15 years ago, we lived northern Vermont and a lot of the kids took summer jobs at Cabot Creamery which was close by. The summer that Matt turned 16, I had a talk with him about finding a little job, since he wanted spending money. I mentioned Cabot to him and I will never, forget what he said next. He looked at me, totally seriously and said,  “I’m not interested in that line of work.” “Line of work? I repeated in disbelief. “That is not even a relevant concept for a summer job!”

It was for him. Matt could never do things for very long, if at all, that didn’t interest him, but if they did interest him, he jumped in 110%. He jumped in, and learned as he went along. I think that there is real genius in that…not just talking about Matt, but for all of us. There has to be a point where we say, “I don’t know how to do this thing that I want to do, but I am going to begin anyway”.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.  ~Pablo Picasso

15 thoughts on “Begin

  1. I tried so many different jobs over the years. found lots I thought I would like and discovered either I didnt or, didnt have the right skills. but so glad I did itl I never have to sit around and think ‘if only’ this included all the glamor stuff, acting, modeling, singing with a band, very very bad at all of these!!! But it was fun! hairdresser, no Flair for styling…newspaper..I even learned to set type….at 28 by sheer chance I found, what to some is a boring or even a failure type job, loved it and stayed for 25 years!!! I made a living, it was a company that was one of the last to really treat its employees well, and it was all good….

  2. Sounds so much like my husband. He has lasted longer at photography than any other interest. Hoping to find away to make money at it. But he can never trade the lessons he has learned from looking through the lens of a camera.

    Thank you for sharing.
    I’m hosting my last birthday party this weekend. Come down to KY for fish and hushpuppies .


    • Hope that your party is a wonderful success!! I wish I lived closer because I would come!

  3. I just read one of my daily email quotes and coincidentally it fit today’s topic and the quote is from another artist.

    If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
    ~Vincent Van Gogh

  4. This reminds me of the only time I was on unemployment due to a layoff. I had relocated and had family who were happy to let me ‘visit’ open-ended. So I decided to be choosy and take my sweet time job hunting; I only applied at jobs I was wholly unqualified for, anticipating a long rest before jumping back into the work-a-day world.
    Long story short: within a few weeks, I got a call for an interview. Feeling very certain it would go nowhere, I went to that interview and got the proverbial “thanks, don’t call us, we’ll call you” and happily went for a walk on the beach. Two days later, I got the phone call, offering me the position. In disbelief, I loudly said “But I don’t know HOW to do that!”
    Twenty eight years later, I retired from that job. Life is always amazing!

    • That is one fantastic story Cheryl!!! What an inspiration….and I invite you to share all of the details (if you are so moved)…I would love to hear more!

  5. I do admire Matt for his vision of a job, not many 16 year olds are that focused but there are times when survival comes in play and a job may become just a job. When I was young and carefree (ahh!) I moved to the other end of California. I had no job, no idea where I would live. I applied for a job at a newspaper and really wanted that job. DIdn’t get it. Management felt I was rather irresponsible to relocate with no job, no place to live, etc. I took a job I really didn’t want, just to have a job but I called the newspaper every few weeks and said, I was still interested, I was still here and if the job opened up again I would like to be considered. I had never pursued a job before! A few months went by, one morning the manager that interviewed me called and said “Are you still here? Do you still want that job?” “Yes!” The girl they hired didn’t work out and he admired my persistance. I worked at the newspaper for 22 years and retired to be with my husband when he retired.

    • This is wonderful JoAnne! So encouraging and inspiring ….I love this story…thank you for sending it!

  6. The more of it:
    I had worked full-time since I was 16 years old, in a variety of endeavors, many of them considered breaking the gender mold. (My generation was on the cutting edge of the women’s movement and I realized the best paying jobs were traditionally and exclusively “men’s” work.) My first foray into uncharted territory was at the ripe old age of 21 as a telephone operator for the monolith Ma Bell; I was one of the first women requesting a transfer into Central Office repair and coin phone service. The newspaper carried an article titled under my photo, “Her Hip Huggers Are 10 Pounds Of Tools.” I still laugh at that.
    But the story I recounted earlier happened a decade later. I knew that to keep my unemployment benefits, I needed to actively apply to a minimum of 5 jobs every two weeks. It did not matter whether or not I could qualify for the positions—which I found absurd and a challenge! So I scoured the want ads and physically applied only to jobs I had no training for, hoping for at least a long vacation at best. Plumber, legal secretary, radiologist, oh, here’s bus driver—surely they wanted experience, right?? Wrong. They were actively recruiting women to satisfy some quota or another and they hired me!!
    I couldn’t refuse their offer lest I lose my benefits so my ‘vacation’ was shorter than most summer ones.
    So I drove a city bus for almost 25 years (and loved the freedom of being my own captain!) and then they ‘demoted’ me to supervisor for my last few years. I still hold a remarkable accident- free record, of which I was quite proud, considering how many thousands of miles I drove. And I retain my commercial license to this day, which is my way of inviting any the White Feather family a ‘bus-man’s holiday’ tour absolutely free should you visit the Monterey Bay area of central California! I’d be honored to show you around paradise.

  7. The experiences that JoAnne and Cheryl just shared are priceless. As much as I look forward to Mary’s postings – I find I am equally taken by the comments that others post. Whether it is sharing a quick comment, a new resource, a personal experience, an insight – whatever – I sure as heck am gaining in lots of different ways. Thanks to everyone.

  8. It is almost the end of the day here in Arizona, and most of you on the east coast are getting ready for bed, – but I just had to come back to White Feather Farm to see what my friends had to say today, and I am so touched by the sharing. I offer this from today’s Daily OM:
    “Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness.

    Mary! You have offered us the opportunity to be each other’s point of origin – we are spread all over the place, but thanks to you, the first one to place the pebble into the pond, the ripples of love and encouragement are spreading all over, and we are all uplifted. Blessings to all.

    • It’s funny – I had also read the Daily OM that Susan refers to, but it had so much more impact for me when I re-read it here. Reading it by myself is one thing, but having it reiterated and shared with a friend is definitely more meaningful.

  9. I’m reading yesterday’s post and find myself so amazed and inspired by our community. It is a privilege to be a part of something so positive. Thanks and love to all.

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