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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

I quit my day job.

I couple days ago I thought this post would be of a different flavor. I thought I would be screaming from the rooftops, “I QUIT!” I thought I would be jumping for joy. I thought I would be writing a post about how I never wanted to go “back to school” again. But instead I feel melancholy.

816 for 5 years

In reality, I couldn’t say the words “I’m leaving” without tears. It was harder than I though it would be. When it comes down to actually saying goodbye, I’m always just a pile of mush. It doesn’t matter how ready I am to leave and move on.

Thinking about all this, it hit me…in my conscious exsistence I have NEVER not gone “back to school.” Never. I went from school, to undergrad, to masters, to teaching. I don’t know what a year is without a school year governing it. And no matter how much I have been looking forward to this, it is strange and scary. Like being cut loose without a map.

the daily walk to my room

Clearing out my classroom was hard. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I kept looking through the same cabinets making sure I had everything. I had all my stuff. I left memories, moments, growing up, pieces of my life, and attachments to the place left behind. I loved my classroom. A room of my own. Always messy with creative projects and piles of undone grading. Always loud with shouting and laughing. Always full of questions and frustrations. Sometimes a retreat. Sometimes a mosh pit.

And I liked the routine. It was boring and I did get tired of teaching the same things five times a day for five years, but there is something to be said for blocks of time, deadlines, and structure. I got used to it and found creativity within it. Now I need to create that for myself.

empty

Okay! Enough moping! I just bought tickets to go to Europe for two months! I am excited to be starting something totally new and totally based on my passions. I am still searching for a routine that will make this all work, but it will come. I know it will.

Looking forward. What will I now be doing?

Painting and running Seek Your Course. I got an artist residency in Spain for a month. So along with backpacking through Europe with Ben I will be in Europe for two months this fall. It is going to be an amazing journey. And I will blog about every bit.

I have 8 days left to raise the rest of my funds for my residency. I am confident I will get there.

Celebrating with delish vegetables: Vegetable and Goat Cheese Chimichangas and Matt Bittman's Creamy Fried Tofu with dipping sauce and asian stir fried vegis!

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It has started to rain as I am writing this post. It made me think. What if I could control the weather, orchestrating it like music? What if weather was another art form? Bring in some soft rain for a nice meditative moment and then the clouds break into brilliant sun and humming insects to energize the moment. And then maybe a soft mist rises with the setting sun for the end of the perfect day.

I suppose the weather actually has its own symphony playing and I should take notice more. Today started blue and beautiful then slowly grayed and brought us now a gentle rain to sooth and cool air to force us to cuddle and bundle up. A cozy evening setting.

20110803-063640.jpg

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The Entirety

Finally today I began to feel the entirety of what I have been doing for the last seven months (or is it the last 10 years?). Launching a website/business, finishing the school year, three art conferences, putting myself out there, getting into my residency, 60% backed on Kickstarter, traveling and more traveling, life decisions, great successes, and a “to do” list that wants to eat me for dinner!

All day I have teetered between crying happy tears, shouting for joy and panicing.

To fight the panic I need to let go a little. But I feel so guilty about the emails that have piled up. And the weeds are taking over the gardens. The studio is a disaster. Seek Your Course is always evolving. I am about to embark on my third trip into downtown today. But most of all, I don’t know what day it is or what time it is and whenever I sit down to do something I can’t remember what I was going to do and end up going around in circles. Around and around and around.

Last night I just watched Glee. Like 5 episodes I think. I feel like I could sit and watch the whole freakin’ season. Still catching up.

I am trying to make realistic lists. I am trying to set little goals. But even “charge phone” has proven difficult. I go upstairs to plug it in and remember the charger is still in my bag. Go downstairs and forget what I am doing down there. Come back upstairs and remember. Go downstairs and search two bags before getting to the third and last one and find the charger. Figure I might as well unpack some other things while there. Go upstairs with full hands. Put away various items. Realize that I have a charger in my hand for a reason. Plug in phone.

I’m not sure why today. But today was the day I felt it all.

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I scored big yesterday with the ever-wonderful Southwest airlines. I volunteered to be bumped in order to get a $520 voucher for a future flight. I stayed at a Hilton in Chicago because getting bumped involved getting re-routed through there and put up in a hotel for the night. Totally worth the voucher, mainly because it makes going to Artfest 2012 way more possible. Score!

Unfortunately now Chicago is getting hit with a thunderstorm and I am delayed going home. Blah.

I was looking forward to seeing the sunset on my flight last night. I always love watching the sky turn colors from the plane window. Turns out we ended up being IN the sunset. The misty white clouds around the plane slowly turned pink like they were on fire.

It always strikes me how unnatural flying is for humans. My body protests. Nausea threatens. And yet watching creation sing the song it sings everyday from that perspective always puts me in awe of this earth.

Seeing the earth day-after-day turn and grow without any help sparks in me resolve to live out my life following my path wherever it takes me knowing there is a plan, just like the sun, land and clouds do without conscious thought. The earth doesn’t have a debate with itself about whether it feels like doing the right thing and doesn’t think it might not be good enough to do what it is meant to do. The earth just sings and is so darn beautiful.

