A few weeks ago I wrote about “thinking big“, not in terms of size but as a state of mind. I wrote about not getting caught up in the things of life that can make me a “small” person.
When I began making my “How To Keep Your Husband” quilt I was thinking big. I didn’t think of it that way at the time, I just had an idea that I thought was a really good one and acted on it. Unlike some of the other “big” pieces of art I’ve made, this one got its hooks in me and wouldn’t let go till it was finished.
Usually I work on a big piece a little at a time, working on smaller pieces in between. Often these big pieces need the space and I need space in my decision-making. And that process also works out practically, because while I’m working on the big piece, I’m also making money on the smaller pieces.
Because I dedicated two full weeks to my “How To Keep Your Husband” quilt, and haven’t sold it as quickly as I usually do, my bank account has gotten unusually low.
This is not a plea for money or for someone to buy my quilt. That’s not why I’m writing this.
I’m writing it because it’s the truth about a part of my life that I rarely show on my blog. I’m writing it because it helps me to sort out the truth from my anxiety. Because doubt, no matter where it occurs in our lives, is universal, something most humans feel from time to time and it’s too easy to lose faith.
Like so many other people, when it comes to income, I live week to week. I’m lucky to have a loving and supportive partner, so I don’t have to worry about being homeless or hungry. But my income is an important part of the our income.
This is the life I chose.
It’s not one where I get a regular paycheck or benefits. But I do get to make the choices about how to spend my time and what I create. That’s part of the trade-off and especially at times like this, when I get anxious about money, it’s that reality that helps keep me going.
This isn’t a lament or complaint, I don’t believe anyone owes me a living and I’m grateful for my life. The fear is an old one, a fear I’ve always had that I can’t take care of myself. But It’s actually my taking responsibility for my life and decisions that gives me the determination I need to keep going.
I believe in my How To Keep Your Husband quilt. Whether it sell in 3 days, 2 weeks or not at all, I’m glad I made it. My art is my voice, expressing what I’m thinking and feeling is not a luxury anymore for me, but a necessity.
And each time I get scared like this, scared about not having enough money, scared that I can’t take care of myself, it’s a chance to pull myself back. It’s a chance to recommit myself to my art, to my life’s purpose. I get to remember what’s really important to me and to choose not let my myself get small.
And then I get to go into my studio and make something new.