How the Artventure Began

We all know the everyday pressures of life.  Managing our own emotions (many don’t), managing our family life, relationships with partners and friends, work, paying bills, etc.  The more kids you add to the mix, the more jobs and activities, you increase the amount of stuff to manage and relationships in your life.  I don’t know about you, but I am overwhelmed. 

How I got here may be obvious – I had 5 kids!  Their own father couldn’t handle the pressure and now their step-father has caved, too.  Can you blame them?  But that leaves it up to me.  Alone?

Add all of that to living in a small town where the taxes in the past 7 years have increased 400% and the electric bill has increased 300%.  The significance of 7 years is that was when I was divorced the first time.  The second husband stepped in to help me when I needed it most, so even though it didn’t last, I am grateful for the relationship and all the help I received over the past 5 years.

And to make matters worse, during this time, I found out that I have cancer.  Once was bad enough, but after surgery which declared me cured, to find out that you still have cancer is truly devastating.  I started down a path of pursuing my passion by founding a non–profit arts collective following the surgery.  So now I must determine to not only to pursue my passion, but to live the purpose I have been created to accomplish. 

I am not one to give up.  So, while my cancer is very slow growing and will not kill me, it motivated me to find out why I have cancer and research energy healing techniques to be healed once and for all.  I cannot knowingly proclaim that healing, yet, but I am on my way and look forward to a scan that will declare my healing absolutely.

I found the study of energy healing extremely interesting and it led me into a self development path which gave me the freedom to make a decision about how I wanted to live.  I had heard many times before that the way that you decide what to do with your life is to say what you would do if you only had 6 months to live.  With cancer looming, I could really do this for the first time.

One of my children began to have problems.  Problems relationally, problems in school, problems waking up and we didn’t know what to do.  I am proactive, so we ended up with 3 appointments each week with specialists who didn’t seem to be helping very quickly.  The one thing that I absolutely noticed was that the harder I worked, that is, the more time I spent away from home trying to make money to pay the bills, the worse he got.  I was certainly NOT living my priorities which would put time with my family first.  The final push was when I lost my sales job because with 3 appointments with my son every week and all the stress that came along with all of this, I was not able to keep up the sales numbers that the job required.  That was the end of February and in June, I was supposed to leave to take my son to college in CA.  I didn’t know how I would afford to do this.

The non-profit was growing, so  I focused on it and was able to draw a small paycheck for a time.  I picked up a part time job at a local restaurant on weekends and I began to think that if I could work at home and be there with my son to help him with his school work, which was now happening online, maybe things would improve.  I haven’t accomplished this yet, but this is my primary goal.

I had to find a way to make money on this journey west.  I planned to find galleries along the way that would want to sell my jewelry.  This led to conversations at the gallery about the economy of art across the country.  We also discussed energy.  In central PA, most people are saying that they aren’t selling their work locally.  Some are selling their work, but mostly not enough to quit their day jobs.  In my study of self-development, I hear that mindset is everything.  What you believe is true and you change what you believe by saying and doing something different.  So this energy and economy or art across America has become the focus of what I am looking for.  I found a list of best places for art and I made sure that I would be traveling through many of these places on the way to CA and the way back.

I planned the trip in the most thrifty ways that I could think of.  I discovered couchsurfing, so I could stay overnight in people’s homes for free.  This would save us a lot of money and give me the opportunity to meet people and find out about mindsets and each area in a more personal way.  My son agreed to put the cost of a plane ticket toward this trip, so that paid for gas.  I took a large supply of granola bars and peanut butter and hoped to lose weight along the way.

June came, we had a financial aid issue with the school, Pierce was wanting a little more time off from school and now we were waiting until September to leave.  We got his finances in order for school and I tried to do some artventures over the summer.  I was kept so busy at the collective and with my children that I didn’t get much done, but now that I am actually in LA, away from most of it, I will catch up on sharing my stories from the summer and from the trip here before I begin the trip home.  I will have a book by the time I return home.  To see photos, you can go to facebook.com/sharinart.

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About bigartventure

An artist on a BIG Artventure. I always have been on one, it just took me a while to figure that out.
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