Leaving Arizona meant that I am really on my way home. I am taking the long way through San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, but I took Houston off the list to save a day. I have been told that was a mistake, but I will get there again. Now I have Texas and Nashville to look forward to before I have to go back to a reality which I was not enjoying before I left for this Big Artventure. And, because of my devotion to my family, I never would have gone on a big artventure if my son hadn’t decided to go to school in Los Angeles, CA. It is the same devotion that wouldn’t allow me to put oldest son on an airplane to fly off to the other side of the country all by himself. Being able to spend almost a month with him out there let me know that he really was now an adult and could take care of himself and an apartment. His roommates and friends enjoyed me be around, partly because I had a car and partly because moms provide a security that most of them were without for the first time in their lives.
Now I have ME time. Something I had never taken much of while raising five children. While I am not finished, the time has gone by so fast. I will never forget when my son was three and we had just moved to Colorado Springs. We were having lunch in a park one day when Pierce said, “I want to be healthy and happy, not sick and sad!” Profound words for such a young boy. I am thankful that he is living out those words and working on living his dream of being a shoe designer and professional skateboarder. I will miss finding the skateboard parks at every stop, but will have more time for art exploration. Sante Fe will be my first night couch surfing by myself. I am staying with a single mom with two kids. I can certainly relate and imagine I may get homesick to see my children that stayed at home with their grandmother and stepfather. By not going home sooner, I missed my youngest daughter becoming homecoming queen. She said that she understood and it was OK with her if I didn’t get back, but everybody else gave me hell. I don’t think most people understand what I have been through getting divorced after having five children, having cancer and now in the midst of a second divorce. I have been discovering who I am since my cancer experience began and I am finally giving myself permission to be an artist again. This trip has been symbolic of the freedom I am gaining. And it is forcing all kinds of fears to fall away.