Recently one of my students started calling me "Pattycakes". He said it was better than all the other names that kids call me, and I looked and said "WHAT NAMES do the other kids call me?" He laughed and said they weren't bad, only they didn't fit me..and Pattycakes was just right.

What he didn't know, and I later told him, that Pattycakes was my old business name from my other lifetime. I was an airbrush artist/designer and worked for a few companies before I started my own business designing children's clothes. I did really well, and had a rep - the whole 9 yards. I stopped when I had children, as I did not have the proper set up for spraying and could not compromise my children's health (nevermind my own).

But the name stuck for years. I could not go out without someone yelling HEY, CAKES is here, or some other derivative of the name. It took years for it to fade, and now the memory has been revitalized by one of my feisty students (whom I adore). It reminds me of a more carefree time, when I was young and exploring the vastness of what life had to offer.

I think about that period in my life; I was in my 20's, and life was so different than it is now. But in actuality the essense of who I am has not changed, and I am still following my passion for art; only it has shifted gears and changed mediums. Though I am another 25 years older in body, I have kept the spirit of youth and adventure in my soul. Perhaps it is something that is related to the life of an artist that helps keep me young. I am not jaded, and I still get excited over some of the most simple of discoveries and experiences. I have learned to temper my wild side, or else use it in a more productive way, but that side is still there. It just has shifted shape a bit, like the rest of me. I am still in love with love in all its forms, and each day I discover something even more beautiful than the next. I would not trade the treasures of experience for anything.

A few more people wrote me lovely emails and my friend Patrick, whom I have known from those Pattycakes days, (and even before that) picked me up and drove me to my class so that I did not have to drive tonight. It was a lovely, nurturing gesture. The simplest of things have become such a gift to me, and you all don't know how much I appreciate each and every kindness. I have learned who my true friends are, and I have learned about love in ways I never imagined.

Thank you, Patti


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