovery, who are trying to get their lives back in order, and are in need of a creative outlet. Or even people who are looking for new ways to fill their time; time that they used to spend on unhealthy habits.
The first thing I wanted to do—and felt was absolutely necessary—before I even considered making this dream a reality was to get really good at something. I figured that starting up some kind of Creativity Center would require me to be an instructor at the facility, or at least teach newcomers how to use the computer programs. So… I made my way to school with the intention of learning some serious skills that I could pass on.
I started realizing that me and graphic design weren’t compatible partners, but—unfortunately—that’s what I had signed up for. In the meantime, however, I was learning things in my other classes that were pointing me in the same direction, but with twists, turns, a little morphing and some expanding.
One of the kickers was when our Pastor spoke about mentoring. He talked about how others had been mentors to us in the past—our parents, teachers, our friends (Gil), and so on—and how now that we are all grown-up, it’s OUR turn to be mentors. I know “grown-up” sounds odd, but many of us there are in recovery so it’s fitting—if you know what I mean.
Anyway, his lesson helped me understand that mentoring is about providing someone with emotional support and guidance. It means helping your protege discover his or her own gifts and talents—and encouraging them in their process (Gil). I guess that’s when my vision started changing the most. I started seeing that limiting it to an art center would be too restrictive, so it morphed into a place where people could do all kinds of things. A place where they could focus on phase two of their recovery. The living sober part.
And photography, writing, and art would be a huge part of it, too. Of course.
So that’s where my thoughts are right now. Up until now it’s been simmering safely in my head, but I read that if you want to take your visions seriously, you have to talk (or write) about them. It makes them more real.
So… talk I will!
Janet, a creativity center sounds like a great idea, our creative expression is so vital in recovery and is indeed an area that is, in my opinion, is not encouraged or even thought much about in discussion and guidance by those I have encountered in my community away from “here”. I look forward to hearing more about this. I just thought if there was a way to leverage that into an app or some way of getting it to a larger audience online it could be huge.
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I hadn’t thought about an app, but I have thought about an online platform! I have so many ideas and was going to spend this week making an outline- but ended up updating my blog! Go figure. But let me just say one thing I thought about was an online collaboration- maybe a blog home- where the various people who want to get involved could share their works all in one place. And then I thought about a book! I want to put together a book (which I learned how to do in graphic design!). It would be photos, artworks and writings by different people, I figured that online or in book format is one of the best ways to start out small yet big at the same time because it can be people all over the world! I’ll post more as the ideas come up, etc. but yeah- I do know something like that is needed and would be so awesome.
So proud of you
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