I've been trying to figure out how to write this post for quite awhile now. Nearly 2 weeks ago, I backed out of the business partnership. This past Monday it was made official. And, as of today, I have also moved out of that big, beautiful studio space that I only recently moved into.
There is a part of me that wants to scream, WTF(?!?!) into the bright blue sky. There is a part of me that wants to explain everything. But it's not worth it. Nor would it be respectful, since all of this involves another person.
At first, there was a part of me that felt like the Universe had just played some kind of sick joke on me. I have dreamed of a space like this for as long as I can remember. For two months, I put my heart and soul into getting the space ready and into all the plans that it included. Then I enjoyed it for barely 2 weeks. There is a part of me that is incredibly mad at myself for investing so much time, planning, labor, and dreams into something that was never meant to be.
There is another part of me that feels grateful that the Universe saved me from getting deeper into something that could have become much messier down the road.
There was a part of me that thought I needed that space in order to grow. There is another part of me that realizes that, because of that space and the experiences attached to it, I have already grown. Having a big, fancy, "proper" studio space does not make me more of an artist. It does not guarantee success. It does not make me a better person.
There is a part of me that feels stupid and embarrassed for getting into this situation in the first place. There is another part of me that is grateful for what this experience is teaching me.
Lesson #1: Always listen to your gut. Oh, how cliche! But it's funny how your gut always knows...usually waaaay before you're willing to admit it to yourself.
Lesson #2: I am capable of much more than I was giving myself credit for. I hate to admit that there was a part of me that went into partnership because I lacked enough self-confidence to believe that I could be successful on my own.
Lesson #3: Negativity, holding grudges, playing the victim, and moving through life with a chip on your shoulder will get you no where. I would prefer to move forward with an attitude of open-heartedness, joy, and love. That is, after all, what the core of my work as an artist is all about. You know the saying: "Energy flows where attention goes"? Well, I want my energy to go in positive directions. That means only one thing: that I must allow myself to let go, let go, let go, let go.... this has become my chant.
I couldn't agree with Olivia more when she writes, "it is really exciting for me to read about and see women courageous enough to make so-called "mistakes" and then just keep right on going. Let's face it, lots of people share their successes, which are indeed inspiring. But to share your mistakes and then to work to turn them into something that does fit in a beautiful way---that's even more inspiring to me." I can't thank Olivia enough for those words. I read them at just the right time.
A few nights ago, I went downstairs to paint, but was instead drawn to the journal I got in celebration of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. There was a photo of my studio laying on my workbench. Impulsively, I glued it to the page. Then I wrote the words: "Goodbye beautiful Studio. You were never mine. Be well." This made me sad. I knew that no matter how many years might pass, if I opened up the journal to that page, I would probably feel a sharp pang of loss. The journal is still relatively new and I hated to put something in it that would make me feel so bad. And so I kept adding. I added an image of a road, a window, wildly blooming flowers, a butterfly, and words that speak to this journey.
By the time I was done, I felt transformed. Oh, the healing power of art. It will never cease to amaze me. Flipping through the pages of a magazine I saw the words "Leap of Faith." It was for an article about sky diving. The words felt good. I mean really good. They felt like the next chapter of my life and so I pasted it at the top of the next page.
This is the place where I begin again.
One of the best things to come out of an otherwise shitty situation is that is has given me an opportunity to reassess and get clear about my goals. This is an opportunity to stop and listen to the whispers of my heart. I'm learning that there's something to be said for the unexpected gifts that flexibility can bring.
What it boils down to is this: I made a mistake. I made a very big mistake--one that I am tempted to regret. And yet, I don't want to regret this.
Today I am letting go of what wasn't working. I am letting go of a vision that wants to take a different path. I am letting go in order to let something better in.
Even though I only worked in that studio space for a couple weeks, I enjoyed it beyond measure. It made me want to dance and sing. It showed me that anything is possible. My friendship and brief partnership was a nudge that helped me to learn how to dream bigger. I have a feeling that the space and the dreams that it held will always hold a profoundly important place in my heart.
But today is the next stage of the journey. Today I am starting over. Today I am grateful for what was because it is leading me to what is next. Upon waking this morning, my life looked like this: