What a way to end this year! I know I'm not speaking just for myself when I say "this year was rough!" For me, I lost my best friend to cancer, gave up my studio for lack of inspiration, dealt with a few new health issues, and dove back into therapy. I got raw and real with myself, emotionally and spiritually. But it wasn't all terrible.
Dealing with homelessness in the beginning of the year, I was relieved when the perfect home found me. It was like the Universe really listened to my needs, and produced THE PERFECT place to land! But then everything started to fall apart. Jim (my editor and best friend in the world) died the day after I moved in. My health issues began during this time. My energy level dropped to zero. I had no motivation to do anything. I spent a lot of time in bed. I watched Netflix and HBO, and Prime Videos. Thank God for cats, who snuggled with me the entire time.
I found "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. The book was suggested to me by a close friend, and I just happened to have it in my bookcase. I committed myself to the 12-week course. And like everything I do, I jumped right in and gave it my all. I read, and put all of my effort into doing The Artist's Way every day. It was all I had the energy to do. Dragging out my journal and writing every morning, going for daily walks, and participating in my weekly Artist's Dates, were the best things I could have done for myself. And sure enough, things started to slowly change. My style organically materialized. I now have a place to put my NFT art. See, I was making NFT's before I knew they were a thing. I'm not going to stop making them, so I won't stop uploading them on OpenSea to share with the world. And what a world the NFT Community is! Supportive, collaborative, grateful AF, open and experimental. The Universe cracked wide open right in front of my face. To say The Artist's way was life-changing is a huge understatement. It was like a 12-step program for artists, on turbo-charge!
A couple trips to Bisbee lifted my spirits. I love it there just as much as I love Jerome. It probably says a lot about a person when they go on vacation to a place that is almost exactly like where they live. But hey, that's me. A week on the coast of Oregon in July with my mom was just what the doctor ordered. It felt like home, New England - cold, damp, and windy. Walks through quaint little towns, lots of time on the beach, and even more time painting, were all good for my soul. But the best part was just being with Mom, and eating, and resting. A trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, with Steven was fun. I really loved Lincoln. We spent time walking around the city. I took tons of photos. The art community there really blew my mind, it wasn't what I expected it to be.
Summer ended and I was called back to work at the local community college doing one of the things I love - modeling for art classes. Life got busy again, and I was on a regular schedule. Routine is sometimes good for me. But life is constantly changing. My beloved art-car broke down. It is still being worked on as of the date of this blog, but I'm sure when it returns to me it'll be running like it was when I first got it. In the meantime, my survival skills and resourcefulness kicked in. I started Life Drawing at my former studio with a small group of artists again. I'm grateful for the studio's owner, who has a thriving business. Life Lesson: Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Letting Go was my theme this year. And I'm proud to say, I did it splendidly. (Yeah, right! Who am I kidding? Meltdown, crying, depression, anxiety, etc.)
I let go of my fear of death. I let go of a studio that I was no longer using. I let go of expectations and control. I learned to trust my instincts. I even got married. Steven and I live a quiet, unassuming artists' life together.
And although these past couple of months have been particularly challenging, a look back at 2021 and all that has happened, and all the changes that have happened inside me, I'm feeling pretty bulletproof right now. Let's face it, these past two years have been tough. But I'm still here. I may take long breaks from social media, and hibernate on the side of a mountain. But I'm still around. Looking forward to the future, I see an encouraging 2022 ahead. I'm purging the old, clearing out the stagnant energy, rearranging furniture, and readjusting my Altar. The darkness of winter is like an incubation period, at least in my life. Things are brewing, ideas are manifesting, and my life is in for a huge transformation. Look out, world!
In the meantime, check out this article by Shoutout Arizona Magazine. I was surprised to see it this morning.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I know I wouldn't be where I am now without you. Seriously, you all mean more to me than you know. When I'm ready to break out of this shell, I hope to see you all again!
Thanks for reading.