Somewhere, among the ruins of my former life, pride, and sense of self I had a tiny little spark of desire. I had moved 1000 miles away from what was once Home and into my sister and her partner’s house in Florida. They had selflessly and graciously offered me a place to stay, food, love, and helped me in any and every way I needed. I remember sitting on the bed in my room feeling empty and dark.
What was I?
I had dragged myself through this last stretch of life like a resurrected corpse crawling their way through the earth, sliding across the soil of a graveyard. (And with about as much dramatic effect.)
But there was that spark. Something. I didn’t know what it was, but I felt it. I tried to chase after it a bit. I journaled. I figured if everything was over anyway, I might as well do something worthwhile with myself. There was nothing left to fear.
I would say maybe that spark was the idea of passion. The idea of doing something because it stirred something a-u-t-h-e-n-t-i-c within me. This was the beginning of my journey to lead a passion driven life. Most notably, a passion driven work-life. I was going to be one of those people who found their purpose and and soared onto its wings into a warm, welcoming (applauding) world.
And I did find my passion! I found many passions. And yes, there was a warm welcome from the world and scattered applause (at least in my head).
Following my passion was arduous. I often felt as though I was scaling the tallest of mountains, with no peak in sight. My highs were high and my lows gut-wrenching.
I came to resent the warm welcomes and the applause (imaginary as it was). “I’m not happy.” Wasn’t this supposed to be my happy ticket? Wasn’t I supposed to swim around in riches and soar with ease around my newly formed, righteous life?
With every turn I smacked head first into a wall of my own making. My own doubt, my self hatred, angry words of my mother binding around me every time I reached for a fresh piece of fabric to cut or a paint brush to dip into
I was often entombed in fear, standing in the middle of my studio-frozen. I wouldn’t give up. I knew the only way to succeed or to be happy was through this…somehow.
So I fought, I crawled, I grew long talons to rip myself back into reality from my tomb. I stayed with myself for hours on the floor, waiting for the anxiety to subside so I could start working on my projects again. It would get better, it had to.
And it did. Year by year, it was less painful. I could a-c-c-o-m-p-l-i-s-h things. The debilitating shame became bearable, just a sarcastic laugh away.
This was it. I was going to get there. I was going to make something of myself. I was going to make something of these pretty things I surrounded myself with. I had s-k-i-l-l-s now. I had experienced s-u-c-c-e-s-s-e-s.
So there I was, sewing away on my machine. Trying to ignore the void threatening to swallow me up if I stopped and looked its way. “Gosh, I love what I do. This is so fun.” I side eyed the Void, did it believe me? Would it leave me alone? I stopped to change my thread and picked up my fabric again. It had gone black. Black, like the basement in my dreams. Damp, cold, and abandoned. “How did I get down here? Can anyone hear me?”
Black- the sewing machine, my paints, the room, my arms. I was stronger than this. It wasn’t going to take me. I had fought for my passions. I fought for myself. The Black melted away and I sat, exhausted, at my machine.
A friend: “Hey! How’s work going? Making cool stuff?”
Me: “Yeh! It’s going awesome!”
‘I have lots of new ideas I’ve set into motion. I’m excited. I see my trajectory. See it? Over there. That illuminated winding pathway towards…