About me and this blog – the right brain version

For years I struggled to answer the question “What am I in life?” I would tell people I worked on a medical ethics board protecting research subjects and they would nod with understanding or admiration for a noble job. It was definable, understandable, logical. I was deemed a solid success. Yet underneath I felt that hollow sense of shame because I pretended to be fulfilled when I wasn’t. I’ve spent 30 years in a successful medical career, yet all the while searching. I felt like Edison looking for the right filament for his light bulb, going through thing after thing after thing in life only to discover that no, that still wasn’t me. The question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” seemed my reality, but the embarrassment is that I was in my 50s. When do you grow up and discover the answer?

During one ethics board meeting a few years ago I surveyed the lawyers, nurses, ministers, pathologists, surgeons and other professionals around me and asked myself “What am I doing here?” They all know who they are. They have pieces of paper to prove it, they have titles to give. “Who am I?” A hard assessment ran something like this: a former Medical Laboratory Technologist, turned pharmaceutical researcher, who wrote CliffsNotes and dictionaries, raised a son, rescued a tiny abused poodle, converted her yard to gravel and herb beds when everybody else wanted green lawns, always wanted to be the Oracle at Delphi or live on Mount Olympus, loves and defends the messy Canada geese on our pond that everyone else hates, oil paints, secretly reads Nancy Drew mystery books (the old ones) before bed every night, and who thinks the fiddler crabs bought for $4.00 from PetsMart deserve to be more than just disposable pets and hence made them a true brackish water aquarium. What kind of a job description is that?

And then there’s religion. I’m an ex-Catholic raised in the Puritan north, taught by Slovak nuns, now living in the Bible Belt South, who studied Buddhism imported from Asia at a Unitarian church. I thought about going to ministry school at one point, but …what “denomination” would I fit into? It turns out none of them. ¬†After what felt like my own equivalent of wandering 40 years in the desert, I finally found my home in Judaism.

I have concluded I fit nowhere but in the world I create. In figuring out the structure for this blog, I discovered I have no reason to be ashamed and that all those unrelated, seemingly worthless bits of my life, really do make a whole picture after all. The job I am most qualified for requires someone who can find the research study of fiddler crabs in Delaware rivers and use it to determine the exact right salinity for MY species of fiddler crabs, while daydreaming about flying around church in the medieval looking lights that hung high above my head during Mass as a kid, while currently coveting the old metal Tonka bulldozer and cement mixer owned by the three-year-old next door.

In short, I am a “creative” – an artist, photographer, writer – but a scientific one. I need details, biology facts, but expressed through my right brain. My world is my imagination. My passion is….everything. My work requires a huge heap of discarded pieces to fuel it. The ancient Romans took a pile of discarded bits and created floor mosaics that were works of art. Here, I take my raw material of unwanted, ignored, seemingly useless Broken Bits and apply the mortar of my life’s lessons to create the final product: my soul’s mosaic.

I decided to share my journey with anyone else out there who might feel they too hold a yet-to-be-discovered work of art in their own soul.

4 Responses to “About me and this blog – the right brain version”

  1. Maureen Hovenkotter aka Travelin'Lady Says:

    Hi, Deb
    So nice to meet you. I totally understand what you are saying. I used to do stained glass and understand the concept of scraps of broken glass becoming beauty. I think I’ve used similar metaphors myself about life in things I’ve written.

    I am a cradle Catholic who continues to follow my faith, though with Jesuits who are much more comfortable for my type of questing spirituality that understands the need to incorporate other forms of belief in a God who loves us ALL regardless of where or whether we go to pray and worship. I’ve always wondered what I want to be when I grow up and am still in that process. So I know I am in good company. I like to say “God isn’t finished with me yet.” Thankfully God is NEVER finished with us. Hope some day to publish my travels in a book and will be meeting with agents this summer toward that eventuality. Many blessings and all good things to you. TravelinLady

  2. debrabailey Says:

    Dear TravelinLady,

    I appreciate your visit to my blog and your nice and insightful comments. I understand and appreciate your quest and questions in regard to religion and life. And yes, thankfully, God is never finished with us. Sometimes we give up on ourselves, but God never does. I wish you many blessings as well and may you find answers to your questions, and more questions in abundance to keep you going until you are done with your journey here! Take care,


  3. Gregory Says:

    Interesting. Keep writing!


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