Shifting

Things have been slowly shifting for me as we come into the end of the year. I have a long term costuming gig lined up for the spring so the clock is ticking on my doing bridal alterations full-time, and this gig will open up more short-term freelance work in the future, and I am in talks for a design contract potentially at the start of the year… not what I envisioned originally but both will give me some flexibility in time with the family and hopefully set me up so I won’t have to work quite so hard the rest of the year so I can focus on my other creative projects. And both projects excite me and will be a challenge, something my brain really needs.

In the meantime, I have set some fairly audacious goals for the work I do here over the next couple of years. If our civilization doesn’t collapse in the meantime that is. Though I suppose I can always sing songs while fashioning clothing out of whatever is laying around and write and paint on decaying buildings with homemade pigments. It certainly is an interesting time to be alive, isn’t it?

The point is that life will open up possibilities for you, and you should follow them when you can. Nothing ever happens just as you imagine and it never comes as fast as I personally would like it to, but it unfolds in its own time and its own way, and there is a beauty in that.

Life Changes Yet Again

I apologize for not posting for a long time. This past project I was involved on was brutal, and I wound up working myself sick, the project had to be completed without me, and it cost the organization extra money to do so because I wasn’t there to see it through. And yesterday, I was “let go”. Mistakes were made by everyone, myself included, but I was the most expendable one and I suspect that sacrificing me is an effort to protect themselves. So be it. I was overworked anyway, with no time for self-care or for working on creative projects that felt more important to me, and it took so much time away from my children. And the organization has shifted to being very different from what it was six months ago, and a “dream job” soured fast.

So, lesson learned. Sometimes you can’t do it all. I’ve grown a lot through the work I’ve done there, I’ve gained so much confidence, tested my strength (both physical and of character) time and again, and when I finally broke, I’ve had so much support from my family, both blood and soul. The amount of love I am receiving and am giving back to others right now is incredible.

I am going to take some time, focus on healing and on my relationships, and then I’ll start creating again. I’ll have a lot more time to devote to projects that I do under this name going forward, as the baby will allow me, and I think I’m going to promote my freelance custom work under my specialty more. I have been granted a gift of time that I didn’t expect to have, and I will make the most of it.

We Have a House!

Yesterday, on St. Patrick’s Day, we closed on our house finally.

Here is a picture of it! It’s in a village outside the city we’re currently living, right on the edge so we miss out on a lot of the traffic but close enough to walk to everything, which is great because we’ve been a one car household since we moved to SoCal in 2005 and I would love to keep it that way for at least another year or two.

house

Fortunately, we aren’t on any time crunch to get out of our current living situation, so we’re going to take our time fixing it up a little, painting some of the walls (the living and dining room are this awful chocolate brown and what will be my son’s room is a dark orange), get our stuff out of various family members’ storage with a rental truck, and hopefully do the big move with movers mid-April.

I am both excited and dreading the move. Excited because this will be our home for a good number of years and I can finally do things that I’ve been wanting to do forever (gardening and composting! have a real work space set up! decorate like an adult and no more tacks in the walls! cook and entertain again! pick out adult furniture!) but acknowledging that it’s going to be months until we’re truly settled in and that by the time we are, kiddo #2 will be making an appearance thus causing more life adjustment, and that it will probably be 4-5 years until we have the time and money to make things “just so”. Also, my personal creative work will be even more sporadic with new house and new baby for at least the next two years. All happy things, to be sure, and thankfully my day job is a very creative and fulfilling one (and also letting me bring the baby for at least the first several ¬†months, so that’s such a relief in my mind), but I still have that inner artist-child going “but…but…but…”, and all I can do is tell it that I will nurture it where I can but we’ve been through this upheaval before and it’s definitely worth it.

Anyway, I’m in my happy planning stages right now. I’ve got a slew of paint chips to take with me when we go out later today to start cleaning, I’ll bring a notebook and go room by room to list ideas and maybe even bring graph paper to sketch out the room dimensions so I can play with furniture arrangement before we get the movers in. Then it’s deciding which projects we’re going to tackle in the next couple of weeks and which ones we’ll spread out over the next months. Because I’m the type, I’m also going to be researching all of the things you’re supposed to do as homeowners each season and make sure we schedule them and developing a plan with my husband to keep this big ol’ 1880s house in good shape.

I guess you should expect the same kind of sporadic updates I’ve been doing for a while. Hopefully I still keep some of you around!

Let Yourself “Be”

I’m tired… the kind of tired that comes from working hard physically and mentally, that comes from carving out time to hike and play outside, that leaves you collapsing into bed at night and sleeping so soundly that nothing can disturb that rest. I’m tired, and I’m happy in the exhaustion. I’ve got so much going on at work and in life right now that my head is spinning, but I’m enjoying the dizziness for the moment.

But I almost self-sabotaged. Not six hours after finding out the details of my new position (as well as my new official salary and benefits), I had this horrible fear suddenly grip me. That I wasn’t going to thrive, that instead it would become an abusive situation of giving more than I felt capable of giving, of having too many expectations thrust on me, of not being able to maintain any semblance of a work-life balance. This was going on while I simultaneously was experiencing deep inner spiritual/creative growing pains that shook me to my core and had growing pressure put on me regarding certain “big decisions” that have to be made. And I started feeling trapped by it all, like a big cage was descending over me that would bind me and hold me against my will.

It was a difficult week adjusting to everything. I asked myself “why can’t I just let myself be happy?” I had to dive deep and experience the fear and the pain, and then I let it go. And I found that I could let myself be happy. I can find joy in my life, in my work, in the path I tread. But I wouldn’t have been able to maybe if I hadn’t had everything rising up at once.

Life is of course not perfect. I do miss my son horribly working these long hours, but the way he greets me as I walk through the door every day and the way he holds me so tight as we cuddle is worth everything to me. And there is still some things that need working out in the realm of inner growth, a lacking that could fill me with despair if I dwelled on it. But I’m so busy right now that I can’t worry at it, which is a blessing at this point I think. I was ever one to worry ahead of time, and this is not something that will be rushed. So for now it is just a single black drop in my crystal-clear waters that I am mindful of, and, if anything, it only helps me see how fortunate I am in every other area. Which maybe is the point for the frustration right now.

Anyway, life is good. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time because I am allowing myself to “be”. I’m experiencing each emotion as it arises and then releasing it, and I’m finding joy in both the small and large moments in my life. After feeling a week of being trapped, I feel freer than I have in a long, long time.

The Meandering Path

Everything is opening up for me in rather wonderful ways right now, but they also bring BIG CHANGES, so there’s that to contend with. Jobwise, I have my meeting tomorrow to go over what exactly my new duties are when I shift to the new official position July 1st, I have a wonderful intern that I’ve acquired for the summer, a part-time employee I’ve acquired for the year, and they may have found me a full-time person to work under me, which is amazing. It means that we can do even better projects, I can hopefully stop pulling those 65-75 hour weeks that I occasionally have to do, and I have a chance to do great work in the other areas that they want me to work towards. But it also means that I’m an official “boss”, which is strange. Lifewise, we’re meeting with a mortgage broker next week to see where we’re at, and, strangely enough, an acquaintance just posted a rather lovely home up for sale. Not sure if life intends that direction for us, but we’ll find out next week. And creatively and spiritually, things have been opening and progressing nicely too. I don’t talk too much about that side of my life, because certain areas I like to keep private, but you will see the fruits of my labors spilling out here.

Life has not followed the path that I thought it would in the least, but that’s okay. We’re placed where we’re meant to be to allow us to grow the most, I think, and that is what I will continue to do.