Lately, I’ve been wandering around a lot.
Not in the metaphorical sense, but actual wandering. And standing and pondering … looking into the green space of the yard at absolutely nothing for any uncounted amount of time until I hear a voice saying “Did you forget where you’re going?”
Yes. Perhaps I did.
I’ve been in a state of transition for approximately 15 months now and am tired of floating in this giant pool with no edges. I wish to find a place to climb out, dry myself off and start what I long to start. Lacking dry, firm ground to stand on I feel rather helpless, non-directional and well … floaty.
I never thought it would be so emotionally exhausting to shut down a business. But there it is, I said it. It is. In one sense, it’s freeing. Totally. Every day I’m thankful for the opportunities that await me. But I never imagined getting off the merry-go-round could be as difficult as it has been. Suppose I follow the metaphor a bit further – one must slow down in order to safely step off the wheel. Otherwise, centrifugal forces quite literally fling you out into the park, possibly sustaining several injuries including a big blow to the ego. Slow is good. But it takes so much patience to make a graceful exit.
I realized today that, unbelievably, I have been cleaning my studio for over 9 months. Not nine months straight (I’ve done some other projects too)… but actually, truly, I started the cleanup one day after my last wedding in the fall of 2013. Now it’s August and I’m still scrubbing, sweeping and painting. I might resemble Lady MacBeth saying “Out Damned Spot! Out I say!”
I’m starting to feel neurotic. Maybe so.
“I want my new creative space to feel sacred.” This is the mantra I repeat. I want it to be Clean. Washed of all that commercial-based business that went on in there for over a decade. It could be, even with all the washing, scrubbing and brushing layer upon layer of fresh paint, my space will never be never rid of the “ick”.
Perhaps the space isn’t the problem and it’s really just me.
I know imagery is helpful so I’ve been trying to envision myself as the butterfly, growing wings and then flying away on a cloud of creativeness. But I keep forgetting that the cocoon is first.
I so want to be out of the cocoon.
I long to start doing what I have set out to do when I decided to shut down my business. I’m searching for that creative girl who I used to know. She was about five foot two with blond, curly hair. Totally imaginative. She was brave and courageous – willing to take chances and risk disappointment. She was experimental. Twenty years ago she was just getting started when she got shut down by the importance of survival. Bills. Mortgages. Hourly wages.
Has anyone seen her? Occasionally, I see glimpses of her but she’s still hiding. I can see her eyes peeking out from inside a cocoon. I think she’s afraid to let herself be seen. She needs coaxing. She needs to know it’s safe out here and that expression is welcome. That survival actually depends on expression, and not production anymore.
Instead of having my old self give the “young me” advice about how to live life, I wish it were the other way around. I’d like my little kid self to tell “the old me” about being free. Running risks. Being totally absorbed in creativity. I suspect she knows a thing or two about being artistic.
Lately, I’ve been attempting to channel her (my inner child) in some painting. She’s coming out slowly and tentatively, little by little. She shows up in playful birds, flying butterflies, balloons, rainbows and wild geometric scenery. She’s beginning to understand how to speak. It’s slow, at best. But it’s also a start.
Spinning a cocoon is a lengthy process. Cocooning requires time and so much patience. It depends on rest and peacefulness. Finally, wisdom to know when to emerge.
As for me … I’m still waiting for my wings.