When is it giving up after only one try?
When is it finding the truer path?
When is it growing and evolving and when is it running away?
When is it a revelation and when is it hiding behind an excuse?
And how on earth am I supposed to tell the difference?
Because where I am doesn’t feel right. And continuing down this same path with a do-over doesn’t feel right either. That’s not gonna fix it. Have I been procrastinating for the last 6 months? Have I been hiding, scared because it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to be the first time? Because my feelings were hurt? Because my ego was bruised? Or was that my subconscious saying this is not the right path for you in this moment? That it is no longer a good fit. It is no longer the dream.
I’ve wanted this dream ever since I became a grown up.
And when I got there, it was such a milestone.
For 5 minutes.
It had been such a hard road to travel, rather than the glorious soul fulfilling adventure I had wanted it to be. So it wasn’t a euphoric crossing over into the creative life I had imagined. Why? Because the trip to get there was so hard? Because the dream was so old? Because it was the only image I could see that represented something bigger? While the dream is still as burning as ever, how I imagine it isn’t.
I can see my dream house. The bedroom with the bed that’s up extra high so I have to climb into it. The dream bathroom with a picture window over the bath looking out over acreage and a podium that holds 1,000 fluttering candles. The oversized chair I saw 10 years ago that cost $3000 – yes, just for a chair, that I’m curled up watching DVD’s on a rainy Saturday. The seafood platter I eat on the timber deck as I watch the sun set with no thought of what tomorrow will bring. The art room has it’s own sink for washing out brushes so I don’t have to walk all the way to the laundry every 5 minutes. It has it’s own private reading nook for reading art magazines and books.
And there is the office. Oh, the office. With a store room that is the ‘shop space’. But the shop space has never had stamps in it. Not once in the million times I’ve pictured it. I know I’m packing something because there is a gorgeous little wrapping station and a ‘way’ it gets packaged because I’m a little OCD. But… no stamps.
What does this mean? And why didn’t I notice this before?
Like, before I went down this seemingly wrong path for 2 years. Before the ugly, snotty tears and the devastating anger and the money. Ouch with the money. The guilt that comes with that money. The exaggeration of failure because of the money.
My last visit to Jane Davenport’s house was such a revelation. Secret stories of finding your own path in art. Of licensing and classes and teaching and selling. And that feels like where I want to dive in. Her advice on how to get better at drawing really resonated with me and has become a new obsession. I’m even feeling patient about the learning curve (for the moment anyway, I am the Queen of Impatience after all, so that could change at any minute). I’m not following her online classes religiously whenever I have art time. I’m experimenting in my Journal I Can’t Tear The Pages Out Of. And I’m just playing and figuring out how to draw. Scrappy, scratchy sketches crowding the page in a huge $2 sketchbook. Where it doesn’t matter if it looks silly or doesn’t work. Where I’m not trying to do Somerset Studio worthy artwork ever time. Where I don’t judge it harshly as not being good enough. Not being perfect.
And that feels right. It feels like a long road from where I am now but it’s the right road to walk down. It feels like that’s where the kindred hearts are. Where the joy is. Where the “this is where I’m supposed to be” is. Where there are other paths to discover, places I am meant to go, things I am meant to see, people I am meant to meet. I feel pulled in the most glorious way in that direction.
But it means abandoning the path I am on now. The rocky, bumpy path I’ve been on. Abandoning the dream that has ached so badly inside me for 14 years. But… the same way my beloved New Kids On The Block videos are no longer on permanant rotation like they were in high school, I still love dancing in my lounge room. The part that brings joy, is still there. It just looks different to what it did at 16.
PS. I still have the New Kids On The Block sheets that I never slept on because they were too special to go on the bed. I did wave one pillow case at a concert once. I just can’t bring myself to throw them away.