200 blog posts, a retrospective

This is my 200th blog post. Amazing, isn’t it? Since it is my birthday week I am particularly reflective.

When I started this blog in September 2010 I had no idea where my life was going. I had just returned from a remarkable conference (and a terrifying flight there) and knew I wanted my life to change but wasn’t sure I could pull it off.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
~ Buddha

In December 2010 I was able to make the change I longed for, after numerous months of pondering the how and internally saying farewell to the familiar of the old life.  It was scary and exhilarating at the same time. There were shifts in relationships, there was self-doubt, there was relief, and there was confusion. Now what?

“Many persons have a wrong idea of
what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

~ Helen Keller

The better part of that year was spent in a cocoon. I read a lot, I took a wonderful trip, explored local attractions and galleries, and spent a lot of time trying to plan.

I attended the Creative Connection again, which helped me affirm my path and my goals, and also forged relationships with new and old friends. This conference nudged me into the social media waters, and gave me a little more confidence in getting out and doing, instead of planning. It also prompted me to clear my studio and start creating wall decor instead of greeting cards.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
 ~ John Lennon 

January 2012 marked a turning point with my first gallery exhibit. Being accepted in an art center validated my new direction and gave me more confidence in trying out other exhibit opportunities. Since then I have been in six other group shows—almost one a month, which last year I wouldn’t even have dreamed of!

Through the Women’s Innovation Network, FUSEDChicago and the Chicago Painters and Artists’ Group my local community started to grow, and I became engaged in the outside world again after almost hiding from it.

 “You are the light of the world.
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and
it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others…”
~ Matthew 5:14-16 

Since then I have met so many inspirational people, made new friends, and deepened existing relationships. And after years of thinking of myself as ‘just a crafter’ I’m also beginning to feel part of the artist community. Numerous workshops added to these connections and also helped me grow and try new things in my art work.

There is still a lot I feel I haven’t done, and there are tragedies in life, but there is soooo much to appreciate. I truly am living the dream, and in spite of worries and doubts I know that everything will work out.

“The great thing is, if one can,
to stop regarding all the unpleasant things
as interruptions in one’s ‘own’ or ‘real’ life.
The truth is, of course, that
what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.”

~ C.S. Lewis 

So as I check in with my new year’s resolutions, I still need to keep working on #1 and #2 (the myself part), but #3, #4 and #5 are well on their way!

  1. Give the positive exponentially more value than the negative
  2. Honor people as they are, including myself
  3. Stick to the artistic journey and give it room to expand, shift gears, grow
  4. Continue to build meaningful relationships
  5. Draw inspiration from life

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