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i had some relief hit late yesterday.  not what i was hoping for in the bigger picture but for now, i have a little breathing room. before i go into that,  i tell ya one thing i'm going to miss about tod big time is the like-mindedness in regards to how we view how life can be.  granted he see's things in the bigger picture and i do not (yet)....and we are very different as i am almost 100% kinesthetic and he 100% logical, somehow we meet up when it comes understanding/believing that there is a way to live the way you want and not succumb to the mainstream.  is it harder? uh  yeah...for now.  but easier in other ways.  like for me it would be way harder to have a 'real job', with my  back/body/mind issues and the soul sucking existence (for me) that that would play out as, i wouldn't bother, i know it. i spent my teens and young adulthood doing that and now i know why i was crazy drunk.  it was the only way i could stand my life.

i know to plenty of people i look too damn stoic.  unrealistic.  whatever.  i know it scared the bejesus out of people that knew me in arizona when i quit massage and left arizona with basically nothing.  some even got angry with me and tried to scare me with stories about how i would be perceived! can you believe that?????
anyhow.  we do what we have to more often than not. i had to do that.  had to leave had to journey and i was rewarded by finally finding my self. and i still am finding myself, thru art.

sometimes i think if it were not for the handful of people that get it, that get me, that i wouldn't have made it this far.  tod got me from day one.  he met me when i was still living in my tent, had just met a stranger who was going to let me stay with her until i found an apartment, and i was so anxious, panicky and scared out of my mind that all i could relay was i was going to be an artist.  my eye's were twitching and i was wearing my pinhole glasses while we talked. most people would run.  he didnt.

and since meeting him that late summer early fall of 2004 i have continued to meet people who hear me.  who get me.  even if they dont understand me they accept me.   you can't ask for much more than that.   you really can't.  today i woke up and saw a blog post by my online etsy friend, bai.  here is a woman whom i've never met.  english isn't even her first language (she speaks three that i know of) and since meeting her on an etsy team, i have come to know a strong, tireless, loving, open and humorous woman that has inspired me time and time again.  when i read her blog post about me i couldn't even believe what i was reading.  she got me.  she gets it.  i thank you bai.  just what you wrote is support above and beyond.  it reinforces and inspires me. 

another person who gets me is the office woman at the landlords.  she is the woman i deal with when it comes to the sporadic cleaning jobs i do.  i'm always apologizing because i feel like the WORST cleaning person EVER.  sometimes the jobs are too much for me.  for my back for my arms....for my NOSE.  and sometimes i am too busy with art or shipping it or whatever.  i have always been honest with her, risking looking like a self absorbed wimp.  i feel i risk someone not wanting to call me for jobs because i feel unreliable because art takes first place always.  ALWAYS.  and she gets it.  she hears me.  she allows me to be me.  she doesn't cringe at my verbal faus pax.  doesn't say snide things.  doesn't make me feel like i'm supposed to go live in some small shit hole and who cares if i can't make art anymore. 

she called me yesterday and let me know i can stay here, in this loft for another few months.  she and another person championed for me in ways i wont discuss here but suffice to say i have a little breathing room. my rent will be increased a bit but for short term it is cheaper than moving and paying first/last/security somewhere else and hiring people to move all this stuff.  it is less chaotic and hard on my body as my back has been out again and the thought of packing/moving is just too much.   for now i can take the time to make those flowers for the outdoor houston orange show.  for now i can slow down and take a trip to austin after i find more people to connect with.  austin isn't a place to go with no money or contacts. 

and life.  the way i want to keep living it.  i can for now.  and i have to keep telling myself i dont have to quit it all and find the job and let art suffer.  i have worked my ass off to get this far. i was making a living selling art in vermont and lost all that momentum when i moved and the recession hit but i have miraculously made the majority of my living selling art the last 9 months, its paid my bills with some cleaning jobs sprinkled in. granted i never have a dime extra and i live about as simply as anyone i know. at least there is momentum that feels crucial not to let collect dust.  it takes seemingly more courage than i know how to find at times, to keep living this way. during challenging times that is when myself as well as others can defeat me with ideas that i can't do it. that i need to take on more cleaning jobs or finding other employment etc etc.  i am no longer a religious person and often times i feel the universe is just a void of deafness and nothingness.  thru my own mental struggles i have lost my way when it comes to peace and universal harmony.  the war within my own mind has been so loud i've gotten lost in there at times. i have been at battle with myself and life and i'm ready for a ceasefire.  i also realize i am not alone.  my journey has been so focused i've forgotten sometimes to look around, to look up at the sky for hope as i did in my youth and to feel connected to people and to life again.  maybe now i'm being forced to connect outside of myself again but in a new way, art is the conduit.  i have had a lot of support this last year from many people both on line and in the 'real' world.  i mustn't take that for granted or ever forget it.  i sure as hell hope i do that for some of you.  i sure hope i can buck up once and for all and burst thru this next layer of membrane.  for now, there is a reprieve of sorts with the living thing.  nothing has felt right and staying here a little longer does feel right.  i know it isnt permanent and it's still going to be a lot of work and challenge to get to that next place/space.  one day at a time.


Colleen Kole said…
Ok- I am breathing a huge sigh of relief for you. Sure am glad you have time for your back to settle too.

What a great friend you have from afar. She said it well.

One day at a time is good.
Kim Hambric said…
Glad you can stay longer. It is best not to much too many huge decisions/changes at one time.

I'm going to be sending you some good thoughts -- I don't seem to be using them right now.
deb said…
Paula your honesty and courage just takes my breath away... I am glad for your breathing room. Be strong sister we are all rooting for you :)
Martha C. Hall said…
Words elude me. I admire your courage and fortitude in the face of daily adversity. I know it's easy to say from afar "hang in there". I'm glad you are finding support close to home. My wish for you is that you soon find contentment in life. We all struggle with that, but some more than others perhaps.
I continue to follow you with admiration.
sarala said…
You know you have many people rooting for you and for your work!
Martha Marshall said…
Been wondering how you are right now, so I'm glad to see this update. It's so good that you have a little time to gather strength for whatever comes next. Remember that you are important to a whole bunch of people.
Thongbai Tatong said…
Hi Paula,

So glad to know that you will have more time to prepare and arrange for the move. This is a strange world. Maybe you and I belong to the same strange sort and can tune into each other well;) I feel your strength.
donauluft said…
one day at a time sounds good!
great to hear you now have a breathing room and can stay longer.
Maybe the flower-art job brings following options?
Louise said…
Hi Paula,
The Journey of a Thousand Miles must begin with a Single Step...
Cynthia said…
I'm so relieved. Yay you!
paula said…
here's to things getting better and life going on!
Teo said…
I'm so happy to hear the good news! Everything will be ok!!
skyandenisem said…
Art sister, you are now a butterfly. Look around at the beautiful flowers. :)
paula said…
thanks denise :)

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