I am just getting started
It is 7:15AM the day of my LA Queens Art Show. I went to bed at 2AM after going out with my daughter to explore the LA nightlife. But I am not tired. My heart is beating with a feeling of hope for the future. I brought all my art in luggage on the plane, but I haven’t opened the suitcases since I arrived here on Wednesday to see if anything got damaged. I haven’t done that because if something did get damaged there is nothing I can do about it and it would just make me stressed. I will open the luggage today at 12:30 when I set up at the venue. I will see then the state of my art but I will only have an hour to set up so I won’t have time to worry about it.
In thinking about my show today, I want things to go ‘well’. But what does going ‘well’ really mean? It is an art show, so I hope that the women that are coming like my art. But I approach someone purchasing my art with curiosity. I never really think of selling it. In fact, trying to come up with a price for a piece of my art is very hard for me. I want people to experience my art more than buy it. And I would never want them to buy it if they truly didn’t love it. Every piece I paint means so much to me, and every piece has my hope, my joy and my love in it.
I have been a dreamer my whole life. When I was a small child I invented imaginary friends that lived in the clouds to keep me company, and when I got older my imaginary friends came to life on paper in the women I drew. As a teenager drawing in my room, I created a whole world of women that were doing exciting things, and wearing amazing clothes. They were confident and powerful. I would spend hours in my fantasy world creating a story in my head to go with each woman I created. This was and still is, a beautiful place to spend time. My art teacher in high school noticed my artistic abilities and asked if I wanted to pursue art as a career. I told him ‘no’ because my beautiful fantasy world was the one thing that I had just for me. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to draw or how to draw it. Instead I pursued a career in finance because I didn’t have an emotional attachment to it. And also because dealing with numbers seemed like a sensible and practical way to earn a living. There is no grey area with numbers, and there is only ever one right answer to an equation. I liked the predictability of it.
So, I got a Business Degree and went to work in the financial district in San Francisco in the 90’s. I put my art on the back burner with the full intent to revisit it once I had time. There would be a day here and there that I would draw and create something, but I would never keep up with it. My sketch pad would end up under my fashion magazines and financial newspapers, buried and forgotten as I ran out the door to a happy hour.
Looking back, I see that I wasn’t ready to see the value of what my art gave to me. I looked at it as something to ‘do’, rather than letting it happen to me as I did when I was younger. But In order to accept the value of my art, I first had to see the value in myself. Deep inside I knew that I did value myself, because I had taken the harder route by walking away from my abusive family. Once I got away from my family though, I felt adrift. I made money, I went out with friends, I dated and flirted, but there was always a part deep inside me that was detached and just observing things, as if I was living someone else’s life. There was always that restless voice inside of me that knew that my current life wasn’t my real purpose. I wanted more, but I didn’t know what that more was.
When I was in college I loved Steve Winwood’s song ‘Higher Love’. I used to listen to it on repeat and my heart would swell with hope that he understood what wanting more was all about. That there was something more meaningful than just living from day to day. At the time I thought it was a romantic relationship. So, I pursued relationships trying to fill the void within me, trying to quiet my restless voice and find my purpose. But now I realize that the ‘higher love’ that he was referring to is within me! The higher love within me that pushes me take risks with absolutely no safety net or guarantee of positive outcome. The higher love that doesn’t care about what makes sense, but only cares about what feels right.
Every time I throw caution to the wind, put my true feelings out into the world and let go of the outcome I feel connected to my higher love, and it feels great. The best part about the feeling is that it is accessible to me at any time, and I have an endless supply. I finally see it’s value, and it is a powerful resource. My energy is pure gold.
The only time the restless voice inside of me smiles and is at peace is when I am taking chances and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I have assured her she will be smiling a lot because I am just getting started.