This journal is going to be one of those angst-y teenager posts. But, there are some good parts to it.
2015 has been a very long year. There were a number of ups, but a lot of personal downs.
I still work at Starbucks. I cut back my time at the greenhouse because I was becoming exhausted, very quickly. I once managed to work 40 consecutive days between two jobs. I really, really, really hate working at Starbucks, and everyone knows it. This is not what I want; I wanted this to be a temporary thing. Not something that would drag on for eleven years.
Eleven years. Of misery. You guys know what that’s like, right? Just to have a paycheck that maintains the utilities in a single-family home, and health benefits. There is nothing fulfilling about my job at Starbucks beyond that. I hate it. Corporate is now looking into making the store I work at into an “evening store”—one that sells beer and wine, and hors d’oeuvre type foods.
Excuse me? I started working here with the understanding that I would be selling coffee and pastries…not booze. If you want booze, go to the local restaurants that are in the shopping center I work at. Get out of my face.
--But this is the way the company wants to grow. Next thing you know, they’ll buy out some convenience store chain—I mean, “partner” with them. All stores will be open 24 hours a day. We’ll sell cigarettes, windshield-washer fluid, and lottery tickets—so you can keep buying into the Starbucks name!
I am done with it. I do not want this. But… they keep me alive. Why did I let it get this bad?
Now, as for the garden center. I cut back my hours there, in September. The garden center lays off nearly HALF the workers there from January-March. They do come back, though. The management at the garden center is not something I particularly agree with. I love the people I work with. They are like-minded and goal-oriented. They love plants, and I work with a few of very artistically talented individuals. The pay is peanuts; but the quality of the time I spend there is priceless. I learn so much when I am there; the to-do list is ever-changing. It is not a boring monotonous job, like Starbucks, where I do the same. Exact. Thing. Every. Single. Day.
But, I cannot hope to be able to transition from Starbucks, to Merrifield, without finances suffering as a result. Nonetheless, I will keep working there on Sundays, until they cut me out of payroll necessity—or I leave. Simple as that. I will respect it, and accept it.
Because of the work schedule, as some of you know, it has been very difficult to produce art. Art is my first love. But I am tired of not having enough of quality time to spend with my art, to hone my skills, and actually separate myself from my dreadful day job. It got to a point that for at LEAST a month or so, I would come home from work, and just sleep. And sleep. And sleep. It was the only way I could run away from the reality that things weren’t changing. Nothing was getting better. I had gotten tired of trying, and…nothing.
My failure is my own. I own this failure. But this is going to change.
I miss interacting with other artists. I miss keeping tabs on their art and their success. I miss commenting on their work, and sharing it with others. I want to be there to support others. But time is so limited.
I love to create art for others. I love to share MY personal works. I love spending time with other artists, even if it is just with internet connections—as it has been for many, many years. I imagine what it would be like: To wake up daily, go through the inbox of all the stuff that people have been churning out…leave my two cents, and then start my work. I want to share what I have learned through my personal experiences and practice with art. And you know what?
I could do that every day.
I imagine what it would be like: To do art every day. To do something, art related, every single day. To be a productive person, compensated for their passion, and as a result, can continue to provide for the necessities of their family—and still say that it was a good, fulfilling day, every day.
I imagine what it would be like: Going to the botanical gardens that are a thirty minute drive from me—ones that my coworkers at the garden center keep reminding me to go to, but….I never, ever have been there. To observe, and learn; do some sketches of these gorgeous living organisms. Incorporate them into my art...
I imagine what it would be like: Making a day out of a visit to the aquarium. Still learning, still sketching. So much beautiful life to observe, and to be able to share my observations with others.
But none of this can happen, as it is, right now. Why?
Because of time. Day jobs really will take away your precious time to actually enjoy life. I have come to the realization that I am, indeed, missing out on life. And I am very, very angry, frustrated, and disappointed with this.
Do you see where I am going with this? You all must be able to relate to this, you simply must. Can you imagine a good day? When was the last time you HAD a good day?
I need to make the change. But, I need the support to do it…it’s necessary for this change to take place. I have to EARN this support. I have to EARN people's trust. I have to make an impression. I will announce my plans at a later date, when I am caught up with all of this artwork that so many, SO MANY people have been patiently waiting for. They are my priority right now, and I must make my changes with a clean slate. No IOUs, nothing put on the back burner. That simply will not do.
What I want to say at this point, is something that I don't say often enough to all of those that have stuck with me even through these most quiet of times: Thank you. Thank you for giving me the hope that I can enjoy life someday. I couldn’t do any of this without you.
I will update this journal again within a month, maybe sooner, who knows? As of right now, I want to leave it off on a nice positive note:
I wish you all the best progress and success in 2016. I hope that you live your dreams, because you DO deserve it--and I want to be there to see it happen.
I had also completed a few other designs for Alzheimer's and Dementia Awareness, way, way in advance. This is a cause that, even though I do not live with anyone that suffers from Alzheimer's, it is a very frightening thing to me. I'm very passionate about eliminating Alzheimer's from the lives of people who are suffering from it--patients and family members alike. There is nothing more frightening to me than losing one's mind, one's sense of self, and one's memories.
Again, I apologize. Soon enough, things will return to business as usual. I do hope, however, that the cute little animals that I will be showing you all will make you smile.