(piece for Balt Sun, mixed media)
I got back from my mom's on Monday afternoon and have been hustling to get caught up since. Funny how quickly those emails can pile up. The trip was really wonderful. It's always a re-centering and a more objective look at things when I hang out with my mom. A little like x-ray vision into my life.
Yesterday though, I got some disappointing news. I have been illustrating a column for the Baltimore Sun for about 2 years now (a long time!) and yesterday they called and said that they had to make some budget cuts and were discontinuing that column. They plan to merge it into a different section of the paper and just use author mugshots like most other stories (boring!).
I was pretty bummed. I loved working with them... Not only was it a great opportunity to hone my skills and try different things within my style (they gave me a lot of freedom), it was the closest thing I've had to steady income since I quit my job almost three years ago. I could always depend on those paychecks. So that stinks.
At first I felt a little exposed and nervous... I flopped around and took a nap, not knowing what to do with the bad feelings. I thought: what if this was the start of the fall of my career? What if I didn't get any more jobs now and had to go back to working for someone else? Was it my fault?
But over the next day or so I was able to step back a little bit (after emailing a friend and calling my brother for some support) and let a little light in. Maybe this is actually a good thing in disguise. I am not tied down to this weekly obligation any longer. So maybe this is a way to free up to allow something better to come in. It wasn't my choice, but maybe it was time.
I dunno. I'm still trying to think hopeful thoughts about the universe delivering something new/better/different. I am trying to be open and patient.
Until then though, I have a few days of my week back to enjoy the summer... take Vince for a little longer walk, sit outside and breathe some summer air... just be.
Maybe what feels like a setback is actually a good thing.