Facing the proverbial fork in the road…..

23 05 2013

Weather: mid 50s & rainy. Unseasonably cool.

When I saw the date of the last post, I cringed. Best intentions to keep up with blogging, covered in dust and cobwebs. Funny how life gets in the way of other things.

The last few months have been filled with the usual roller coaster of ups and downs, and I would do most of them a disservice to merely recap them. Suffice it to say that I’m still not quite where I want to be, but after jumping through a few hoops and stubbornly chipping away at the usual obstacles, I’m at least on the path.

The husbeast and I decided that , faced with the painful realities of our financial situation, moving cross country is not in the cards for us. However, we are still adamant about moving out of our current home. So, compromise was to move into a condo/loft in Chicago and get some separate studio space to finally get our stained glass/mosaic art career going full bore.

Compromises. Life is full of them. Some of them are necessary. Some of them inevitable. Most of them are like eating your vegetables – you know you have to, but sometimes they’re hard to swallow.

Today is the 7th anniversary of my dad’s death. Sucks every year. I miss him so much. I’m sad that he was unable to see me succeed at my passions. I’m sad that he’s not here to go see superhero films with me. I know he would have loved The Avengers & the Dark Knight movies. I miss his humor, I miss his advice….mostly I miss his gentle ability to help me see the silver lining in any situation. Really could use that right now. But I know in my bones that all the things he taught me and shared with me have helped me get through some tough times. So in some sense, he’s always here. It will have to suffice.

Currently I’m trying to improve my art skills, though I have the insecurity that comes with the lack of art schooling that many of my peers have, and that makes for some difficult decision making.   I’ve been spending a lot of time, both in classes and open studio at the Chicago Mosaic School, learning with some of the foremost artists in this field. It’s humbling and exhilarating at the same time. I’m also highly aware of how much I need to still learn. Thankfully I have gentle teachers who support my meager attempts.  Always a good thing. Seeing my view widen and the opportunities multiply can only inspire me to try more paths and techniques. I love mosaics. Love the history and the methods and the unlimited ways my visions can be fleshed out. Art has actually turned into therapy for me, much in the way that writing has. My brain is overcrowded. It’s always a good thing to have multiple ways to bleed off some of the noise.

The only bad thing that has arisen that I’m still dealing with is the ever-addictive rabbithole that is the internet. It’s become far too easy to disconnect the brain and fill it with mindless hours, surfing social media and cycling through the refreshing until hours have passed and I’m bored to tears or guilty at the lost time. It’s entertainment, nothing more. I’m not researching anything or even getting inspired. The only thing the endless refreshing is doing is ruining my eyesight and numbing my brain. My focus is shot to hell and truth be told, all I’ve discovered is that people are unencumbered by empathy or courtesy. (Neither is an earth shattering revelation, but it can erode your soul after a while) .  So why blog today? After all this time? Because I’ve reached the point of internet saturation where I’m so bored of politics and fandom insanity that I can’t be arsed to go to my usual sites. I’m burnt out mentally.  Television is only moderately more entertaining. Now that my fave shows have hit summer hiatus,  maybe I can take a few months to focus on getting my  creative brain back up to speed. Don’t get me wrong. It has been in my power to do this at anytime. I freely admit to taking the easy path. The work doesn’t get done because I’m not doing it, plain and simple. No excuses.

As much as it grieves me to say this, it’s time to grow up a bit. I feel like it’s time for me to choose a path. I’m at that proverbial fork in the road. This one is more fractious than previous ones. No soft landing this time, no half-assing. It’s the art path or the easy entertainment path.  Keeping up has become more important than making things. And I honestly am angry at myself for that. Until I can find a way to balance the fun  with the work, I need to focus on becoming a doer rather than someone who simply, PASSIVELY lets the world go by. I need to get out of observer mode, become a participant again. Depression has not helped. Bad health has not helped. Being overly empathetic to everyone else’s issues has not helped. Truth be told, my life has gotten out of control. Time to grasp the reins again, because the alternative is to just let go of them, and give up on anything other than a pale imitation of life.

I prefer bold colors to pastels, so I think I’ll put down my mouse and pick up my paint brush, change the vista.

I’m unplugging for a while.  See if I can find out who I am now. Not who I was. Not who I want to be. WHO I AM.

ETA: Neil Gaiman posted a link to this from his Calendar of Tales project. Perfect encapsulation of my needy artist brain right now. Perfect motivation in under 2 minutes:

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