Well it's January and I am finally very close to completing my first painting since the end of September. This particular one was started in early October but has progressed rather slowly. A far cry from the 5 paintings a month goal that I had set for myself in the fall. I’ve not exactly been on vacation over the past few months, rather I found myself working on a very different sort of productivity, and it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. In late October I found out that I am pregnant! I’m writing this today to share a little about how that news affected me.
Truth be told I have always always wanted to have a daughter (I guess we’ll see). I’m the proud Mum of two rough and tumble boys boys, currently 15 and 11. But I’m 39 now and over the past two years I thought things had become really clear in my head, I had decided to allow my childbearing years to slip gracefully behind me. It was a decision I believed was made in agreement with my heart and after years of parenting and hardly any painting, I was very ready to finally focus on my dreams of having a real career as a working artist.
Over the past twelve months the plans were hatched. I left my reliable and stable job, I cashed in all of my savings, and I took off running down this newly cleared path in the direction of my dreams. I knew it was risky, I knew my window of opportunity could be short, I knew I may not make it, and that certainly money would be tight for a little while (which was nothing new). I also knew that I had to do it, I felt compelled by an inner force that threatened to drag me into an abyss if I did not.
So that’s when it happened, just as I was gaining momentum. I was painting every day, I was nearly finished building my own website, and planning to launch this very blog that I am now writing. Suddenly I was pregnant. It was as if I’d taken a flying leap and my parachute had failed to open. I tried really hard not to be scared – but I was without a doubt shaken to the core. Only a supreme being could actually get any painting done while caring for a new baby!!! It felt like a huge, vast boulder had fallen onto the landscape in front of me, obscuring my view completely. It was the kind of obstacle that would take a few years to climb over. And because I had left my job of 7 years I did not even have the possibility of Employment Insurance or maternity leave. I was feeling pretty hooped, and I’ve never been a crier but I definitely cried a few times.
My love (Frank) and I decided to just relax, wait it out, not that there was much choice in the matter but first trimesters are filled with uncertainty and it seemed wise to take a wait and see attitude for the time being. We let the weeks pass and tried to think of other things. We are both easy-going to a fault, we love one another very deeply – a child together would be a precious gift. It might not be easy but we believe we will be alright -eventually. The money will come from somewhere.
It has been a few months of physical, emotional, and artistic nausea, but now we are entering a new phase. I’m starting to feel a little better and with each little movement I feel in my belly, my faith and my love for this little one grow stronger. We have told our friends and family, and are preparing for a rather different looking future. The baby is due in June, I have decided that I’m going to be a working artist anyway. I will have to make adjustments to the trajectory, maybe develop a few more super powers. We have some big decisions to make and we are going to scale back our already frugal lifestyle in every conceivable way so that the bills will be paid and the mouths all fed.
Meanwhile I’m going to paint like a woman possessed over the next 5 months until the baby arrives. My heart is becoming curious to know what new doors of creativity might be opened by all these changes. After all dreams can only be realized if you refuse to stop believing in them.