My first love was textiles…weaving…tapestry. The Tapestry of my life is like the definition of the word tapestry: Rich, complex, often varied designs or scenes. The shuttle of this loom will be moving fast as I weave the images of my life into present time.
Born in Houston, Texas, I was an ‘East-ender’ living east of Main Street. Attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas, earned a BFA in Art Education, all level certification…..textile designer, tapestry weaver, minor in jewelry & enameling. My greatest accomplishment was receiving a working apprenticeship from a nationwide selection to Arrowmont School of Crafts in Tennessee for two consecutive summers.
After college graduation moved back to Houston to return to Lubbock two weeks before school started to accept a last minute teaching opportunity at McKenzie Junior High where I taught for two years. During this time I continued to weave. Purchased some awesome looking camel/goat hair yarn from Afghanistan and was exposed to anthrax. Survived.
Love and marriage took me to Kerr County where I was offered a job in marketing at Chas. Schreiner Bank in Kerrville, Texas. Used my creative ideas to increase deposits. President was impressed and put me into a bank wide training program where this right brained creative person started learning the financial world. The marriage ended and I left with infant son back to Houston. From banking, establishing a word processing center inside Southern National Bank, I left the corporate world to work for the Episcopal Churches of St John the Divine and Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church as their Director of Religious Education. Earned a Master’s Degree in Religious Education from the University of St Thomas with a Certification in Spiritual Direction. I was drawn to a better understanding of why some people are motivated and others are not. Why do we sometimes get blocked from living from our purpose? When our interior spiritual life becomes in conflict with our exterior life we can experience a mid-life crisis. How does one avoid that mid life crash? Equipped with this knowledge it was time to put into action what I had learned about the spirituality of people, the wisdom of various religions and go from a religious based non-profit corporation back into the corporate world.
Transitioning from ‘Church Lady’ to the corporate world with a degree in art wasn’t a step. I had two interviews by proxy by two friends who did not know each other but interviewed on my behalf on a job posting they had read or heard about at Texas Commerce Bank. I wasn't aware of this until the hiring manager called and asked if I wouldn’t mind coming in to discuss the job. After several interviews with a variety of people, I was one of three people hired to roll out and offer a Diversity Awareness Program to every employee at TCB across Texas in a 10 month period of time. I was made an Assistant Vice President and was now working in Corporate America, traveling across Texas and the United States as I facilitated, and gave speeches and presentations. In my toolbox I added being certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a Distinguished Toast Master, accredited by the State Bar of Texas in Alternative Dispute Resolution, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and other assessments.
When this one year project ended, I was hired by one of the largest privately owned Outplacement Career Management firms in Texas. I eventually managed their Houston office, combining my skills of compassion, deep listening, personality temperament, and thinking creatively to offer career counseling for those that needed to take their skills and strengths to a new and different industry. In 2000, the Dallas based firm transferred ownership of the Houston office into Langdale Consulting. The company did very well offering not only outplacement, management workshops, team building, career coaching, all which assisted companies and individuals in handling change, mergers, downsizing, retention and mediation disputes. My company’s philosophy is that working from your strengths and having a clear career strategy allows one to work at their highest level of productivity and to create a successful what I called a Career-Life Alliance. I was living my dream in helping others change the world in positive ways. Then my health crashed.
‘Your body is circling the drain and we aren’t sure why or how to stop this’, said one of the several doctors I visited. Clients and friends helped close down the office and watched over me for two years. Disability had a new awareness and definition for me. Things didn’t improve much and now unable to live alone, my friends locked my house and drove me out of the Houston area to live with friends in Kerr County. I was the first wave of patients that had become sensitive to smog, chemicals, and my endocrine system continued to crash. It took a team of doctors, an amazing group of friends, patience, a deep faith in God and fifteen years for my body to recover. On the Langdale family crest, it reads Post Tenebras Lux -“After Darkness Light”- my health slowly returned. I moved to Mason, Texas in 2007 to slowly regain my independence, which took another five years. Then in 2012, I had established an art studio, my health was at 80% recovery and I began again with being an artist. Starting with a Paint n Sip for adults, children art camp and eventually creating my own art. I became involved with the Texas Master Naturalist program to learn about native plants and these community friends taught me about cattle and goats. My life tapestry with its various colors of threads of my degrees, education, certifications, work history has led me to today.
The Tapestry now comes up to date and has returned to reflect being a seeker of ways to express the spirit, soul, and life through art. I started in the creative world, shifted into the corporate business world, the financial world and now back to the artist creative world. A good business is about relationships. I do not need to live, I need to be alive. How does one put a price on being alive unless it is connected to something….people who love and respect you, friends, family, and then there is that moment when you create an idea, a painting, a something that will change the world and make it just a little better.