It often feels to me like there simply aren’t enough lifetimes to have all the careers I would like to have, do everything I want to do. I just don’t know how I’m going to cram it all in. I love my job at the moment – being a performer/puppeteer and the way I get to create various shows as I go. It’s satisfying, though often exhausting and not always easy. But overall it’s a good life which affords me a lot of flexibility, freedom, and space to be creative. With that, and being a mama, and adding in other things like writing a book and having a social life, as well as keeping on top of domestics and those little jobs you need to do to keep your life running smoothly, there just doesn’t seem to be much time or energy for anything else.
It was an article about Emily of Black Apple, who painted this gorgeous bubblegum girl, that got my started on this topic recently. I so love the concept of her job. She “Etsy’s” full time, creating art and selling it on the net as a full time job. I love her blog, the little insights into her life, and the commitment she has to churning out new pieces on a regular basis. I could so see myself doing that – though I’m not sure my art would end up with the same following she has. But the venture, and with enough time to establish myself – well that’s a lifestyle I like the sound of. Two years ago I made a resolution to be creative, to make stuff continually, regardless of whether I need it or not. I used to hold back on things like making dolls because what was the point – I didn’t need more dolls. Part of my resolution was to create, and then give away my creations if I didn’t feel the need to keep them. It was based on an idea that creating stuff makes me happy, therefore I should create. This resolution changed my life, and I have remained passionately commited to it since then. I always have something on the go now, and although I have little breaks from time to time, I keep going back to it because it works – it really does make me happy.
But I can’t focus on a create-to-sell lifestyle for now because I’m too busy with my current lifestyle. Maybe that’ll come next. A serial approach to all that I want out of my life, rather than trying to do all at once. Which leads me into thinking of my other serial lives. Another one is to be a writer. I am currently writing a book, though I only focus on it in spurts as it’s just too much for me to work on that and The Grimstones at the same time. But I can so see myself having a lifestyle where I commit to writing for a few hours each day, and making an effort to write and send articles to relevant magazines etc to establish myself a bit. I want to be a birth writer – write about pregnancy, birth, babies, breastfeeding and all that – share the results of my research. I also want to write novels. I’ve written a few but they’re not really publishable. One of them is mid-second-draft and I feel it has potential but it’s so far down the list of projects to focus on.
And then there’s Camille Allen, the wonderful doll-maker who sculpts these incredibly life-like dolls, both lifesize and in miniature. I think her work is absolutely exquisite. She learnt this task several years ago from her husband’s grandmother – if only I had a grandmother-in-law like that. Wow. So another life aspiration of mine is to get myself to Canada and beg her to let me watch her work, so that I can learn to sculpt babies too. You know, this one could really tie in with the create-to-sell life – maybe a way of doubling up? Squeezing in a bit more before I die?
And then there’s another one, which has me a little panicked just thinking about it. That’s the life where I float around being a kind of earth mother, producing wonderful food and spending the majority of time with my child, in the pursuit of homeschool, growing our own vegies, keeping up with our house, and in this life I’m not trying to squeeze in any extraneous artistry so I’m all relaxed and focussed. The problem is, and the reason I feel a tad panicked, the right time to be having that particular life is right now, while my boy is young. He’ll grow up so fast. I did actually have that life for the first two years or so after he was born, and nine months before he was born were entirely wasted in a nauseous haze as I lay on the couch and tried not to vomit. But after two years of being a very focussed mama and just performing a bit and doing mini-intensives here and there as absolutely required, I ended up feeling slightly restless, like I just needed a bit more of me. I don’t think I can do more than two years in a row (three if you count the pregnancy) without feeding the artistic part of my soul.
But this does lead me to think, when we head off to Woodford in our van, for over a month, rather than picking up the threads of the book I’m writing and aiming to pack in 3,000 words a day, I could simply float around and be that earth mama – have a holiday so to speak. There’s plenty of work to be had in the holiday afterall, as we are meeting with Gabrielle to rehearse The Grimstones in Mullumbimby, and performing every day at Woodford. Not really a holiday afterall, but the in-between times could be, if I let them. I’ll have a think about that one.