Lately, I've been pruning around my life.
Trying to figure out what still belongs and what needs to be cut out for good.
Everything is up for grabs, everything is up for snipping.
I'm sitting here, today, in my art studio, for which I pay a hefty rent monthly to coach acting in group and private classes and to have a space to do my art, sell my art, and work on my writing.
Up to now, it's been a space that I haven't used the way I should. I haven't spent time writing here. I've spent time doing art, but it's felt more like a trap than a "place of my own". I'm working to remedy that - or cut it out of my life.
It's strange to continue to invest in things in this area, knowing that we'll be leaving soon - for a year - maybe forever.
It's hard to imagine life somewhere else.
My entire adulthood has been spent in this little piece of Southern Maryland. My marriage. My children. My first apartment. My first house. My first "real" job - all of these things came here, began here, are from here. The reality of leaving in a school bus in eight or nine months is sort of heart-stopping, really.
Opportunity here abounds.
It's nice to be known. It's nice for people on the street to tell you they saw you in this or that production or that they heard you were a great teacher or that they saw your artwork here or there... famous on a small scale, so to speak. I'm not all about fame, but I know that I could build a career as an artist/acting coach here in this little neck of the woods. These are things that sound like far off dreams - but they are becoming reality...they will become reality if I stay here, if I keep working and networking... but we are leaving... so is there a point?
Is there a point to spending this beautiful, crisp, fall Saturday painting my studio space a warm chocolate color and cleaning out my junk and making new, nicer price tags for my artwork? Is it worth negotiating with my co-teaching for my kids' classes new prices and new faces and the use of space? Is it something I'm willing to give up, in the long run? Or is it something that I'm clinging to desperately when there are new and better worlds out there somewhere just waiting for me to stumble upon them?
I felt this way when I quit teaching in the public school system. It was SO. HARD. Telling those students goodbye was the hardest thing I've ever done. Leaving behind a program that was built through literal blood, sweat, and tears. Something GOOD.
Are we willing to settle?
I guess that's what I'm asking.
Am I settling, staying here? Isn't settling just so much easier than taking a step out into the unknown wilderness?
I know that at the end of the "school year" I'll be closing up this little shop and taking my coffee and my paintbrushes and my mini-fridge and my meager paychecks and climbing onto a refurbished school bus with my family. At least that's my plan - but God's plan...who knows?
This is a bit of a brain dump, and for that, you have my apologies. I just know that God always has something bigger out there - out there waiting for us to grab ahold of it if we would just let go of our fears.
All of this is leading me somewhere.
Somewhere so much bigger and better than I could ever imagine
There IS a purpose for this art studio and for this or that drawing or for this or that relationship that I will leave behind.
I just haven't gone far enough down the path to see it.