This time two weeks ago, I was very confused about the direction I was heading in professionally. Or maybe I was confused about the lack of direction? Either way, it was confusing.
I was waiting on a response from potential employers after a job interview… and responses from potential venues for my summer camp… and a response from my T-shirt supplier about where my bloody shirts were…and responses from a variety of fairs I had signed up for and, well, you get the idea. I was waiting on a lot of responses. And a lot of people were waiting on responses from me, which I couldn’t give them until I got responses from the people I was waiting on. I started to feel like I was part of a Three Stooges skit. A very frustrating and unfunny version of ‘Who’s on first?’.
That was two weeks ago.
I have now received most of my much anticipated responses, and I feel as if the effects of a particularly strong freeze ray are wearing off. I can finally make large decisions about my business and what I will do for the rest of this year. I can book venues, employ people, sign up for courses, order materials, and … I can smile again. A real smile, not a don’t look too closely at my eyes smile.
After getting incredibly close to a large lifestyle change which would pretty much affect every segment of my life (having someone else be my boss, commuting into DC every day, living with a less flexible schedule, and different vacation times from my kids), I realized how truly lucky I actually am. I had taken so much of my current job for granted.
For example, here are some pictures taken (mostly by my ten year old) of the newly renovated East wing of the National Gallery in DC. We visited it on Presidents Day, because I had the flexibility to take the day off, and go into DC with my kids. In fact, I do this often. I love doing stuff like this, it keeps me inspired, gets the kids involved with the Arts, and we get to spend so much time together.
I have been increasingly working on my own skills as a maker and artist. Painting on canvases, sketching, embroidery, printmaking (see pictures below). I have been squeezing these sessions into my days and evenings. Sure, running my own business means that I am never truly off duty, but I do have the flexibility to fit in what is dearest to my heart – making art. There are so many skills that I want to improve, and making art just keeps me ticking. I may not be exhibition ready, but I’ll definitely get there someday and it will be an interesting road.
The Lesson Learnt
Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you lose it, or in my case, almost lose it. I never realized just how many opportunities I have, how many projects waiting to be put into action, ideas waiting to be explored. The summer camps, the clothing line, my artwork, collaborative projects, developing my teaching skills. Now I just have to get more organized – easier said than done. If you run a business from home you will know that even with the best of intentions, it’s never easy to stay organized and motivated. There will be ups and downs, and vast, brooding periods of loneliness and self doubt. However, almost giving it all up has only made me more determined, and I’m ready for it all, whatever ‘it’ is.