This trip has been wonderful and also very important for me. I feel stronger, more confident, more convinced that I am going in the right direction. And it feels so good to feel so happy and confident. I know hard times will come again, but I am in the right place and I know I will find the strength when I need it in the future too.

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up on a mountain in breckenridge

The last four days with Kristin and Nathanael in Denver have been really fun. For family, we really don’t see them enough so it was especially nice to have them show me around their stomping grounds.

breckenridge and hanging with Ali DeJohn

Friday Kristin and I went to Breckenridge to meet up with Ali DeJohn and see the area there. We had coffee with the creator of The Makerie along the river that runs through the town. Ali and I quickly realized that we had actually met before at Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire in 2009. It was really nice to catch up and talk about the respective ventures we have launched since we last saw each other: her retreat, The Makerie and my website, Seek Your Course. I always find it inspirational and refreshing to swap notes and thoughts about the arts world with fellow entrepreneurs in this small but growing industry.

After seeing Ali we decided to check out the town, including the gondola that goes up to a bunch of fun attractions. Unfortunately we just went and went without our sunscreen, water, or food. So of course we are both pretty sunburned and spent more money on mediocre resort food than I care to admit. But we had the best time.

kristin!

Once up there we bought lift tickets to go up to around 1200′ and then decided to hike a little higher even. The view was stunning. I felt like I should have been singing Sound of Music or something…and my altitude sickness had gone away thankfully. It was just the best.

escapades on the mountain

the amazing part: we hiked the super steep dirt road in skirts and these! we're tough like that.

Once back in Denver we met up with Amy Blum of Live It To The Full for a drink. Thankfully I realized while in Colorado that she lived in Denver. So nice to actually meet her after talking over email about Seek Your Course. Live It To The Full has been listing their ecourses on Seek Your Course and I am thrilled to have them enthusiastically involved.

Colorado is drier and flater than I expected. This raises the debate in my head about which would make me happier: lush green with lots of rain or dry dust with lots of sun? I really loved the variation and combination of Oregon…the intense green of the coastal area and the dry high desert, so close together. When I traveled to Oregon I didn’t realize it was an exporter for nursery and landscaping plants. I did know it was a big fruit-growing area and driving through fields of fruit trees and wineries was blissful. I guess the secret is kind of out: I am in love with Oregon. And frozen yogurt, btw.

frozen yogurt...mine with fruit and kristin's with candy. good times.

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Most of my friends are having babies. Two in the last month. I have been surrounded by birthing stories, sleep-deprived women, cute little lives, and much joy along with a good dose of anxiety.

 

 

In no way do I wish to diminish their labor, struggles, and sleep-deprived zombie-like states, but I do kind of feel like I have slipped sideways into a similar postpartum alternate universe. I am beyond ecstatic to have Seek Your Course launched and looking so beautiful. I am so tired I could cry. I am overwhelmed by what is still left to do, although it is mostly stuff only I notice. I am filled with so much gratitude for all who believed in the project, sent encouraging notes, mentored me, jumped in with me, and submitted stuff in the last month. I feel all this all at the same time.

 

 

Well, I will send out an announcement. I will get more posts on the blog. I will approve all the listing that came in yesterday. For now I think I need to go get a pastry in town. Or maybe I just need to shed some happy tears. Not really sure.

 

This just seems to be a common theme with my friends and I right now. Birthing mayhem.

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1985

I spent the better part of Saturday with my mom looking through old photographs for Unraveling. I was struck by all the smiles. I guess life was good as a baby. Sometimes I wonder what happened to me. Where did the smiles go? I guess I would be more concerned if I never smiled as a baby.

Heights 1986 & 1987

I love these photos! I’ve always loved heights. It’s not that they don’t freak me out, I just love the feeling. My favorite thing to do when up high is to spread my arms out and pretend I am flying. Even as an adult I do this. I feel like I need to do it in order to be true to the spirited playful child inside (although I do make sure not many people are watching). I am not a thrill seeker…too practical for that extreme stuff. I just wish I could fly high above everything else.

I must tell you the story about the photo on the left. We were moving from Ipswich, Massachusetts so my dad was taking me around the property photographing me at various spots. And he decided that the roof of the garage would be one of those spots. So he got a small step ladder and sat me up there for this priceless shot. Me scared? Nope. Smiling and waving!

My husband, Ben, and I now live just below some beautiful cliffs. I love sitting with my legs dangling over the edge, petting the dogs and watching the cars and birds below. This gives Ben a heart attack, so its what the dogs and I do when we’re alone.

1985 - 10 months

Photos are powerful things. I am repeatedly struck by the connections to who I am now. My love of hammocks cultivated at a young age. Being up high and swinging on swings to mimic flying. My desire for beautifully crafted parties. The deeply personal connection I feel to my relatives who have passed on. My love of flowers and beaches. Curiosity and adventure. It all makes a little more sense with a look at snapshots of my past.

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