Today is day one. It's no ordinary day one. It's the 10 year anniversary to the original day one, the day I made a commitment to pursuing the arts as a full-time self-employed artist. It was December 2, 2013, an ordinary day for a big dream.
In these last ten years, I've worked at three non-profits and four schools including two institutions of higher learning while I figured out how to be a fully self-employed creative person. It took me five years before I stopped working a full-time job and another five years to stop working part-time. Technically, I'm still an employee for two more weeks and then it's all contracts, merch sales, Patreon support, gigs etc. from here on out.
It was scary when I took the first leap in 2017 from full-time employment with benefits to a hybrid of part-time employment and creative work. At the time, I was using all of my time off and then some to go be a poet or vend somewhere. I'd reached a point in my arts career where it was no longer sustainable to do it all. It was time to make more room for my creative path.
Now that I've reached this milestone, I'm not as nervous as I was then. I'm entering this next phase from a different vantage point having accomplished and having learned some things along the way. Generally speaking, I have a clearer idea of what I'm doing but more important than that, I have a stronger mindset around what it means for me to do this work both as a passion and for lack of a better word, as my job.
Today, I'm recomitting to the dream. My goal now is to create my dream life, one that is clear from student loans and other debt, one that owns property to be used as living and creative space, one that has a retirement fund, one that can sustainably care financially for my family and myself. This world can make it look daunting. Every time I begin again, it is an act of faith.
The last few years have been a massive transitional period in my life for a number of reasons, pivoting creatively, dealing with grief and lots of physical challenges among them. Sometimes I had real doubts. I had much to release and to accept about the differences between the BEFORE and 'post' covid. I am more open now to creating new things rather than trying to make the present look like the past. I've come out of it all with an even stronger conviction that I am doing and pursuing exactly what I am meant to in this life.
Creatively, I feel like I'm in my pocket right now. I am making what feels like some of my best work. I spent today in Philadelphia with my husband Robert, vending at Philly Zine Fest, the oldest indie publication fest around. We've been talking throughout the day about whats next, jotting down notes for the vision. Everything is possible. My biggest lesson is to trust the process. If it's brought me this far, it can bring me all the way. Here's to the beginning of a new chapter!