Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What do you want with your life?

There's something I've read over and over again from different creatives who've gone off on their own path. Susan Peterson from FreshlyPicked says it perfectly, "Get clear about the life you want. Refocus your priorities until you can see that life. And then run like hell at it."

I like this quote because it focuses on the experience of your life, not just your job or career. Right now I teach elementary art and I'm still trying to figure out 1. what the best path for me is and 2. what I exactly want to focus on without spreading myself too thin. I'd like to sell my gluten free baked goods and eventually open a bakery/coffee/art shop. I'd still like to develop my artistic style and sell paintings; and I'd like to teach classes but with fewer kids and on my terms; and where I never have to grade again.

A few weeks ago I wrote about deciding to open a gf bakery. And then I thought realistically about the time I would be at the shop, the large business loan I would need, the inexperience I have and how much money I would need to make daily to pay my rent, my ingredients, my salary and my employees. It made me realize that I don't want those hours away from home or that stress right now.

What is most important to me is having a baby and building and living the life I really want. Focusing on doing the things I'm good at and that I love; and the kind of daily experience that I want. I don't want to settle, I don't want to give into the security, routine and summer perks of a teaching job when I know I want something else, I don't want to work all hours of the day, evenings and weekends and be away from my family. And I especially don't want to lose the dream and drive of living the life I always felt was right for me.

Some images that inspire me and show my style:

Low-key and slightly rustic home style from D*S

Simple and understated wagon with plenty of fresh air from NewZealandDesignBlog

Sweet but not too fancy cakes made by hand with all-natural frostings from VioletCakes in London

Simple studio, lots of light and a dog from FreundevonFreunden

A small, unassuming, simple cabin from CabinPorn

Working near my baby from LunaBelle on tumblr

So here's a recap:
The Life I Want:
time for me in the morning
fresh air and sunlight during the day (not just when I leave work to go home)
freedom to take a break or run errands in the day
the ability to make a healthy lunch at home and not always have to pack my lunch
to be around my baby and dog more often during the day
to have more time dedicated to being creative and making things- not just as a hobby

Bigger Life things that I want:
a cabin in the woods
a separate art studio
to be strong, slim and healthy
to sell my artwork, baked goods, teach art lessons and write books

Refocusing my Priorities:
stop spending all my extra money on stuff, food and clothes
instead spend it on savings, house stuff, ingredients for baking, and art supplies (but don't overbuy on art supplies)
still spend a little on clothes but focus on quality over quantity and work on my overall style- present myself as the person I am and want to be
carve out time in the evenings, mornings and weekends to paint, sew, bake and blog
realize that having a baby is a priority over starting a bakery (this was huge to realize!)
realize that I should and can do things that feel comfortable and easy; and that I don't have to take out a gigantic business loan and use our house as collateral just to open a bakery/shop!

Running Like Hell:
I'm not so much running like hell all the time, but am more of a scatterbrained jack rabbit who also jumps backwards
I complete a lot of "A Day in the Life" work sheets
I write a lot of "what if" scenarios
I've created paper and computer documents organizing all of my ideas
I'm beginning to see how things connect and what my core message/basic mission is
I see now that my daily experience is really important to me- more important than the typical goals of jobs and a career.

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