So, how does one make a big change? How do you shed an identity- either self-created or created for you- for a lifestyle, career, or self improvement that you really desire?
I have had the same career for fifteen years. I wanted it so bad and I have done a good job at making it successful. I am no longer interested in pursuing it as a career. I have had a homesteading lifestyle for the last twelve years. We are no longer interested in hauling wood, canning hundreds of items, standing over a dry, desert garden several hours a day, or breaking livestock water in twenty below zero weather. We wanted to live on land of our own SO badly! And we have done it. Loved it. Now we want to live somewhere we can walk everywhere, be more active in this second half of our life, and immerse ourselves in art, music, great food, and community.
I recently heard a quote that said that decisions should not be so difficult. In a hundred years from now, there will be all new people on earth. That simultaneously hurts my heart and sets me free.
I have been creating art since I was very little. Painting, drawing, ceramics, sewing, crocheting, cooking, fashion design, dance, all of it I love. I have sold a lot of paintings. A lot of shawls. Yet, I still say, “I want to be an artist.”
We could go back in time and see how my mother only gave credit to my sister for being an artist, or one of my art teachers in college who was so horrible to me, or recently, when a gallery owner omitted my painting from the rest of the show. But, those things only make me more ornery. I want to be an artist. I mean, I am an artist! (Work in progress, folks.)
How to be an artist (or anything else you want to be.):
I am creating space in each day to pursue art. I am trying to spend at least a few hours every day in my art studio creating. It is my happy place. I love it. This feeling of peace lets me know that I am on the right path, following the map of my desires and passions to lead me to my next purpose/place/space in life.
- Every day, carve out time to do what you are trying to make your career/hobby/lifestyle.
I am immersing myself in art. I listen to podcasts whilst in my art studio. I read art magazines. I work on my art. I am teaching myself new techniques. I want to take more online classes.
- Live your desire. Read everything about it, watch movies, listen to podcasts, find information, surround yourself with the ideas.
I have been posting on social media. I set up an Etsy site (http://katiesfolkartstudio.etsy.com). Nothing has happened, but it’s there! I am doing a show in May. I have no idea how it will go. But I am not turning down opportunities. When folks ask what I do, I will say, “I am an artist.”
- Put yourself out there. Tell your friends what you are doing. Show up on social media (even if you hate it!), get business cards made or start making changes around your home that emanate what your desired lifestyle is. Do not turn down opportunity.
Examples of how this works:
This is how I became a well-known Master Herbalist. This is how I became a Doula. This is how we became homesteaders. This is how I landed several modeling contracts and opportunities, started a dance company, and many other ventures I have tried.
My youngest child wants a travel van. She wants to take her girls and live in this van and wear flowers in their hair and travel the country. It might seem far fetched to most of society, but a friend of hers is doing it out of a Honda Pilot and doing very well. My Emily has a social media presence. She has the will. She could be researching vans. She could listen to podcasts of others that have done it. She can start minimizing her possessions. Saving money each week. Buy a map and plot her first adventure.
Tell the universe your plans, and watch the doors swing open. The trick is accepting the doorway. Accept the opportunities that present themselves to you.
I am still working on the old perception that artists cannot make a lot of money. Or enough money. I need to eliminate old ideas. I need to forgive and move on from old critiques and be able to slough off the ones to come. I need to live in my own truth and authenticity. It’s okay to let things go that are no longer working for you, or that you have exhausted, or that you have just changed your mind about. It’s okay to take a risk, to live fully, and to go on adventures. Because in a hundred years, there will be all new people. So, why not?