Man, what a week. I was hit with several bits of news that have really thrown me off my game.
Last week it was confirmed that my Visa process (to remain in the UK) will cost nearly $2,000 by the end of it all. POW!
On Monday my boyfriend found out his company is downsizing his position at the end of February. POW!
Yesterday I found out I'll be owing nearly $4,000 in self-employment taxes for 2016. POW!
How do we stay on our path when it suddenly seems impassible, or worse yet - the path completely disappears?
There are actually so many unknowns right now that I honestly don't know where I'll be living in 6 months. How's that for a jolt of panic?
We all get knocked down from time to time, and have to build up our strength to rise again. Put in perspective within the world, our problems are often minute. But to us, they are seemingly daunting, or impossible to overcome.
The most difficult times of my life have led to massive personal growth - though at the time I thought my life was ending. I thought that there's no way I'm going to get through this [insert trauma].
Yet we humans are resilient beings, and despite the most difficult task, it is in our nature to overcome and continue on.
There's a difference between living and thriving.
I thrive when I am not worried about money,* but rather how can I make the most awesome art and inspire others and spread joy? In turn those things lead to more awesome art, inspiration, and joy. Increased sales, and more comfortable financial "cushion." A wonderful cycle.
But throw in the worry of money and I am suddenly on my knees, staring up at the insurmountable summit, worried and distraught about everything. This is not conducive to making wonderful art, nor inspiring others, nor spreading joy.
*I am happy living "paycheck to paycheck" and that's been my way of life for as long as I can remember. I've never been rich. Having only one or two months of "oh shit" savings - as in my bills are covered if I don't make any money - is normal.
I've talked about this a little in previous posts, but the 9-5 job is not something I'm willing to do in order to live a more comfortable life (more money).
I live frugally in order to live my dream. Traveling has been my biggest expense in the last two years, but I make sure I save up for that - not use any of my "oh shit" reserves.
In times like this when I'm suddenly hit with a huge dose of reality (that we live in a money-driven world), my only solace is knowing that for the last two years, and especially 2016, I was living the dream. I've tasted it. I will keep living it for as long as possible.
In the meantime, I must tighten my belt, work even harder, and get creative. The internet has made it possible for artists to make a living without ever showing work in a gallery. Sure, I wish I could show my work in a gallery, and maybe some day I will. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
For now, it's onward and upward. Even if my path is foggy, I can see the peak, and I'll get there eventually.
I've learned that when I send good things out into the universe, good things return. Sometimes they are cloaked, and their true value isn't revealed right away. But hope is a powerful thing.