About one year ago I was blessed two times over with a job opportunity and a marriage proposal from the man I love. Doors were opening left and right and my life was about abundance. I felt so empowered and charged with this feeling of innate responsibility and purpose. Moments like that are rare and wonderful, so I did my best to savor it, take it in, and let it slowly move from opportunity to practice.
The professional change was scary and empowering. I place a LOT of responsibility upon myself to do well and I felt called to help my community, which is why I decided to take the job. In the interview, all parties were well aware of my creative endeavors and need for expression. They asked me how I would navigate that need and interest while also dedicating the time I need to my new position. I shrugged it off and admitted it was a concern but that I knew once I developed a routine and established myself in the position I would find it easier to make time for my creativity. At home, I shared fears with loved ones about finding that balance but that I was determined to realize it.
It’s now present day and somehow I am blessed yet again with that feeling of abundance. I have worked my @ss off at my new job and I believe have helped move the community to positive change and a slightly new direction. And yet again, opportunity has knocked on my door. And as quickly as I have accepted this new role, I have also left it behind.
This entire year I have struggled and fought to make time for my art. It has been exhausting, emotionally and physically, to make time for my art. And yes, I have done so. I have continued blogging, writing, painting and drawing and taking photographs. Despite this drive and commitment to keep this integrated, I knew I was placing all of this on a shelf for a time-out, for a small hiatus, as I worked in this new professional setting because I only have so much time and energy in my day. And despite knowing this, and still making art, I have felt spiritually void. Art was so much a priority and focus in my previous role that it naturally integrated into my everyday, in a way it does not in my current role.
Do you ever feel like life throws you curve balls that are actually blessings? Come the end of July, I will be completing my job in this new role and taking a year off. A year off! I have never imagined doing so in my entire life. I’ve been in an education system either as a student or teacher/administrator since I started preschool at the age of 4. And beginning in August, I will have no bells, no timetables, no classrooms, and no one to hold me accountable for how I use my time (my then husband might beg to differ!). And not only that I will be moving countries to Oman: a beautiful, friendly country that I can’t wait to further explore; my camera is ready!
You can expect some big changes in the coming months to Artist Strong. I plan to write more and post more, I plan to redesign my site, and I plan to reflect on the transition to full time artist/writer and the journey that entails. How will I manage my time and navigate goals? I was just reading a great blog post by Patrick Ross that speaks to how once people leave structure of environments such as a masters program it becomes difficult for some to create. The openness and freedom that many hope for becomes stifling with no external deadlines and accountability. I hope you, my readers, will become my accountability and my venue to celebrate the trials and opportunities of becoming a full time artist.
Artist Strong Action: Are you ready for change? Are you willing to embrace the change as opportunity in your life?