I’ve been an avid smoker most of my adult life. About four years ago I quit. Cold turkey. No warning. I just knew that I needed to. With the money that we saved we were able to save up and buy a house and everything else just kind of flowed from there. Things were really going great. Fast forward to last year.
In August of 2019 I quit my day job. It was unexpected but needed. Have you ever reached that point in your life where you can’t see the top or the bottom because you literally are so deep into everything that you don’t know where to move? Every move is pain and chaos. I was getting sick from the stress and from the chemicals. I came home crying everyday. This girl doesn’t cry, or at least didn’t cry. But it was getting to the point where everything was too much and I couldn’t deal anymore. We had money saved up. I knew I could find a new job and after talking with my husband we decided to go ahead and take that leap. I put in my 2 week notice.
Amazingly, an opportunity came up to work at a local metaphysical shop with an amazing group of ladies. I could help people. I could create and sell my art. The hours are flexible and the people there uplifting and amazing. But that also hasn’t been without it’s trials.
Once I was able to step away from my old job I took a vacation with my family to Galveston. It was nice. And then the silence came. Once you strip away all of that chaos from 13 hour days and due dates and then trying to come home to barely get stuff done, all that is left is you and time. I’ve spent the past few months trying to find myself again. Trying to find my voice. Trying to find out where I fit into this world. When you strip away the worlds expectations of who you thought you were…. you are left with only you and tons of questions.
What the fuck is this even? Who am I really? What the fuck am I doing? How will we make it this month? I have all the time in the world to create…now what do I create? Can I make this work? Am I good enough to even attempt this?
I still don’t know the answers to those questions. But I do know that I have a loving and supportive husband. I do know that I have an amazing group of sisters at Gypsy Moon that have my back through anything. I do know that I have been more creative and expressive that I have in years. The difference this time is that I’m able to do it from a place of love and grace rather than a place of anger and need.
In October I found myself crawling back to cigarettes. I’ve stripped myself down to the core and still don’t have solid answers as to what I am supposed to do or where I am supposed to go. The uncertainty rings loud in the quietness of this new life. It is sometimes overwhelming. When I first picked up the habit again I struggled with it, feeling guilty, shaming myself, and at times, dare I say it, hating myself for going back to an addiction to cope. But here I am today right now as I type this thinking about how today has gone, what I got done and didn’t get done and thinking how right now would be a great time to take a smoke break. I know that I will quit again. Hopefully soon. But I came to the conclusion that right now, I need the silence that smoking brings my mind.
While trying to sleep one night, I had a dream of a woman. This strong, beautiful, wild, courageous woman. Her gold eyes peered through my soul as I looked at her. She was holding a tobacco pipe in one hand. She blinked. And then she was gone. And all I could think was how I wish I had her strength and beauty and wildness and courage. I realized however, that I did. That that woman was me.
As a creative I have a habit of working through lunch breaks. My mind constantly goes 100 mph. In the throes of working on a creative project it becomes impossible to shut my mind off. Hell, even when I’m sitting on the couch trying to relax my mind is constantly moving and working through things. There is frustration in trying to come up with a viable solution within my meager budget. There is frustration in getting the project perfect. There is frustration in trying to figure out if I’m even heading in the right direction. There are to do lists. There are project lists. There are cats to pet. But in the midst of that I can go outside. Quiet my mind. Light the fire and let the flames burn away the problems until they are stripped down to what is important and what is noise. And then the solution comes. It always does.
I’ve come to realize that since August I have been going on a journey of finding myself. Of redefining what it really means to be me. I’ve been slowly stepping into my power and that beautiful woman I saw embodies that for me at this time.
I sketched her out and this is how she came forward.