It's January of this year, Michael and I have just moved into our first home. There is wallpaper hanging from the walls, boxes that need to be unpacked, and it's freezing both outside and in. It's late and we are laying on the sofa together, a fire is barely staying alive in the fireplace, and a candle and the flames of the dying fire are the only things lighting the room. We are quiet in the cold, dark house, staring up at the ceiling, entangled in each other, trying to stay warm. We start talking about goals, my goals. I tell Michael, my goal for the year is to have my work featured somewhere. Whether that be a coffee shop bathroom or a high-end art gallery, I just want it somewhere. We talked about how I need to have smaller goals to try and achieve my big one. We talked about timelines and how often I should be working. We talked and dreamed and thought of the future. Then I asked Michael, "What happens if I achieve my big goal before the year is up?" He replied, "Then you get a bigger goal."
Though it has been only six months since that conversation on that cold winter night, it feels like eons ago. I am proud to say that I have achieved and surpassed my "big goal". Not only have I gotten my work featured, but I have six pieces for sale in two separate locations, made multiple sales, and I can now announce that I am in the process of working with four different locations on teaching workshops and classes! When I was laying on that couch, thinking of myself passing that big goal, I really didn't imagine it like this. We all imagine success in different ways. Sometimes our minds get set on a path and we don't even realize all the other amazing paths our success can take us. I am thankful for the goals I've achieved and I am humbled for the goals I haven't. I know it may sound like I am super happy and positive about what has happened, but I have plenty of days where I feel like a failure. I get upset because I didn't post enough on social media, or I watched tv all day instead of working or didn't finish a piece fast enough. I've learned that goals are relatively easy to achieve, but it's the emotional side of things that is the hard part. Feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, fatigue, self-doubt, these are all emotions I struggle with. There are some days when I feel so overwhelmed I don't even want to keep pursuing all of this. I think that a day job would be easier because then I wouldn't have to try. I would just go to an easy job and be able to come home and do whatever I want instead of always putting effort into building this dream. However, I know the pure joy that comes from doing what I love most. It's hard, it's exhausting, it's demanding, but it fills my soul in a way other things can't. So when it does get hard, I live with the knowledge that this crazy, seemingly impossible thing I'm doing is so, so worth it.
Hello & Welcome, I'm Cassidy.