Thursday, June 15, 2017

A New Journey Awaits...

It's been a few years since I've visited my MemoiART blog, the one that began in the summer of 2012 with a few graduate school friends and ended up becoming a safe place for me to share my deepest thoughts, my research, my a sense, my heART.  And now, 5 years later, I sit here on a lovely Thursday afternoon and consider my life and where it's been.  And where it's going.

I just completed my 24th year of teaching and I am taking a year leave.  My headaches have gotten to a place that I need a break.  I'm not sure what's causing the head "tingles" that I deal with daily, but my neurologist and I suspect it could be mold in my old art room, so saying goodbye (which was one of the most difficult things I have ever done) is in my best health interest.  I am keeping the Gwinnett County door open and will possibly come back next year to a new school and a new "art-venture" but in the meantime, I am planning on writing and creating and traveling and living BIG.  I want to share my 24 years of teaching experience with teachers...I want to teach children in small group studio camp settings...I want to put my toes in the sand and BREATHE!

I'm not sure I've really been able to adequately breathe since that horrible summer of 2008 when my Croy was taken from me too soon.  I try.  I really try.  I go through the motions of breathing and I believe on most days, I find JOY because I am blessed.  I have a career that I am passionate about, a husband that I mostly adore, an incredible smart beautiful daughter and friends from each corner of my life.  Again, I am blessed and I don't take these gifts for granted.  I give thanks daily.  But I have found that when I turned 50 I became angry.  Not a frowning, pissed off, horrible person on daily basis kind of angry, but a "deep down inside something isn't quite right" angry.  So I'm ready to take a good hard look and see why.  It could be as simple as coming to terms with the fact that my son should be turning 21 next month.  The fact that he's not here with me continues to rip my heart open daily, but it will be 9 years since the "nightmare" and I have found authentic joy and have lived big FOR HIM.  I know that he lives in my heart and so I breathe for him and I live big for him.

But yet, there is this anger?  I'm restless.  I'm "bored".  I am seeking adventure and a new journey. My beautiful Carson is living life fully, she is in her second year of working on the SIC beach patrol and will begin her sophmore year at Carolina where she excelled last year in the journalism school.  My Chuck continue to amuse me and bring me joy and together, we have made the decision to sell all of our collected stuff in the suburbs and RUN to the beach as fast as we can.  I think the suburbs are slowly killing me.  That could be the beginning of my anger.  Suburbs.  There is just so much to say, but I will wait and perhaps create a poem / art piece on that sad subject.  But I do believe a part of me will miss it, afterall, this suburb held me and my family up during the nightmare.  My school, my staff, my students literally saved me.  I can't complain about MY suburb, I believe it's just suburbs as a whole.  There's something so fake about them.  I am tired of FAKE.  I am on a search for real. REAL living - and perhaps when I find it, I will be able to fully BREATHE again.
"Living...One Breath at a Time" mixed media original - dewestudio 2016
Our travels begin on Sunday.  I have been blessed to work since school ended teaching my summer art camp to 40 incredible children, working at the High museum teaching teachers about the integrated ways they can use printmaking techniques with their students and at ArtsNOW teaching teachers about the art of reflecting...through Narrative Necklaces.  I think the more I talked about reflecting yesterday the more I realized that I sorta stopped reflecting a few years ago and just started going through the motions of living.  Sometimes reflecting hurts too much.  And if something hurts too much, we turn away from it and ignore it.  But I can't ignore it anymore, so my MemoiART begins again.

...and I will breathe again!