A little over a year ago I declared to my family that I HAD to paint. It was an overwhelming need to paint every single waking hour and to give it my very best shot and believe I could make a success of it. What came with that statement was an acceptance that it meant allowing myself to be fully immersed living, breathing & sleeping painting, and proving I could make a decent living out of being a professional artist. A little extreme maybe, but not impossible as a single, financially secure individual; but I'm not. Thank goodness my husband acknowledged this need, recognised some sort of emerging 'talent' and accepted what that really meant was he had to do even more of the 'childcare' outside of school hours in order for me to pursue this single-minded vision.
For that I am eternally grateful, but when does the time come for me to acknowledge I am a success or not?
Recently a friend commented how 'successful' my life had become. At that exact moment I wanted to break down in tears out of sheer exhaustion. She kindly added how success can look very different looking in on a situation compared to looking out: how perfectly spot-on she was. Growing media coverage, new customers, exciting opportunities all indicate a certain degree of success, but it's meant to be all about finding that elusive 'balance': to paint; to be happy, patient and 'in the moment' with my family. Since I've embraced my creative side I have also unleashed extremes of energy & outlook. I find the challenges of living 'feast or famine' as an artist together with my relentless drive and focus exhausting and at times deeply unsettling.
It may look like everything is rosy with my 'success', I just don't believe it quite yet.
I feel immensely grateful for the supportive people I have in my corner but I'm also questioning how much longer I can manage a very uneven balancing act of the creative passion that's all-encompassing & driving me forward, and the wife and mother I need to be. For now the only thing I can believe in is that I will shortly crash out and another day will begin and with it the eternal hope and optimism that tomorrow I'll be a better mum, x