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then and now

i was talking to tod the other day on the myself in a particularly bad place (mentally) this week i guess after the reality hit about how now i dont really even have much in the way of cleaning jobs to do right now sunk in and my brain wouldn't stop obsessing about wtf am i gonna do.  i was counting on the end of the school year to bring in a lot of work like last year but it isn't move outs.  there really aren't jobs here and i've got to get creative.  NOW. 
he reminded me that my life is working better than even a year ago.  i was not clueless as to what he meant.  he reminded me that this time last year i sold hardly anything online.  and he is right.  i just went and looked...there was a month or so i had no sales.  and from jan-june i had what...SIX sales TOTAL?  it wasn't until 'christmas in july' etsy's 2nd biggest month to sell, that i started getting lots of sales and it pretty much took off with the vases non-stop until christmas of this year.  

were tod still here and i didn't have double bills to pay, i'd be okay.  i'm challenged right now.  and i guess i wouldn't be the first person on the planet to write myself a credit card check and live off of that for awhile if push comes to shove.  

this new 'financial' burden or crisis if you will has more to do with not being able to sustain the new double burden of bills.  if i could pay my $400 a month here i'd still be making it.  i keep looking around...and there just isn't anything popping up that is affordable that gives me the space to make art, keep it, keep the materials on hand and have my shipping packing shit all over.  there is no room for a roommate here, i've gone over all over this ad nausium.

it's never easy to know what its like to be in someone else's shoes.  many people say do this and that.  i have a pretty sweet set up if i really face the facts.  its illegal to go thru dumpsters here and there are SCADS of police driving up and down all the streets and behind shops (where i'm at looking for found objects and boxes).  i live in an industrial area that is safe, in the center of town...and i have my own industrial dumpster to pick all my packing materials from almost every day should i need to.  i live within 2 blocks of the little scrap yard.  while i dont have best friends here...i know about 20 people in a 2 mile radius and can walk around and stop by and chat.  i feel like if i can stick it out there is a community here and if i can just make it work it could be a good thing for awhile longer.  i expect change, i want change, and i dread change.  i feel i have some things to do on my own yet....and in the future i do see myself working with another artist or just doesn't feel right right now to pack and move and lose whatever momentum i have going with flowers and new ideas of other work.  but i may not be the decider of this.  the universe is gonna have to fill me in soon....i'm at a loss for how else to make money.  few people actually have any idea how unusual this town is compared to most when it comes to available jobs and how to even find them.  and i know me....i know what i can and can't do.  i dont last long when i'm getting my mind and body energy sucked out of me being trapped somewhere.  i've made it this long in life pretty much not working for anyone.  i've left many a job because the mental pressure of mind numbing hell was too much for me.  i know i'm not like most people.  i just aint.  i know i probably irritate or annoy or scare people...or people think i need to just get over it and suck it up and take the fucking stupid job, ANY job.  well i can't.  i just can't.  and i'm not so sure that that would solve anything.  working a 40 hr min. waged job so i can afford a small tiny apartment isn't living.  

i dunno.  half the time i feel i need to apologize or explain...and the truth is its my stupid life to live and i just have to keep following the bizarre path i have chosen to walk.  and i shouldn't complain or cry about it but i'm human and i freak out.  i freak out at 2am about if i can't pay for my phone anymore how will i get those few cleaning jobs....or will i then be totally cut off from the few people i trust with my emotions to talk to.  i freak out about not having my space for my art and me.  the freedom and peace to play and explore and just BE.

i freak out that all this stress is causing new unwanted physical problems.  i freak out about a lot and then have some sales and think okay another day...i made it another day.  its a hard way to live. i also hear what tod used to say all the time ' no one in their right mind would chose to live an artist's life'.  (or something like that). and  yet...i feel i have no other choice.   just get through another day.  its a motto but i'd like to not have to feel this way and be a little freer feeling.  i'm working on it...

so. off i go to ship some vases that sold!!!  and off i go to a little art opening tonight where one mixed media piece is that i think is hanging sideways to fit the wall space and i'm trying not to be upset about that.  and off i go to work on more art and off i go to work on my new shop that i've yet to put ANYTHING in.  and off i go to exercise.  and off i go to get more things from another storage area to give away.  and off i go to keep trying.  it IS better than last year in many ways.  i gotta keep remembering that. 


If admiration for your spirit counted from the lot of us "out here", you'd have it made, Paula.
Teo said…
You are so right Paula, that's one thing you must remember and be encouraged by every day. One year ago if I well remember you even thought to give up completely on your Etsy shop as it wasn't working. But then you started to make vases, sales finally kicked in, and everything got better. These are steps forward my dear, and more are yet to come!
ArtPropelled said…
If your gut is telling you to stay then that is what you should do..... but that doesn't help you get by if there is no cash coming in. I wish so much that everything would fall into place for you. I so agree with Nellie.
paula said…
thank you nellie, that is nice of you to say. and teo i agree just hard sometimes when it STILL isn't enough. thanks too. and soon!!!!
Colleen Kole said…
There sure is great art coming from you -and of you in that place. I have moved so many times that it is just hard for so long just feeling settled. Let alone moving on and back to making art. Soon , soon, soon is what I will hope for.
paula said…
now now now :) thanks colleen!!!

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