Friday, November 7, 2014

It is the eleventh month, yet November has not yet arrived. But, I've been pretending and that's helping.

This evening, I am sitting at my makeshift desk in the art studio, staring at my computer screen with what I imagine is a completely zoned-out expression.

Today, only 3 of our team were in the office. It felt like a ghost town and I half expected to see tumbleweed rolling down the hallways. By the time 3 p.m. rolled around, we were borderline loopy and kept visiting each other's offices periodically to see how the others were holding up. Don't worry, we still got work done. But, from what I could tell, each of our brains were working at half-assed--whoops, I mean half-mast.

I survived the day; and as has been the routine since late August, I rushed home to begin my second job in the art studio. I took care of some photography and editing, posted new items to Etsy, rearranged the online shop with newbies up top, wrote up a entry for the Lacelit blog, made some updates to the website, and then--

Quite suddenly, I was instantaneously outside of my work-mode self for a long enough moment to take note of my current status of being. A moment to assess where I've been, what I've accomplished so far, what I have left to finish in the weeks leading up to the holidays, and--honest-to-goodness, what a realistic picture of my life is going to have to look like for a while if I really want to have a shot at being an artist full-time someday.

I acknowledged that I've been go-go-going since the last week of August. 80+-hour work weeks, 4 sick days, 1 actual day off (last Saturday: bliss). And the alarming thing is that I've somehow gotten used to this fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants routine in a purely run-on-adrenaline kind of way. Lots of flying and running lately. I'm out of breath, but I haven't been working out.

I have further assessed that my ability to function in healthy form has decreased significantly, and I seem to have hit some kind of invisible wall that demands I pause and give it the attention it deserves.

So, as I was sitting here staring at my screen with that attractive zoned-out expression, and half-listening to an episode of something playing on Netflix in the background of my consciousness, a thought came into (what is left of) my brain. And, I reminded myself, once again, of what I have always done in years past when I needed to decompress, to rest, to rejuvenate.

Creative solitude.

And not Lacelit-related creativity. Personal creativity without goals or task lists or deadlines. A restful creativity that occurs simply when I am who I am in relation to an empty page and a pencil, ivory and black keys, or an open dance studio floor. Solitude in which everything slows to a gentle rhythm, like rainsong or wind rustling. Where it's still enough for you to hear yourself breathing or notice when your eyes flutter open and close.

I need stillness. Quietude. I need peaceful moments to push through this intense (yet necessary) phase where working full-time and working full-time again are required if I am committed to building something I want this much. Something that--for the first time in my life--feels 100% authentically me.

So, good evening to you all. As for me, I am shutting down my computer, leaving the studio behind, and retiring to my bedroom where I am going to lay beneath a wonderful down comforter and read something light and whimsical and inspiring until sleep claims me for the night.


bryan andrew said...

To hear you say "100% authentically you" makes me super happy. :D