I’ve been gone. I went to Florida. Then I came back, but I didn’t really come back. Actually, I think I’ve been sort of gone for years. I graduated from college and everything was supposed to just happen. Nothing did. Then I lost my spark. My edge. My fire. It’s been gone. Life took it. Taking it back as been rough. So much frustration and disappointment and having to work so hard for every single thing all the time. A year ago I lost a big freelance project. It would have taken everything to the next level, but the whole project just unraveled 11 days before I signed the contract. 11 days before I turned in my notice at my day job. It sucked and I wasn’t in the best head space when it happened and I feel like I’ve been sort of reeling ever since. I work one almost full-time job and then several smaller jobs to keep things a float. The benefit to this is flexibility. I make my schedule to a reasonable degree and that has been wonderful. The downside is no other benefits and an unpredictable income, which is troubling in a single income household. The stress, the anxiety, the exhaustion has put me in a funk which is detrimental to everything.
In January I decided that if 2017 couldn’t be better it at least needed to be different. I sort of made a plan. The main thing was to work with more purpose. I do one thing for my business every day. I’m nailing that one. The other thing was just to try to get out and do more. I spent a lot of time last year working and not so much living. Trying to find some balance there so I couldn’t really say no when my mom suggested taking the kids to Disney as my belated graduation present I couldn’t really say no. I of course really wanted to go and have the experience with my kids. I grew up on Disney and it’s where my love for illustration began. However, I don’t get paid vacation and if I was going to lose a week of income I’d rather do it on a mountain than at a theme park.
Monday night I got some really crappy news so 15 hours in the car on Tuesday was pretty rough. Far too much time to dwell on everything that has gone wrong over the last few years. I passed the time by addressing postcards to mail to publishers and art directors. It didn’t really help my mood, but it was a big task that needed to be done. Our Airbnb in St. Augustine, FL was right around the corner from the post office so I was able to get stamps and mail them. while we were in town.
We spent two night in St. Augustine at a super cute cottage. The minute we walked in I felt at home and I could feel my mood shifting. Having a full kitchen and separate bedrooms was a life saver. The town itself was so incredible. If I could have called off Disney and spent the rest of the week there I would have. Charlie, would have been on board. He’s 5 and doesn’t really get the magic that is Disney World. He wanted to tour the light house. The beach was lovely. Not crowded or deserted. Caylin collected shells. Charlie loved the spray park next to the beach.
The town was full of live music, open air bars, and weird little shops. St. Augustine was founded in the 1500’s so it’s full of weird old stuff. In the 1700’s the Spanish built a huge fort to defend the city that they never even really used. I love that. I could have wandered those streets for days exploring. At heart I am a wanderer. I’ve been standing still for too long. I think I’ve touched on an important missing piece of the puzzle that is my life. I was sad to leave. It’s rare to discover a brand new place that feels so familiar and comfortable. I left with a lot to think about, but mostly I left knowing that I had found something there. I wasn’t really sure what though. To be continued.