So far 2018 is kicking my ass. I've been down with undiagnosed pneumonia for two weeks and am just getting back to being able to walk around, sit outside when the weather allows, and paint a little. I'm hoping to get back to work tomorrow for the first time and I'm sure it will be a mountain of catching up. I still have pain in my sides and chest and can feel my body is still weak from fighting the infection for so long without assistance. Glorious are the steroids and antibiotics I finally got this weekend.
My December was filled with racing to the finish line on holiday deadlines, trying to make the best of the gift season hustle with my handmade wears. I had intentions set for a fresh January 2018. Some calm, re-centering on my mission as a craftsperson and artist, and setting out on a clearer path in my investment in time and energy. Investing in myself.
For the first time seeing a therapist solo this past fall, we came to the realization that I have ADHD. This simple concept was a lightbulb moment that not only helped me forgive myself for always feeling like a flake and being overwhelmed, but it helped me realize I was constantly seeking the chaos that was draining me all the time. The chaos that takes time away from my family, my true artistic voice, and is rarely truly recognized by the people you are trying to please.
I've taken a back seat on some things. I have been selfish with the time in my studio and it is the most satisfaction I could ask for. I still have straggling ends of to-do list items that I wish to close, and will. I have a late jump on my 2018 intentions of sending promos and pursuing licensing work. The work I show still nags me as I look through dozens of filled sketchbooks, feeling like I have so much to say and not the focus to translate it.
But it's okay.
My body is/was/always will be fragile. Time is fragile and unbiasedly forward-moving. Plans point you in a direction but LIFE HAPPENS. I am quieting the narrative I've let play for far too long that because I didn't do XYZ exactly how and when I wanted to do it that I'm failing. I am frequently in input mode, looking at instagram, pinterest, art books, etc... but there is also the important digestion mode. Mind-wandering mode. It's the only way to get to output mode.
I have decided to treat myself the way I would a friend or family member who was feeling overwhelmed, like a failure, not meeting the expectations we set for ourselves (especially women.) I will say to myself as I say to them "You're doing fine".
I am grateful for feeling better. I am grateful that I signed up for the Lilla Rogers Studio Make Art That Sells Bootcamp 2018, as its been a fun way to ease back into the studio at home. I am grateful to be surrounded by good people who will pick up the slack when I just can't. I am grateful for the quiet spaces I'm carving back into my life after so long on the hamster wheel.
I confess these things as a personal affirmation, but hopefully to also inspire someone with a similar inner monologue.