This is it. Today’s the day. My tuition is due by the end of the day, and as the fancy pink graphic below shows, I’m just $363 from my goal.
That feels good.
As I wrote the other day, I’ve been working hard to make sure that my journey is one of love, not fear – that my actions are always rooted in love of myself and love of my right people (hey, gorgeous) and love of my art. Not fear of failure.
And it’s been wonderful – I have been happier, things have flowed better and I haven’t worked myself into the ground.
But can we just pause here a minute and talk about the other side of this?
Just because my actions and my choices have come from a place of love does not mean that I have not been afraid.
I have still had moments of panic. I have a low, throbbing headache today from holding all of my fear and tension in my terminally clenched jaw.
I have to constantly defend my position of love. Yes, it’s brought greater ease to my work, my marketing, my money and my life, but it’s not been easy to stay there.
This is a new way of living for me. I have to break old habits, write new ones. I have to choose my commitment to love about 8 million times a day. I have to keep asking myself, “If I made a choice out of love right now, what would that choice be?”
Sometimes acting from love can feel conflicted. Do I choose to act from love of myself today, and write this post, share my words here, and on social media and then take the afternoon off to relax and rest my aching head?
Or do I act from love of my art, and keep pushing till the end of the day?
But I don’t know if the choice is really a choice. Would hovering over my computer for the rest of the day really help the money show up? Or would it be better to shine my light, share my words and then let them speak for themselves, without pushing and fretting?
Somehow, I think option 2 makes the most sense.
And yet, there are deep knots of tension
“What if I don’t make the rest of the money by the deadline? What then?” whispers the fear.
Debt. Borrowing. Credit cards. I’ll do what I have to do to pay the tuition. Not going to France is not an option.
“But then we failed!” wails my inner perfectionist.
But did we? We paid the tuition. We’re going to France. We’ll pay the money back. The goal itself was accomplished.
True, more debt is not something that I want. (There’s still the business of that $12,000 I owe from last year.)
And there’s the matter of the other $56,000 I need over the next 2 years. (Next month? Plane tickets, baby!)
It’s a big dream. It’s scary. It’s the biggest, craziest thing I’ve ever tried to do. And my head, literally, aches with the hugeness of it.
What’s important here?
As tempting as it is to sit here and worry about the next $56000, that’s not really helpful. And it’ll probably make my headache worse.
The only thing that I can do right now is keep putting one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. I can’t take care of tomorrow until I’ve taken care of today.
I find this infinitely comforting. I am only responsible for the here and now. I only have to do my best with what I’ve got. I would never do less and I can’t do more.
What’s my best today?
My best today is to write this post, and ask for your help.
My best today is to give you and me permission to let the rest of it go. You did your best. I did my best. Could I have done more? Probably. But quantity and quality are not equal. I could have done more, but I could not have done better.
I need to refuel. I’m dying to spend some time in my kitchen, baking scones and Welsh tea cakes. I’m dying to just sit and draw for hours. I’m dying to finish that little red pepper painting from yesterday.
I need to drink several cups of green tea, my version of aspirin. I need to keep drinking water. I need to eat some food and take a nap and share a little on social media and maybe send one last note to my Notes from the Studio subscribers and subscribers to last year’s Sketches from the Road.
And then at 4pm EST, I will pay my tuition, with the money that I have and, if necessary, whatever I have to borrow.
The rest of the weekend, I am unplugging! I will spend time with one of my best friends, go to the mall and try on OUTRAGEOUS outfits, eat some of my baking, make slow-roasted pork, draw and draw and draw and paint and snuggle with my love while watching movies.
I will celebrate the beginning of my journey. I will celebrate my hard work. I will celebrate the love that has filled me this past week or so.
And on Monday, I will start work on Phase 2. By putting one foot in front of the other, doing my best every day and letting the rest of it go. By choosing love and always moving forward, even if it’s just an inch.
No fireworks, or fanfare and no awards will be handed out.
But I will get to France. And every step will be made with love.
To me, that’s what matters most.
I’m asking for your help. If you feel called to contribute, go check out the delightful page outlining my odyssey, why it’s so important and how you can join in. Click here!
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