Well I never really left. I just checked out mentally. Feeling confused and lost, venturing off and convincing myself that I needed to revisit and re-establish myself as a coach or psychologist again…a more legitimate occupation or purpose. Believing for a while that the art in my life was only a past time and not my purpose. I didn’t really sketch or create art for almost a year or maybe more. I doodled and sketched the occasional sketch but I didn’t immerse myself in it like in the previous months and years.
It was since my dad has passed that I took a step back from most things in my daily life. Things that brought me joy. Even though writing and creating art soothed me, as did climbing I did very very little of any. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was more like a natural state of retreat and preservation and even possibly expectation (on my part) as to what I “should” be doing.
So, I left.
I can’t tell you what I did with my time. All I know is that I spent a lot of it reflecting.
I spoke to a friend recently about the sense of loss (in my identity as a career person) and the sense of feeling lost not knowing which direction to head in. I shared with her the ideas I had about returning to coaching and psychology work, although my energy associated with it was that of exhaustion. Yes I am good at it and yes I have had many people tell me I should get back to it, but you see I feel that since looking after my elderly parents for several years I am emotionally tired from giving. I wasn’t sure if I could give, connect and be an effective coach again whilst still being a carer. She said ” your drawings and your art are wonderful” – I politely and humbly thanked her. She said why don’t you do that? At which time I interrupted her and said and “do workshops?”….she immediately replied no just for you!
That simple conversation stuck with me.
I started to sketch again, I started reading and flicking through the art related books on my book shelves. I began to come alive again. Art and writing makes me happy. At the same time I began to come across articles of people who had significant career changes from working as a human resource and IT consultant for almost two decades to now art director and illustrator. Life is long (well to be honest I personally think it’s short if you don’t pay attention to your life and be mindful and grateful). So yes life is long, and as you and I live our lives we become different people through our encounters and life experiences, so why wouldn’t my purpose naturally change and develop?
I’m enjoying being back in my happy place. And I believe I have found home again. I’m creating art and writing with no expectations of outcomes or future focus, just purely for the love and happiness it brings me. Just allowing my rediscovered happiness (passion) to unfold and blossom.