Mixed with anticipation and excitement at the prospect of moving to a new town and new area, is a sense of loss. It seems I have just begun, at last, to build a creative foundation, making connections, working in a studio I love, and exhibiting my work. Now, I’ll be leaving it all behind and starting fresh.
I find I need to focus on that aspect – fresh. Every facet of my life is about to change. Friendships, professional associations, living arrangements, frequency of time spent with family, and my daily life are undergoing transformation.
I’ve never been great with change, at least not on an inner level. Outwardly, I cope. Internally, it’s always a struggle letting go of the known and familiar. This time, I hope it will be easier. This is my decision, my choice, my bid for financial and emotional freedom. Yes, there is trepidation. However, I’m discovering from recent visits to what will be my new home, and already being warmly welcomed by other artists, that there is definitely an exciting and positive side to this major shift.
When I came to Maldon, over twenty years ago, I knew no one. Being a sole parent with two school-age children very quickly changed that situation. There’s nothing like getting involved with the school’s parents’ association to break the ice in a small, rural town. As the kids grew older and moved on to secondary school, so my friendships changed. Professional writing and editing brought new and different alliances and comradeship through shared interests. Starting my own business and publishing a short story magazine brought me in contact with yet more folk, perhaps not exactly friends but certainly valued associates. More recently, allowing art an important place in my life took me to yet another, previously distant environment and its inhabitants.
Change in the past has meant loss, growth and revelation. I expect this transition will bring more of the same. This time, though, I’ll be spreading my wings earlier and more eagerly as an independent woman, a writer and artist, who has learned from changes that have gone before. There is something to be said for growing older. Time becomes more precious. Not only does every minute count, so does every experience. The potential for beginning new friendships encourages joy and anticipation, which reduce the fear. Life may be turning me upside down and inside out, but that’s more than okay.