Sunday, January 31, 2010


Hello there. It's been awhile. I'm evening out from a somewhat bumpy stretch of life. It's time for me to resume creative activity, and re- establish my studio practice. So much has happened in the past couple of months. I knew when I returned to this (blog) after the break period that I wanted to write it all out, to summarize what has happened and my reasons for "taking a break". Does anyone else really want to know? It's been said before, blogging is/ can be self- indulgent. I suppose this is self indulgent, but I'll do it anyway because I want to see it laid out in words so that maybe I can look at it, acknowledge its weight, then better move forward.
I suppose I'll start with December. I made myself a little crazy by taking on a solo art show and as many Christmas Fine Art and Craft fairs as possible. I worked so much, and with so many fine people in the Nashville art community. It was a pleasure, but it left me exhausted. At the time, I worked in retail, which is exhausting at that time of year, also. Then, a dear friend recommended I look into position that had opened up at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film. I did, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like just the job for me. I began the interview process, and was ridiculously excited from wanting to get this awesome job and yet frazzled from everything else. I had friends mock- interview me at Fido, I got my hair blown out, I talked obsessively about my plans. It's a good thing I married a patient man. More or less a week before Christmas I got word that I had the new job and was set to start the second week in January! YESSSS! And that's not it- I had an article about my art work, the solo show, featured in the Tennessean! A Christmas miracle.
I started winding down the year in east Tennessee, with family whom Jon and I went to visit for the holidays. It was really, really nice. I ate my weight in Christmas dinner. I gave and got presents. I made a gingerbread estate. I watched Avatar. My mother is an amazing cook and loves Christmas, so it was quite a festive occasion. Sometime in the following days I committed to an idea I'd been toying with: I would run the Country Music Half- Marathon in 2010. Hence, I registered and formulated a training plan. A large part of that plan involved a running group in east Nashville, appropriately titled "East Nasty". They are close to the house, go on regular runs, and are a fun bunch of people who would keep me going on days and night when I otherwise wouldn't feel like going alone. Through the group I've made several new friends, too! A weird thing happened that I didn't anticipate, though. The last time I did this (trained for the 1/2 marathon),was just weeks after Blake was born. WEEKS. What was I thinking?!! Actually, I know quite well what I was thinking, but it wasn't based on reason. I was so frustrated by having my life changed in a way I never wanted, from gaining pregnancy weight, from being limited in what I could do for 9 months because my body wasn't simply mine anymore. For so many reasons, I was so angry. I didn't want to be a parent, I didn't want to abort the baby, and I didn't want to place our son in an adoption. I never wanted these things that would take over my life and change it forever, but they happened anyway. As you probably know, we chose an adoptive couple (whom I love, love, love)for our son, and the open adoption is a choice I feel very proud of. We loved him so much; we wanted the best life for him. It is a sacrifice I will never regret. Blake was born the first week of January, 4 years ago. Those first several months, the year even, were difficult- which brings me back to the half- marathon. In my traumatized, frustrated mind it seemed like a good idea to train for and compete in the Country Music Half- Marathon. I would get back my former body physically. I would have an outlet for my emotional anxiety. It seemed to make such sense then, but looking back it was incredibly dumb and traumatized my body physically, adding to the emotional stuff I was already sorting through. The Sunday before the race in 2006 I ran the course as a practice before tapering down and resting during the week. After that run, shooting pains began in my right hip. I stretched, and tried to walk it out. It worsened to the point that I couldn't walk. Convinced that I had pinched a nerve, I went to the doctor asking to get a shot to stop the pain. Unfortunately it was not a pinched nerve at all; the x-rays showed that I had broken my pelvis on the right side. It had all been too much- too much, too quickly for a body to bear. Obviously I was out of the race, and worse, on crutches with possibility of permanent injury. I stayed off my feet and used the crutches religiously, and after several months healed to a full recovery. Since then I've thought about the race, and how I'd like to try again. It felt right to commit to it this year. I'd like to reset the process, and do this challenge right. I'd like to take care of myself and run it in a healthy way. So far, so good! Remembering the last time I tried this, and then celebrating Blake's birthday- it all hit me harder than I thought it would. The first half of the month it just kept mentally knocking me over. I don't know how to describe it other than cell memory; my body knows it has done this before and it wasn't good. I feel as if that's fading a bit- this time will be better.
So, training is progressing positively (I went on a sparkling, snowy run this morning with my girls and Seamus) just like the new job! On January 11th I began working for Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film as the Assistant Director of Community Education and Programming. I love it! The environment is great, I have met quite a few other talented artists who work there, and I love the Director of my department! Ahhh. After dumping all this into writing, it DOES seem reasonable that I took a break from everything else. I feel like I'm settling in to the changes, and that I am ready to incorporate art and the creative process into my life again. Yay. I 've missed it!

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