This has been an interesting couple of weeks...mixed with ups and downs, and a fair amount of stress! But I am happy to report that our Starry Night/Art de Cure event to raise funds for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association was a huge success! I am still awaiting the final total, though I know we raised at least $8000 for the CMTA's STAR Research program. And it was wonderful to see all the familiar faces of family and friends who came out on Friday to support our cause, including my niece who was generous enough with her time to help serve hors d'oeuvres (along with many other wonderful volunteers.) Thank you, everyone! I'd especially like to thank our CMT group leader M, for all her hard work to make this event successful!
Another boost to my positive energy was the fact that I sold both of my paintings during our event...one of them purchased by a good friend of mine! Not only does a portion of that money help a cause near and dear to my heart, but it also gives me the prompting I need to KEEP PAINTING! I feel (and hope) that this represents a new path that has opened up for me, and it couldn't come at a better time. This life of mine has suffered its bumps and bruises, and my path has hit its share of potholes. After coming down from the Starry Night high, I tripped and fell into one of those holes. The kind that teaches you it's time to make some changes, in order to get to the other side. I'm still working on climbing out of it (I'll let you know when I get there.)
The change? Well, let's just say I decided to be proactive this time around, and I asked the question I was too afraid to voice when I was a teacher..."Is doing this job hurting me?" When I taught special education, I knew deep down that I couldn't physically do my job anymore. It was becoming more and more difficult, and I didn't work with the type of people I do now...despite repeated requests for more assistance, I was denied the basic necessities I needed to do my job. It was hurting me, and instead of giving me more help within the classroom, all I was given was more students. Could I have left? Yes, though it would mean quitting and giving up my income...and it would mean leaving my students as well. I chose to stay mostly for them, though deep down I knew what I was risking...and I did pay for it. It took me two years to physically recover from that, enough to work part time. And that pothole was a BIG ONE!
So where am I now? Well, I'm in a similar place...I know I need to make changes, which includes cutting my part time hours even more. I know I'm struggling. The difference? I'm attempting to make those changes, before that moment comes. You know that moment; when you fall in the pothole and attempt to climb out the other side, only to get squashed back down by a Greyhound bus. If you're lucky you only end up with road rash on your face and tire tracks on your backside...if you're unlucky, the bus is followed by a tractor trailer. I am trying to do what I need to do now before I get squashed, and the reasonable side of my brain knows it's the right thing to do. The other side is discouraged, and frustrated with the fact that I have reached another plateau I have to cross...even though I don't particularly want to cross it and the other side seems so far away. But this is where my path is leading me. And I am lucky to work with people now who understand that, accept me for it, and are willing to help me get to the other side. Despite the changes, for that I am fortunate.
And who knows? Maybe I can stop along the way, take in the view, and paint. And once I reach the other side there may be a pile of canvases and an endless supply of acrylics waiting for me...and a new source of income I never imagined. Nothing is impossible...I never would have gotten this far, otherwise! And now that my first two paintings have sold in the Art de Cure gallery, there are two more for sale hanging in their place. If you were unable to join us on Friday, December 2nd, stop by the CPO building (149 South Lake Ave, Albany) and take a look! The gallery remains open until February, and there's still an opportunity to help the CMTA...and the chance to view some beautiful artwork by many regional artists. Meanwhile, I think this looks like a good spot to sit. I wonder what I will create next?