Still so tender and so raw and so vulnerable. A few steps forward, and then a step back. Hurting. Falling. Just keep breathing…
I woke up this morning remembering a dream. I can’t usually recall them. I was driving down a road at night and suddenly everything became hazy. I couldn’t see. My instinct was to go right and crash into the bushes. Oh no… I thought… another dent in my car (I have several).
I veered right and felt the bushes cushion my blow as I came to rest there. The place was familiar to me although I couldn’t tell you exactly where I was. My gut says Long Beach, my beloved Long Beach. The tears are rolling now as I write this, so yes, it was probably Long Beach.
I realized when the car stopped that I couldn’t see because for some reason I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I reached down on the floor and I found them. And voila, once again I could see the road.
And perhaps the universe was sending me a message for today. As an artist, a friend, a mother, a lover, you can’t always see the road, but you will be ok. Just keep going.
Happy Monday, fellow travelers. Trust that you, too, will find the road.
And don’t forget you can read about my own earthly travels at artbylindaqueally.blogspot.com.
Between Love and Hate. Between Sanity and Insanity…
It’s a short step.
I watched the sunset over my beloved Long Beach this week with the man I have loved for nearly eight years. We reminisced about the many things we have done. The many places we have gone together. The work we have created together. And we reflected on the things we have done wrong. We took note of how undeniably human we are. Of our ability to hurt each other and ourselves. We recognized our capacity for love and forgiveness. And we realized that this is a time for working on ourselves. Our individual hopes and dreams.
We said goodbye to this place and this chapter.
I am filled with sadness. And I am filled with hope. So for today, like a life raft, I will cling to hope.
I finally finished my resume. My daughter, age 23, helped me. My son, age 25, gave it the thumbs up. They have much more experience writing these things than I. When I read it, I was impressed with myself. I’ve done some things. I’m not sure why it was so hard for me to get this done. It’s just words on paper, after all. But in my heart I know that it’s more the action that’s tied to it, now that it’s done, that has me in a spin. I need to get a job. J-O-B. I need this J-O-B to supplement my income from my art, so I can get back on my feet. Have my own place again. Buy materials. Travel again. Places like San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas, Mexico, where I spotted this Mermaid. You’ll grow to learn in this blog, by the way, that I am passionate about Mermaids. And Mexico.
Don’t get me wrong. I have had a J-O-B before. I worked for twenty five years or so, part time and full time, in an office job (cube farm) that I didn’t like very much, under a shitload of pressure most of the time, to pay the bills and provide a nice life for my kids. I nearly flipped my lid more than once, but it paid well. Mission accomplished.
But then I said “muchas gracias por todo”, and “hasta la vista” to that J-O-B, put everything into a 10’x10′ foot storage, sold or gave away the rest, moved out of my apartment, and traveled for four months in Mexico with my partner (native Mexican). It was a kick-off to my new life as a full time working artist. It was brave. It was by far one of the best things I ever did.
Here I am, however, four and a half years later. Turns out I wasn’t the best money manager. The best planner. The best partner. The best boundary setter. I did some things right. I did some things wrong.
So now it is time to confront once again the big questions. How do I make a living with my art? How do I once again become independent instead of co-dependent? How do I come to peace with the fact that J-O-B does not mean failure, but freedom? Will I travel in Mexico again, a land that has captured my heart? Where do I fit in?
I sit up in bed and stare at my Mermaids, which have come to rest in this new place for a while. Along with my guitar. Do I play? Not really. But shouldn’t every artist travel with a guitar? I think so. This is the first morning since I got here that I am not dashing out the door to drive thirty miles to pack my things, to drive them back here, once and maybe twice, to begin this new chapter I have chosen.
Where do I begin? Oh yeah, I said that yesterday.
My mental to-do list swims in my head. I need to fill out some kind of bio or other and upload it with a headshot for my Agent. Yes, I now have an agent for print and commercials. This is Los Angeles after all.
I need to add my name to the speaker list for the Gem Club circuit. I’m a gemologist now, and I’ve traveled a bit, to boot. I’ve got some good stories.
I’m a vendor in West Covina this weekend for three long days selling my art with the So Cal Etsy Guild. Need to prepare some new jewelry and prints to sell. What do they like to buy there again? Must check my notes.
Need to do a resume to look for yet another part time something or other to supplement my income. The last resume I did was in 1984. Yep. Nineteen eighty four. Must use my son’s as a model for how to do this.
Need to finish unpacking.
And then there’s those feelings of mine that I must wrestle with. Guilt and fear and hope and excitement and disappointment and happiness and sadness all wrapped up in this big, brave move I’ve made towards getting back on my feet. Towards saving myself. Must listen to Oprah and Deepak.
But first and foremost, time for COFFEE. Let’s get rolling.
I am an Artist.
I’m a painter, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gemologist, a traveler, a story teller, and a dreamer. Art is my heart and my soul.
In this past week I hit my personal bottom. That point where you stare at the ceiling in the middle of the night and wonder if you’re meant to leave this dimension and head for another one. Not good. This was my signal to wait no longer and do the hardest thing. Make a change.
And so I did. I reached out. I was willing to listen with an open heart to those who care about me. I did the hard thing.
Just as the sun set before me in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca just a few weeks back, so sets the sun on that chapter in my life. Today I begin a new chapter in my journey as both an artist, and as a soul learning the lessons of love. Let the story begin.