I had a yellow Snoopy autograph book when I was a kid, they were all the rage. Not the Snoopy part, but the autograph book. I haven’t thought about that little glossy vinyl bubbled cover for ages. If ever. I’d love to know whose autographs I was collecting…in Victoria, BC? In the early 80’s? Nevertheless, someone was kind enough to gift me that little book thinking I was the right person to hold on to it. What I do remember, is that I asked both my parents to write in it and above, is what my mum wrote. “To Thine Own Self Be True”. When you are 10 or 11 (or 30…or 40), this sounds poetic and meaningful and you’re pretty sure you understand but do you really, really understand? I didn’t. I thought I did. I was always half understanding it, grasping it intellectually but not always following through with the most important part of all, the heart. I graduated with a degree that did not set my heart on fire, I traveled to a foreign country post graduation to teach English to pay off debt and met someone, a fellow American teacher, who I married. And divorced. In the career world, I worked for other people who were following their creative passions and I was a great wingman but not the pilot. This sounds like a sob story and it really isn’t because that road was also paved with amazing experiences including extensive travel, living in wonderful cities and meeting some of the best friends I’ve ever known.
However. Here I am, in this quirky hippie yuppie town on the California border, a town I had never even heard of before I made it here from Marin and I am finding, I can relate to that quote more than ever before. I work for myself. I create art on a regular basis. I have a beautiful network of friends. I have a slow paced laid back lifestyle that I am able to thrive in. I live in a cool house with a great view that sort of boggles my mind. (The near impossibility of buying a house in Northern California is an idea so deeply rooted in my mind, a transfer up to Oregon is worth it for home ownership alone!!!) I also have financial and business uncertainty that tries to keep me up at night. I do not have Plan B formulated. I don’t live near my family which is a pull I’m constantly assessing. I miss the ocean. The beach. My bench in Sausalito. Tennessee Valley and the smell of eucalyptus. But this is what I’ve got right now and creating art every day for a company I created out of thin air doing the thing that my makes my heart sing is probably more important than my geography right now or the universe wouldn’t have put me here.
So I will do a version of what I did yesterday. A series of baby steps towards the things that light me up. Reach out to current or new customers. Paint. Write. Correspond with friends and family. Pack and ship orders. Exercise. Walk in the world. Hopefully put my face up to the sun. Drink coffee. And be extremely grateful. xo