Starting Now

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I wish I was at the part of my story where I could humble brag about my 6 figure salary and then convince you because I achieved it, I can teach you how to do it too. But

A. I’m not convinced it works like that and

B. I am certainly not at that point. 

I am at the part of the story where I come out of hiding though, and that’s a big f-in’ deal.

I had a successful career in computer animation and fx for more than a decade. By the time I got to Pixar, my body was deteriorating and taking my mind with it. It turns out that annual surgeries and daily naps under your desk are not the norm1. In the shitshow that is the US healthcare system, it took me 12 years to get a diagnosis that lead to actual help. Much of the journey involved reconciling a new normal—navigating diminished physical abilities, acknowledging mental differences, destroying my ego and rebuilding it, discarding backfiring coping mechanisms, and redefining success all while grieving a future I had worked intensely for. I witnessed previous peers flourish in careers and personal lives, while I lost my health, my career, my marriage, my confidence, all trust, and my home. Fueled by shame, my world shrank to a chewing gum-sized bubble. I could see no future for myself that I wanted any part of, or that even felt worth the effort of playing out. 

I am privileged to have a support system that provided me with a getaway soothed by water (thanks mom), and a dane/mastiff mix named Maude that led me back to joy and to the new perspective that there is, in fact, a positive side of life blowing up; the ability to rebuild it with intention. 

I’ve since divorced, relocated to a new city, realized a lifelong dream of buying a fixer upper [see below], and made websites for 2 branches of a new bespoke creative career that I will somehow build around my diffabilities and neurospiciness which gives me the financial success I crave, the flexibility I need, and the fulfillment I demand.  While it often feels like I am starting from scratch, I actually bring all of my experience, training, and skills from my whole life wrapped in a nicer me with more empathy.

The thing that got me from suicidal to hopeful was self-permission to be a visual artist. It’s hard for me to engage with the world and not despair; not lament the 15 years I lost to illness or compare myself to brilliance or achievement. I just have to start; be brave, accept that this is the only place I can start; I can’t get there and then start. ‘There’ is an unattainable ideal. I need to start now. With acceptance.

So this is me doing that. I am going to remain patient and curious about my journey <she says to convince herself to do so>. Yay me.

You’re officially invited.

My 7 yr old take on the house buying dream
my 7 yr-old take on the house buying dream
  1. I legit thought that everyone wanted to nap but no one else had the chutspah to bring in a pillow and blanket and set up a bed under their desk. It was not a choice for me; by mid afternoon on most days my body simply shut down. ↩︎

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