Well, the children have returned to school, finally, after their Christmas/New Year break. The first thing I did, and I felt slightly guilty and extremely decadent, I got a cup of coffee, snuggled down into my bed and read a whole book, cover to cover. I didn’t have one interruption and the silence was heavenly. It was a great start to 2014.
I had an amazingly creative and inspiring year and I needed a few days alone to process all the amazing things that happened to me in 2013. I should begin by saying that my motto for 2013, was to say Yes, to new experiences and opportunities where and when they appeared. If a door opened, even if I wasn’t exactly sure where it would lead, I said, Yes. I began to have faith in my intuition and artistic instincts and each step of the way, someone offered me advice and support to help me grow further.
Creatively, in 2013, I started selling my photo cards, after some prodding, at my friend Beth’s Store, (simplysoapsmv.com). Beth has been a huge source of support for me as she endlessly encourages me to believe in myself as an artist, so I said Yes. She is also an amazing Artist, business woman, and best friend, saying Yes to her was easy.
A few months later, at my local gym, the owner Holly, asked I could help her fill up a blank wall in the gym with my photographs? Um, Yes! Then, Holly suggested that I put prices on them and see if people would buy them, so I said, yup you got it, Yes. I arrived the next day to hang six framed photographs and before my class was over, I had sold them all. I couldn’t believe it. I would repeat this process three more times and each time the photographs sold out. I was delighted, terrified, and a totally flabbergasted, but so thankful that I said Yes. I am so grateful that Holly gave me this wonderful chance to display and sell my work.
A few months ago, Beth began offering different Artists the chance to have an art show at her store during the Holiday season. I was hesitant, probably fearful is a better word but I said Yes. I was able to sell my photographs and cards and my confidence continued to blossom. I have attended many art shows but have never been the subject of one and I learned more than I can say from that one experience. Yes! Thanks Beth.
As if my cup hadn’t already runneth over, I received the opportunity of a lifetime, going to Italy with Beth. She called last February and asked me if I wanted to go with her to Venice, Florence, and Rome for 10 days? I didn’t just say Yes, I shouted, YES, YES!! The trip changed me as a person and raised my artistic perceptions to levels I haven’t even processed completely. I was awestruck, inspired, and astounded by the beauty and the culture of Italy,. The country, the people, the food, the wine, and the art work, sublime, a totally out-of-body experience. Everywhere I went I snapped pictures on the move, clicking away on my camera like a maniac. I was spinning and whirling, pausing and shooting at a breakneck pace. I stopped so many times to take pictures, Beth was afraid she would lose me somewhere in Rome just turning in circles cackling with delight. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of buildings, canals, churches, bridges, mountains, cathedrals, museums, art, architecture, Pope Francis, and food, lots and lots of pictures of food.
What I learned from 2013 is that my dreams can be bigger and more limitless than I could imagine. If I can let go of my need to orchestrate my life and follow the breadcrumbs to where I supposed to go, my destiny unfolds in technicolor and with great clarity. Besides battling upstream is so much harder than traveling with the current. I found that I could put my energies to better use and push myself to grow, develop and to create in ways I have not yet explored or as yet discovered.
The people I have met on WordPress were among the first people who gave me the confidence to believe in myself when I finally summoned the courage to post my art. Each blogger has opened themselves up and shared their talents with me and others, and for that I am eternally grateful. Just seeing all the amazing work that creative people are contributing all over the world, humbles me. With just a click of a button, the blogging community embraces other Artists who have the courage and can bear the vulnerability and fear necessary, to reach out and claim their dreams. To say that I have been influenced, inspired and amazed by these fellow Artists, is an understatement. Thank you hardly seems enough but I am grateful for your contributions and for your kind support.
For 2014, my aim is to continue to grow as an Artist and as a person. I will move with purpose and faith to further propel myself beyond my own perceived boundaries,expectations, and self imposed limits . I will continue saying Yes to new opportunities as they appear in my life. I will continue to value the experiences and the people who have helped shape the Artist that I am today and the Artist I hope to be one day. Once I stepped away from fear and the negative nay-sayers, I found a community of fellow Artists who have encouraged, supported and inspired me every step of my journey. Here’s hoping 2014 exceeds all of our wildest expectations.
When I was in Italy I felt like I had stepped on to the pages of my old History text books, and in to a world filled with incandescent art and incredible architecture.
Every where I looked, there were feasts of delights before my very eyes. I had to keep reminding myself that I was in Italy and I wasn’t dreaming. I had to do this several times throughout the trip, so thankfully, I have the pictures to remind me, I really was there!
I took so many pictures and I left thinking that I could take a million more and never properly convey the beauty, that is Italy.
Every experience reminded me that there is still so much magic to be found in my life, if I am paying attention. There are many more surprises and adventures to be had, right around the next corner, and I can’t wait.
I am filled with such gratitude that I have had this tremendous opportunity to fulfill one of my all time, top ten dreams. Thank you Beth!
I’m home from my Incredible Adventure to Italy with my friend Beth of simplysoapsmv. and I can hardly describe the beauty and the culture that we were immersed in for ten days. Words have flown through my brain faster than the speed of light and yet I can hardly grasp any of them as other words pushes its way through and I am lost trying to absorb the fantastic feast for the eyes, the spirit, the taste buds, that is Italy.
I took 635 pictures, no I am not going to subject everyone to an endless loop of every adventure Beth and I found amusing, hilarious, spell-binding and soulful, however, I would like to share some of the photos with you. I found myself wanting to take pictures constantly, but I quickly realized it forced me to observe the beauty vista from a more practical or photographic frame of mind, and that pulled me away from experiencing the moment right in front of me. It was a constant mental tug of war, to try to take in a whole other way of living in another culture and trying to record it for posterity.
So while I go in search of the elusive words that float and flutter endlessly through my mind, I will share some of the photos I did take along the way. I am so grateful to have these tangible reminders of an intangible, incomprehensible, magical Adventure of my lifetime.
And to my friend Beth, yes we are still friends even after 10 days and nights together in a different country, I have no problem expressing my gratitude to you and Dan for making this trip possible for me. We dreamt of going to Italy a year ago almost to the day, and like magic, (Fairy Godfather, Dan), we were off for the journey of a lifetime, Thank you for Everything.
Special thanks to my husband, sons, my mom, and mother-in-law took over helping me out at home so that I could embark on what has been a life changing event, and I came home knowing that all my true blessings are right here, right where I belong, at home. This does not mean that I won’t be off to another Adventure soon, it just means, Home really is the most magical place on earth.