January 18, 2010

It is an odd sensation to be actively purging your life of as much, well, crap as possible. I have never been good at getting rid of unnecessary sentimental items, so even though I did this when I moved across the city into The Distillery, I still carried far more with me than any individual uses or needs. Even the worst pack rat artist. Round 2 in 6 months of paring down has resulted in a fairly large pile of clothing to be donated, a decent stack of books, and an enormous pile of paperwork. Unfortunately, I still haven’t touched the sentimental stuff… I am apparently saving the worst for last. Even without having touched any of that yet, I am already struck with nostalgia. Going through the filing cabinet meant tossing every bit of paperwork related to Exhibitgroup/Giltspur. Except the 401K. A year ago I was commuting 45 minutes one-way to Avon, MA everyday in my beautiful new Prius, named Baby Prius because all my co-workers were having babies that year and instead, I had a car. I had just graduated from the make-shift, old exhibit parts corner to a freshly constructed cubicle with a real desk, window and everything—I was so excited about my new space! Once settled in and caught up on emails, the next 12 hours would be spent in meetings battling ignorant clients, push-over account executives, nay-saying project managers, and the technical demands of building, rendering and animating in 3D Studio Max.  For hours… I worked my ass off and would like to think I was pretty good at designing some killer exhibits, working with all the various personalities, etc. I worked with a great crew, adored my creative director, learned an unbelievable amount, got to travel on occasion, made great money straight out of school, had the 401K, the insurance, the vacation days and all that other great stuff you are supposed to want. But for whatever reason it wasn’t enough. Or it wasn’t right. It’s crazy to think that I went through a giant purging of life things just under a year ago in the name of pursuing art. I ditched the job and everything that came with it; the travel, the benefits, the money, the car, the commute, the long hours, etc. The loss of income also meant ditching every even vaguely comfortable or luxury thing I could think of; every group I had joined, every account I had opened, weening myself of retail therapy and anything consumer based. It meant getting a job at an amazing bakery, asking for more hours at the Harvard Ceramics program and living off the support of my wonderful partner until I could get my act together. It meant insane financial instability, which I found out I don’t do well with, crazy work schedules that changed week to week, new experiences with public transportation, erratic mood swings and so much more! Then in July, even though we had already signed a lease in our current apartment, we broke it in order to move into The Distillery and see what that was all about. So we purged, packed and moved across the city to our new location with a totally new setup and began figuring out how life in the new space might work. 2009 saw drastic changes, spread over the course of a year that meant a complete change of lifestyle from one of comfort to one of chosen struggle. Now I am going through all of the same changes (new job, new apartment, new lifestyle) in the course of a month! It is wildly unexpected, but if it wasn’t for having gone through all of it during the last year, it wouldn’t be possible for me to do it now. I quit my comfy, climb-the-ladder, office job exactly so something like this could happen, but never expecting it! With less than 2 weeks to go before I move to Vermont, the reality of the latest lifestyle change is barely sinking in… Nervous and excited, I can’t wait to see what this new chapter holds but am also sad to leave everything we had just started behind. If life is this unpredictable, who knows what will happen next…

Just for fun… You remember that My Little Pony made out of candy? Well, 2 months after casting it, it looks a little different…



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