Friday, October 22, 2010

Leap of Faith

Allow me to apologize for being a bit scarce around here lately...I've been in sort of a deep cleaning mode, at home and at the studio. I finally cleaned up this little sitting area in a little corner of our bedroom. The chairs have been there for ages, but tend to be the dumping ground for clothes and what not. The whole idea has been to have this space near the windows where hubby and I can sit to talk, read, or just watch the river.

I suppose it is a good time for fall cleaning, but I think this little bout of cleaning is just as much about me working through this transition in my life. I'm not done yet, but I'm making headway. I was finally ready to go through some papers and other items I brought home when I left my job five months ago (in some ways, I feel my job left me). It has felt too emotionally charged to do it any sooner. I had to leave things set a bit, so I could separate myself from these things. But it was time. As I sorted through these things, I packed some things away, found new places for other things, and tossed a whole lot out. With every bag I tossed away, my spirit felt a little free-er to move on.

So much of life is filled with uncertainty...the unknown. It can scare you, if you let it. Believe me, I have those days. But the only way I have made it through the past five months is by embracing the unknown as possibility and adventure. I won't lie...I feel uncertain and even scared at times. But there is also a part of me that has seen this layoff as a gift, a rare opportunity to explore other options for my life.

It's not easy to stay in that place. I sometimes have to keep myself from falling into a perpetual state of panic or despair. But because I am trying to look at this time as a gift, I have been a bit bolder and ready to take a leap of myself.

The cool thing is that my hubby is doing the same. In the past five months, he has reignited his passion for acting. He's been running all over town, going on auditions, taking parts in student films, answering calls for film extras... And it is beginning to pay off...he has a lead role in a community theater production and is getting more and more calls for some paying gigs (it's nice to be compensated sometimes!).

Last night as we were recounting some of our recent exploits to my son, he quipped, You are one artsy couple."  Ya, we are...and quite happy pursuing our dreams.

My leap of faith is all about taking myself more seriously as an artist and being bold enough to declare myself just that, an artist. I am working hard to commit more time to my art, to challenge myself as an artist and grow.

And so, I feel ready to take advantage of this gift and use it as an opportunity to participate in a program that I think will make me a stronger artist. A little over a month ago, I wrote about the WARM mentor program. Over the past month, I have attended a couple mentor introduction sessions. I am just starting the process of interviewing with possible mentors.

Interview...the very word is anxiety-producing. Yesterday, before my first interview, I was about as nervous as I could get. That negative critical voice inside my head was working overtime, with fears of not being good enough. It was no easy task to quiet that little monster.

Thankfully, five minutes into the "interview" I had calmed down considerably and was, for the most part, able to enjoy this incredible opportunity to review my work with a more experienced artist. It was a wonderful experience. Sometimes it is good to see your work through someone else's eyes. I left feeling my work is stronger than I give myself credit for...and I felt more clarity about what direction I want to go with my work.

I still have two more "interview" experiences...spread out over the next few weeks. Mentors and protegees will be matched when the interview period is completed--November 15th.

In the meantime, I will continue plugging away...and trying to make the best use of this opportunity.


Gloria said...

I hope this transition works for the best for you. It's very hard when unexpected change comes along but somehow if we are strong enough, we can get through it. I wish you and yours all the luck in the world and may you reap the benefits that you have coming to you. Take care and have a great weekend.

Liz-AnnasOnTheLake said...

Best of luck with your journey, Risa! I look forward to seeing where it leads you!

Carola Bartz said...

This is my first time here, and I am amazed. Your openness really touches me. Quite a lot of what you wrote sounds familiar.
Good luck for the next interviews - your journey sounds exciting, yes, and it is an adventure. Very worth it!

pinkglitterfae said...

Good luck Risa, you are going in the right direction. I think everything happens for a reason

The chairs in the corner of your room look very inviting, a perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee

enjoy this new chapter in your life

Carrie Schmitt said...

Interviews--that is awesome! Congratulations!

Toni said...

Risa, two years ago my husband lost his job through a company closing. We had all the feelings you are going through right now. But it turned out to be a very good thing. Our faith was renewed and he took on a whole new career. You are blessed in all ways and keep faith in God. It will be all for the good.

Meant2B said...

I can feel everything you are experiencing and I'm sending you lots of love and light. Its sometimes (who am I kidin' - most times) hard to allow the transition to happen and roll with it. I applaud your openess and willingness.