Resolution/Revolution

Here I am,  yet again returning to this blog after a long hiatus. After a stressful end of semester and holiday season, I find myself feeling restful and reflective and with an annoying head cold. I've faced a lot of personal challenges over the past two years, and I'm finally feeling like I'm in a place where I can focus on becoming the kind of person I want to be, instead of focusing my energy on not bursting into tears or flying into a rage. I've been treading water for too long, and am finally ready to move forward.

I'm setting my sights relatively low: setting goals that will hopefully make me more disciplined, while not feeling overly burdensome. My main focus will be on getting organized, practicing gratitude, practicing kindness, learning calligraphy, maintaining and expanding my reading practice, and, of course, pouring my efforts into my studio practice. This will take the form of starting a gratitude journal, trying to complete one small act of kindness everyday, spending one hour a day minimum in studio, filling out one calligraphy practice sheet a day, and keeping a bullet journal (without getting wrapped up in the fact it's not Pinterest pretty. . . .yet). I plan to read more art books, do more research, and read a broader range of works.

I want to make more and strive less. The work is in this interesting, yet delicate flux right now. The book making and the metalsmithing are starting to converge. The aesthetic is shifting, and I'm still trying to figure out what it's all about. Now that I'm back in the south, I'm surrounded by it, but I still can't quite articulate it. I intend to focus on the work, and not so much the results of the work: getting into publications, getting into shows, getting invitations to things. In other words, what feels like the "popularity contest" side of things. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't make work because I want people to like it, and therefore me, but to connect with the most authentic version of myself.

So that's the plan. Happy New Year.

 

Quote of the Week

"In every nook, I find little things that tell me about her. She was a noticer,. . . . , like me, for all the shelves are lined with shells, bird feathers, dried sea grasses, pebbles, eggshells, and the skeleton of something that might be a bat. They're just bits that were lying on the ground, that anyone else would step over or on, but she saw they were beautiful and brought them home."

~Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Back to Square One

So I did it again. I went months and months and months without blogging. Where I am today is so very very different from where I was then.

The time since my last post has been full of amazing experiences, incredible people and beautiful moments. It's also been full of sadness, loss, anger, and frustration. I had a job that sounded perfect on paper. I had a job I'm sure lots of people in my situation would kill to have. But in reality, it made me miserable. It affected me physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, for the second time in my adult life, I made a drastic change and left a situation that wasn't serving me. For the second time, I uprooted my life and moved to North Carolina.

I'm back in Greenville, back to a life that's very similar to the one I have before I moved to PA. I'm teaching at community college. I'm starting a life with my partner. I'm focusing on my studio practice and making everyday. I have two sweet brown dogs to lavish attention on. I have a small space in which to create. I have wonderful friends who were sad to see me go, but I also have wonderful friends who were glad to see me come home.

I no longer have a salary. I no longer have health insurance. In reality, my financial situation is a little touch and go. But I'm no longer waking up at 5 in the morning, teeming with anxiety. I no longer have a sense of dread set in Sunday afternoons, facing the prospect of another work week. 

My goal is to get back to blogging on amore regular basis. I've been in transition for nearly two years, and the work has also, but I'm finally starting to feel things coalesce. Check back to see where the coming months take me. As always, thanks for sticking with me, and thanks for reading.