I'm sure I'm not alone, but I love new starts. Blank sketchbooks that crack when you first open them, clean work surfaces, brushes with perfect points; all are filled with endless possibilities. This past year was not my best, I've been juggling quite a bit between family, a day job, a weekend pt one, along with the artwork; a few of those balls I had been juggling for so long were dropping. I was perpetually tired, continuously sick, and after walking away unscathed from my totalled car after a truck ran a red light I was left feeling a bit defeated. Mostly I just felt lost.
I've been making new work, adding new clients, working on new projects but I was missing a concrete goal. I found myself going to my email to find out what was needed next, chasing submission requests and deadlines. My days were becoming reactionary and I had trouble creating my own plan weather that related to lack of time or fear of spending that time on "not the right things" I'm not sure I can say. In the past, that was never something that concerned me, I have a thousand ideas and I'd just pick the next one. The truth is, there was something very nice about not knowing how big the licensing world was. I worked really hard at a contained idea--create a portfolio and launch my business at Surtex. It wasn't exactly easy, but there were no distractions either, it was a "let's see what happens" kind of scenario and it exceeded my wildest dreams.
After seeing first hand what intentional goal setting could do all I wanted to do is find my next "it", my next target, that magic thing that makes you know without a shadow of a doubt what you are to do. I've been searching all year, longer actually and I can't say I have it, but I've also decided that's okay. I'm trying to cut myself a bit of slack and get back to basics. I've been pretty much off of social media for the past months, taking some space from my phone, turning in at 11-12 rather than 2-3, using Saturdays to watch my daughter's gymnastics practice rather than leave to squeeze in a few hours of work. Its been a nice hiatus, a time to rest and reset and now I'm excited to begin this new year.
I was told that 2013 was about exceptance and we are moving into a year of compassion. I feel like I'm ready to do exactly that, except that last year wasn't all I'd hoped it would be but take the lessons I learned and bring them into the new year to allow for a bit breathing room. For a long time I thought if I just gave everything I possibly had into this career change that it would happen faster somehow. It was still the right move but it will also take time, this is an industry which favors marathon runners over sprinters.
I've got my fresh new calendar cracked open and it is already filling up with fresh new dates and projects. Is there really anything better than pen on blank pages? Each entry is a small goal or promise to myself to show up, interact, reconnect, submit, and create. I might still not know exactly where I am going with this all but there is immense power in the idea that even the smallest of steps still are moving me forward. Here's to a wonderful new year filled with wonderful new possibilities for us all.