This is my first post and blog. Please bare with me as I nervously fumble through a brief introduction.
I am a full time artist who works with stained glass and stone. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with my new husband (we just got married last week) and our two cats. My studio is a one car garage we rent on the property.
It was a big decision to quit both my jobs teaching as an Adjunct Instructor at both Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University. Actually, big decision is sort of an understatement. I was terrified! I had been a teacher for almost five years and how I defined myself (like most people by their own career) was about to shift. Also, not having steady employment or a paycheck every two weeks was a hard thing to accept. Lastly, I knew that I needed to save as much money as I could, cut down my own expenses, and rely on Jason (my husband) and my parents for financial support. Being a woman in her 30’s and very independent, this was a very humbling task. I pretty much felt like I was throwing all my pride and part of my identity into the trash can. In a nutshell, let’s just say, I had many anxious and sleepless nights!
However, I swallowed my pride, fear and self doubt and took the risk! Honestly, it was the best thing I could have ever done. It freed me from the clutches of having a boss, a forced schedule, and more importantly, the frustration of limited time. Being an artist and a teacher is a very difficult balance, and most creatives simply don’t have the hours to actually do their own work.
I remember my first day liberated from having to show up at an academic institution. It was August in Florida, and I walked into my garage and smiled at my cement box. I stood in front of the garage door and quietly accepted that I was my own boss. From this day, and moving forward, I had no one else to blame for my own future successes or failures. The August sun beat down and cooked the concrete walls, floor and metal door like an oven. Sweat poured down my face and glass dust stuck to my clammy hands and arms. I was happy. I felt more of a sense of self worth and satisfaction that day doing physical work, than I ever had while in a classroom. I said to myself, “this is it. This is your shot. Your either going to win or lose!” I smiled and thought to myself, well what’s the point of living if you don’t take a gamble to meet your own dreams?