I come from a family that keeps things private to a fault. Even from ourselves sometimes. For better or worse, I'm breaking free of that. It was just what we did with hard things. Stuff it down, bury it and continue on like nothing happened.
I've done so for half a century. Why? I shrug. Why do any of us do the things we do?
I very much enjoyed meeting and talking with everyone at the festivals and events I had my art at this year. It's because of all of you that I keep working at my art. Knowing so many of you have my art in your homes, have read and value one of my stories, it's why I keep doing what I do. It's just gotten a little harder.
I also know that I've done a lousy job at keeping my art business moving. To be honest, I've done lousy at living life lately. I know what I want to do. I know where I wanted to be. I even have moments where I'm there, creating, planning.
And then... Then I hit the same brick wall I've been beating my head against for three years.
This year I've had to admit I am no longer the person I was in 2019. I knew who I was then, my place with the people in my life, what I wanted and where I was going. In the matter of seven months it all shattered.
But I'm resilient, I say. I always bounce back from things that drop me to my knees. It's just what I do. What I've always done. This time though... this time was different.
I can't pinpoint why. Why can't I shake it off and be on my way, living life? Just... maybe it's one hit too much. I finally took too many blows, down and bleeding on the ground. I tried to tap out, but no one noticed.
My deep dark secret is that I am not okay. I'm so not okay that I have a service dog. I also have a few other diagnosis I never expected. Likely neurodivergence, depression, anxiety, PTSD. I'm starting to understand it now, and slowly finding the handholds to climb our of the dark pit I've been stuck in since 2020. I'm not proud of it, but I will get free of the heavy darkness. Every new understanding shows me new handholds.
I want to make new art for all of you. If you'd like. I want to do so many things. But all I can promise is I won't give up just yet. I'm working at it and doing the best I can. Sometimes my best isn't much, but I'll keep giving what I can just the same.