Growing pains and fire hydrants.

Regardless what it is, it is always interesting to me when I reach another of life’s directional markers. I am always surprised. Even though subliminally I knew another tectonic shift was coming because I was paying attention and I knew it was about time, I am surprised. I don’t necessarily like change. Change equates to the unknown and that’s unnerving. I can’t predict how big the change will be and that’s scary. I can’t gauge how frequently the next changes may come so I can’t prepare. I can’t control change. I feel off kilter.

I’ve spent some time recently thinking about where my art is going, noticing how I’m evolving, and wondering what might happen to my art if I retire from my day job at some point? Is my work going in the right direction? Is it getting better? It’s uncomfortable territory and yet I think about an old Chinese quote I read once, “Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still.”

Yesterday, I had a great conversation with a friend of mine and I am still mulling it all over, processing and internalizing what I will choose to keep and use, and what is useful in helping me write my own script. It is a real gift any time a friend lets down their guard and talks straight on at you. You’re gonna get higher peaks and lower valleys and the benefits will increase proportionately. I came away from the conversation motivated, validated, and ready to lean into building the new path. I was also unsettled, frightened and somewhat depressed. Now before you either get empathetic or angry at the friend, I will qualify with “I asked for it” and “I am celebrating all of those feelings”. I am grateful.

I have to smile because I think of how my father would often tell me, “… if you sit through a sermon and as you walk away you aren’t feeling uncomfortable or conflicted somehow, the preacher wasn’t doing his job”. God puts people in front of us just as surely as he does good preachers so it’s best just to listen.

I have some time before retirement so this gives me time to transition into the next plan. When daunted, become resolved. Even if I don’t know where the path of change will lead me, I know I must move forward.

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” –  Pablo Picasso