I didn’t imagine that this is where I would be at 43 years old. Not that I had anything in particular in mind….but this….this is definitely not it.
And it’s not so much the place (physical or societal locale), but more the emotional spot I didn’t think I’d be in. I imagined it more stable, really. And I’m not implying I’m not emotionally stable. I am. It’s the moving and the constant nagging pressure to reinvent myself.
I was fine for quite some time. I had an identity that I liked: Horse-Trainer’s Wife. It suite me well. Long days, but it didn’t feel like work for a very long time. Until I started to feel like an employee and not a wife. That’s when it just didn’t go well. I probably didn’t handle it as well as I could have. But that’s part of life, learning what you didn’t do quite right and trying again next time. I left. And I didn’t expect the loss of identity to happen. But it did. And it was awful. I was never me to begin with; my identity relied on being someone’s something. I did a little art between the leaving and the moving on. I was actually kind of getting somewhere with my work in Ohio. But a “dream job” beckoned in Texas, an opportunity I knew would never present itself again. So I moved to Texas to chase a dream job, because, why not. I was trying to find “me” anyway. I loved that job with my whole heart. And I was good at it. I would have worked there until I died. I actually told my boss as soon as I was debt free, he could cut my salary back. I just loved the work. But for reasons I will never understand, I was let go. Again, I had made the same mistake I had before: my identity was too tied up in what I was to something else (this time, a job).
So now we come to one year ago, looking for work, selling all of my crap, and working on a horse farm to make it through. Six months later, I finally found work in the horse industry (I wasn’t looking there, I would take pretty much anything with a decent check). But it meant another move. This time, to Amarillo, Texas. Now Amarillo isn’t just Texas. It’s the Panhandle. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The weather is very Ohio like; there are seasons and winter days where it’s negative 14. BUT the sun shines. A LOT. And it’s nice. Ohio doesn’t do that. It’s just grey and miserable. ALL OF THE TIME.
But I digress. (This entire post is one giant digression, as I’m not a writer. I’m a rambler).
Anyway. New job. New town. No friends. That last part kind of sucks. I’ve been here damn near 6 months and nobody. Nice people here, but no buddies. But this is important. Because it has forced me to actually be OK with me. Just me. All by myself. And OK with it. My job is “meh”. It’s fine. My co-workers are amazing. The work…..the work is boring. I was used to working my rear off. But there’s a perk to this, and it’s important. My job doesn’t define me. The best of me is actually saved for me. It doesn’t go into my day job. The best of me is actually available in the evenings, when I’m most apt to create art. Which is….amazing. I finally now get to the point of this rambling post….starting again. I graduated college with an art degree and wanted to paint. And here I sit, 21 years later, not as a full time artist (yet??) but as someone who has time and energy to produce work. And they are selling.
I am currently at a point where I’m trying to diversify my skill set again. So perhaps I can have even fewer “day job” hours doing something and more time to work. A huge part of me wants to sell off all non-essentials and just go for it….try to be an artists full time, and see what happens. I’ve been told to do this, you have to reject societal norms. I’m not sure I buy into this. At first, I did. But I’m not so certain. And I’m really not sure I care……
That option is still out there. If life continues in the current pattern of trying to kick me out of society, I might just drop out and give it a whirl. Because, why not?