Six months ago my life changed drastically.
At the time I was working as a software sales consultant. I would read business and strategy books for tips and to keep motivated but my career was unfulfilling and lacking so I picked up a book called Linchpin by Seth Godin – one of my favorite authors. One of the main points I took away from Linchpin was to find ways in your career to not get jaded and always work to be the linchpin of your organization. Although he doesn’t encourage people to up and quit their jobs – that is what I did. I had not read a book like it before. I’d been in jobs that I loved and hated but for the first time I saw my energies were truly being wasted. I craved something more. Since I spent almost 5 years not working at all due to AS, I felt behind my contemporaries and I didn’t think I could catch up – I was at a crossroads.
I had spent the 20 years since receiving my Bachelor of Fine Arts ignoring my artistic talent and convincing myself that I really didn’t want to be an artist; that I in fact didn’t want to create. I’m not sure how I pushed this huge part of who I am away for so long but I know now it was fear. I felt I had nothing I could tie the creative process to so I felt very uninspired when I painted. I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough. I was afraid I would not succeed at it. I was afraid of exposing myself to criticism and because of all of this, it just didn’t feel good. On top of that, I was in pain and looking for answers. In the years when I was so sick before starting the anti-TNF’s I spent years in struggle, misdirecton, and never ending pain and fatigue. There was just no room left for me to think of my future; all I was doing was existing and coping. My path appeared to be paved to a future of physical pain, emotional strife, and not much else. They say amazing art can come from deep anger and pain but my spirit and soul want to paint hope and joy. So the art didn’t happen.
And then I felt better, went back to work, and eventually found myself at those crossroads six months ago.
I decided to be my own linchpin and to listen to Emerson:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Six months ago I started my Apples for AS campaign and with it I found my inspiration. I’m at the half-way mark today and if feels so good to be on the journey, past the crossroads, and blazing a trail!
Day 182 was created in pen & ink.