In October 2013, I realised that law school was going to kill me quicker than cancer ever could, so I walked away. I also knew I needed some time out, so I took myself to Petaluma to the Call of the Wild Soul retreat. I had some money set aside for a uni trip I'd planned on, and the chance to meet beautiful, creative women and rediscover my passion for an artistic life.
By this stage, I'd started to really wonder if an artistic life was possible for me. It was never about money, beyond just wanting to be out of debt. I have truly asked myself many times if I could do that - live a life without financial abundance but happily immersed in art. Was that enough? The pursuit of wealth has never been on my radar - I'm never convinced that money makes people happy. However, the debt I acquired a few years ago, though not crippling, was playing on me. I felt that I could not take my art business forward while straddled with it.
How does one move forward from that?
I started applying to teach classes (the Papercraft Show triggered that and the CREATE event has taken the idea beyond my wildest dreams!) and started to think about what else I could do that spoke to my soul as an artist but also paid the bills.
These things, however, cost us money to teach at too and I wondered if, when it was all said and done, I would actually be any better off as a business.
This week, I got my bi-annual royalties payments for my Zentangle books. It was an overwhelming experience because it was more money than I have ever had in one hit in my entire life. I'm certainly not rich from my book writing - as I often say to my Mother, unless you're name is JK Rowling, no one is living in a mansion on Lake Como because of a book, much less one about drawing!!
But - and this is why I decided to write these posts - as of this week, my art business no longer has any debt - further, I can go forward with my teaching adventures in the US this year without having to reborrow money from anyone.
Sure, in the next 5 months I'll be saving money for the trip and I won't be camping at the Hilton across the States. But I can now pursue my dreams without the burden of debt. I can afford to chase the life I want in a way that sits within the purpose of my living, my art, my soul.
That last sentence...
"I can afford to chase the life I want in a way that sits within the purpose
of my living, my art, my soul."
That there is a wealth money cannot truly buy, because it the wealth of freedom.
I wish you freedom, too.