If you follow me on Instagram or my Patreon page you will know that my recent online silence was born out of difficulty; my laptop died in spectacular, unfixable fashion (even though I bought a new hard drive to boot). Like I joke to people, I’m saving up to be poor (you too? Tell me about it!) and buying a new one was like planning a mission to Mars. Add to that everything I have is broken and in need of repair, a living metaphor in so many ways; my car has been off road since June; my freezer fluctuates between FREEZE ALL THE THINGS INTO A MONOLITHIC BLOCK or let’s just chill out; my fridge, which was second hand 16 years ago, needs replacing; I have bills to pay, kids to feed, kids to educate, my own cup to fill and a house that looks like someone committed aggravated burglary.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, firstly because it’s all true, and secondly, internet world can sometimes make the grass look a lot greener. Maybe if we all told the truth we’d all be happier with our lot?
So, yes, like you, I struggle. My home is small, rented and crumbling; I have rats in the garden and outside room; I have simple dreams that will never come true, and I’ve spent the last 17 years lying to myself that things will be OK, and those dreams might happen.
But if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.
My simple dream was to be able to work enough from home to be able to continue to homeschool my children. I have turned myself inside out to make that a reality for as long as possible, but this year saw a lot of letting go. My children are getting older (and so am I!) and our needs are different now. Add to that I cannot make a living doing what I love from home. It’s a hard hustle.
So, I’ve shaken things up, let things go, popped some bubbles and buried some dreams. And that’s OK, because new ones have taken their place.
To raise money for a new laptop (my priority given that I can’t run a business without one) I stripped my house for anything of worth to eBay – mostly yarn and fabric, but also my spinning wheel and serger. Couldn’t quite manage to sell the sewing machine, but I will if I have to. My wardrobe was ransacked. My bookshelf obliterated. It’s looking a lot more streamlined here, and after a twinge of sadness, I love it. I got a new Patron (thank you!) and a couple people even gifted me money towards my laptop fund! And as this was happening, on the spur of the moment, I applied to go back to college to do an art A level, got an interview and was accepted onto the Foundation Diploma course instead, and am now booking open days to university! I put one foot in front of the other and see where I end up. My children will have to be schooled and I’m in the process of appealing a place for the youngest.
And just like that, one door shuts and another one opens. New compromises are made to substitute for older ones which weren’t working. For the first time since forever ago I am looking forward to something – a dream which is hopefully within reach this time – to get to university to become an Illustrator. A proper one.
I will continue to run my online business, Patreon page and blog, but now it’s with the purpose of supporting me and my children as I put myself through art school. Once major ducks line up. If ever.
Thank you for your support. I hope you’ll continue following me on my journey through art. I appreciate you so very much.