Wow, have you ever seen me looking so relaxed? I’m happy to say this is more or less the new norm. I’m feeling consistently really good, a development that I credit to many things… eliminating most dairy from my diet, spending some quality time outdoors over the summer, getting more sleep. Oh and there’s working ONLY ONE JOB with really good people. But what all of these individual changes boil down to is that I’m taking control of my life. The little and big choices that I’ve made over the past 3 years have been steadily forging a path towards self-respect and reliance that – despite being a confident person – I previously never made the time for. Some of the changes are so minute – like getting a purse-size flexible file to catch all of the receipts, sketches, mail, coupons and other paper detritus that is forever clogging up my bags. But if you’re like me, a person whose mood can be instantly destroyed by clutter, a little improvement like the purse file makes a BIG difference. Why didn’t I do this before? Maybe it’s the Pinterest Effect – my brain has become wired to look for little solutions to everyday challenges. Maybe it’s because now that I only have one job to focus on, I have the mental acuity required for all of this mini problem solving brilliance. What type of problem-solving self-care have you done for yourself lately?
I’m looking forward to things getting better and better from here. One of the areas in my life where I’m most excited to see improvement is my art and tattooing. I recently did a big portfolio update here and on Facebook to include some newer work that’s been keeping me busy. Below is a big side piece in progress. Hopefully this will be done after one more session, so a finished photo is forthcoming. And below THAT are some little drawings I’ve made during the past month or so. Like I’ve said many times already in defense of leaving my teaching job, I didn’t go to school to study education, but art. It was always my plan to teach until I could make art pay the bills. I’m already seeing the effects of taking that jump and abandoning my safety net, and it’s a good feeling.
It hasn’t been all a breeze, obviously. I’ve had some feelings of withdrawal from lesson planning and having a big classroom at my disposal. Sometimes I wake up too early and don’t know what to do with myself. I’m still nervous about my budget. But my mom, sisters and good friends are there to give me a little push when I need it. And from my man, Jesus… more like big pushes, and kicks in the ass. Thanks for not letting me get away with doing less than my best. And a special thanks to my Aunt Urs. I’m so happy that she keeps up with my blog posts and is able to tell the real story to my family, amid occasional gossip. And from gorgeous professional-level cakes at so many birthday parties to her jewelry designs, she has always been an inspiration for my creativity. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of my life changes, both recently and historically.