A Fresh (Yet Unexpected) Landscape

The first half of this year was all about manifesting. I don’t think I’ve ever believed in an idea so much that I just couldn’t see it not become real. It was real to me before anyone else could see or understand it. Maybe that’s what carrying a vision is. Maybe that’s what working with magic involves. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I gave everything I had to setting an intention and doing the work to not just believe it would be, but actually MAKE it so. For the first time in my life, there was no doubt. Ever. There were times I had to help (push, pull, carry) even my former partner see and believe it could be done and talk them through their own disbelief. Looking back I can see how much I was carrying and pushing up the hill, but at the time I felt no strain or overexertion; just a driven energy pulsating with familial legacy and an integration of my passions for art and advocacy. 

Writing out the development plan and narrative made accomplishing it so concrete and solid to me: securing 6mos of funding, people desiring to support it, finding a space, the timeline for it to all unfold, and the concept. None of that seemed impossible.

Then July came. July tends to be the time of year when I get shaken up and everything in my life shifts. July is always my month of upheaval. In July things went left and in August everything took a nosedive south. I didn’t know what to do at first but then I did and I resisted until I couldn’t any longer; it was either make difficult but necessary decisions to restructure or lose the whole thing altogether. Money had been raised. Personal, emotional, and financial investments had been made. And then suddenly it was over before it was really given a chance to begin. 

I’d like to say that if I could go back to the first half of the year, I’d do everything differently, but that’s not entirely true. Everything that’s happened has forced me to face myself and question why I carry big ideas but feel compelled to make myself small. It has helped me understand that as much as I believe in others, I can’t save them through collaboration; it’s arrogant of me and unfair to others to even think I could. That mode of operating serves no one and only enables co-dependency on both ends. I’ve also come to understand that if I believed in my own ability to execute my big ideas, I’d find the right collaborators or partners to work with when it’s time for what’s been built to scale in growth. I’d speak up about the red flags I see as well as the concerns and questions I have so that resentment and fear over speaking up doesn’t build on my end...and bubble up into anger. 

I’ve spent the second half of this year trying to find my way back out of the trough of disillusionment. I’ve been yearning for the magic and unshakeable faith that helped me push the boulder up the hill. I’ve been holding onto what was, instead of embracing what’s in front of me: a fresh landscape waiting for me to move forward. I’ve been allowing shame and embarrassment over things falling apart to consume me as I’ve grieved the loss I feel. I’ve been learning to quiet my ego and practice restraint; to let go of my need for approval from others. I’ve learned what it takes to do what’s best instead of yielding to the desire to avoid what needs to be done. I’ve learned how to stand up for myself and for my ideas...for the vision. I’ve learned what it means when people say it’s time to “level up”. 

It has taken time, counsel, and growth taking root for me to feel a new connection forming to the studio. For it to feel like less of an obligation to fulfill and more like the magic of manifestation I felt last Spring. For it to feel doable...and for me to fully believe that I have what’s necessary within myself to move forward with it. For me to make peace with the circumstances and hold my head high again despite them. For the anxiety and panic to subside so focused determination to take their place. 

I didn’t end up where I thought I would, and I didn’t plan on being the only one standing here in the doorway, but I’m here looking in and seeing the vision and potential again. Asking it to forgive me for thinking walking away would’ve been better. 

Promising it I’ll keep showing up if it’ll keep leading the way.