When the phone rang and I saw my girlfriend’s name on the ID thingy, I thought I was in for a bit of fun chit chat. Instead, I heard this frantic whisper on the other end of the line.
“Can you hear me?” She hissed.
“WHAT’S WRONG!” I replied. “ARE YOU BEING KIDNAPPED???”
“No!! Crazy,” she said. “Something much more exciting!”
“YOU FOUND OIL PAINTS FOR HALF PRICE? THERE ARE PEONIES AT CENTRAL MARKET? WHAT? TELL ME NOW!” I’m not a patient person when it comes to discount paint supplies or fresh peonies within a 100-mile radius. I’ve been known to knock over display cases at Market Street beelining to those pink lovelies.
She replied, nonplussed: “NO! I’m calling to TELL you that I’m about to walk down the hall and give my notice to my BOSS. I’m quitting my job! And it’s all YOUR fault!”
This was 2 years ago. My friend did, in fact, quit her job and finally began a new journey, pursuing painting and spending more time with her hubby and grandkids. She is still happy as a lark. I almost felt like marking a little notch on my paintbrush. I’ve been waving the corporation emancipation banner for my gal pals ever since I took that leap over 5 years ago. If you have a skill, if you have a craft, start a small business now and begin building your clientele. It’s never too early to begin building a cottage industry around something you are passionate about. Once that is established, it becomes easier to make the break from corporate America.
After quitting my job in publishing over 6 years ago to become a full-time artist and art teacher, I’ve never been happier, or busier. If you do what you love, you will succeed, and doors will open. Not only that, people begin to step into your path who are facilitators, celebrators, and helpers in your journey. It does sound a bit like Kumbaya, but there is a measurable effect – happiness and excitement, joy and positive energy, give off a vibration that others respond to. Maybe this old world needs more joyful people. Artists, in my opinion, are the best equipped to fill that void.
Once I traded national board meetings, budgeting and business travel, (ie, burned the panty hose), I began waking up each morning excited. Knowing that something amazing was ahead, and knowing that I could also share this journey with the hubby, and spend more time with him, was the biggest gift of all. In the past year, Disney called, I’ve launched my fifth online class, and my monthly membership class just celebrated its second year. With over 1500 online students around the world studying with me, I now have more time to spend envisioning new things I can give to my students.
Yesterday, an email arrived from a gal who attended my Texas Hill Country workshop last spring. She said she had discussed it with her husband, and she took the plunge. Her letter is at the end of this note, because nothing is sweeter than hearing those words directly from the happy soul who shared them.
I do understand that not everyone can race toward the light at the end of that tunnel as quickly as they hope. Commitments and obligations, family and promises to others, sometimes take first priority, and they should. But the moment the first step is taken, even if the destination seems impossibly far away, you’ve already begun walking a path toward your legacy. Here is my friend’s letter, received today:
I’m not sure if you remember…we had a conversation over dinner last spring after your Fredericksburg workshop about 2- year retirement plans. I just want to thank you for that. When we arrived, my husband and I discussed my work situation and decided to take the plunge and keep hope that a net would appear. So I gave notice that this would be my last year and we decided to move to Texas! We fell in love with the area and more so with the slower pace and kind people. Since then, things have started to fall into place. We are returning in the fall to scope out locations and begin house hunting. You made a difference in my life and I just can’t express how much I needed to hear your story and words of wisdom. Hoping to see you in the spring!
Warm wishes and heartfelt thanks, L.U.
Is there a dream calling your heart? If you had the right support system, or the stars were aligned, where would your dream destination be for your own life? I would love to hear your story!
Do you love vibrant florals? You can paint online with me in The Joyful Brush, my monthly online class. Learn more…