Transitions: The End of an Era
noun. "movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change"
Well, my friend, it’s the end of an era for me. I’m not talking about my endeavors as an artist—thanks to you, my business is thriving! And I’m not talking about the oncoming end to this crazy Covid thing—albeit in sight like a light at the end of a tunnel. I’m certainly not talking about the fact that some art shows have been able to be put on more and more frequently these days—a much welcomed change by me and my fellow artists. The era I’m referring to is that of my previous life with my ex husband.
Our house that we built with our own hands in Colorado is now sold.
It closed yesterday.
It belongs to two other people now and may no longer be called “Rendezvous Ranch” as Mike and I had named it.
My proceeds are in my account.
Three years ago in April, my ex and I separated. I moved my studio out of our house and to Columbus, Ohio, my old stomping grounds and where my immediate family members live. And oh boy, I gotta tell you, it has been a looooooong three years since that moment, and I’m going to sum up the moral in a short story that unfolds in the following words I have for you.
Shortly after the separation and the move that April, I was still touring around, doing my already-scheduled shows and trying my best to hold it together at each show I did. Sometimes I had to disappear behind my booth and let out a little cry, but I’d always go back in my booth again and keep my chin up. You see, my booth sign had a picture of my house in the valley next to the big giant mountains in Colorado. My business cards had a picture of my house on them. One of the most frequently asked questions in the booth was, “OMG, is this where you LIVE?” To which my response prior to the change was always, “Yes. My husband and I built this ourselves” or “Yeah—it’s a tough gig, but someone’s gotta live it!”
And by end of May, only a little over a month after separating, I was doing a show in Oklahoma City, and there was a conversation I had with a woman that I will never, ever forget.
“Oh My Gawd, THAT is where you LIVE?” She asked.
Since there was no one else in the booth and since I had just came back from a little cry, I felt inclined to tell her the long story rather than the short and elusive “yep” answer. With more tears welling in my eyes, I said, “Well, I used to live there.” And then the tears were streaming with a constancy but without grimace or choked breath.
We found ourselves in a sisterly embrace and I felt comforted but so, so sad. I told her that I love that house, that I built it with my own hands, and that I don’t know if I’ll ever live there again. I told her that my marriage was failing and that my world was upside down and that I wanted so very badly to spend my days calling that house my home. I was in pain, I was in anger, I was in anxiety, I was in loss, I was in fear, and I was in perpetual oscillation of all those emotions and then some.
The unforgettable thing about this story is what her words for me were in that vulnerable moment.
“Ooooohh, honey,” she said, “It’s going to be ok. Someday, someone else will live there and they will love it and thrive in it. They will be grateful that such a place exists and know that it was built with love and vision. And you will be content that this structure is being well maintained and is providing for a fellow human being. You will have peace in your heart that it exists. That is just is. And that you had a big part of that fact. You will be humble and unhurt in the positivity of this creation, and you will be quite pleased overall. It will all be ok, I promise.”
Although I felt her commiseration and comfort, and although her language and tone sounded convincing, I remember thinking, ‘What? What in the world is she talking about? HOW in the WORLD am I ever going to feel THAT way? No way will I ever come to feel at ease and with grace about this, as she predicts. That’s just not anywhere close to how I feel now…and that’s a long, next to impossible road to emotionally evolve to that degree of humility….’
So, on I went, with the echoes of her words swimming through my head, feuding with my stubbornness in the following months and months…until one day, I stopped recalling her words and became overwhelmed with the focus on adjusting my studio operations, managing my own money, investigating down the different forks in the road, traveling the show circuit, posting on social media, hiring lawyers, learning legalese, researching and filling out affidavits, negotiating a separation agreement, building and maintaining my website, feeding my soul to stay inspired, trying to take care of myself *by myself* and making sure my dog, Thunder, was happy. Of course, then, the onset of this Covid thing, thus forcing another layer of this adaptation on top of everything else, was enough to snuff out the words from that soul sister in Oklahoma City almost entirely.
And then…last month, when I got a call from our listing agent saying that we were officially under contract with the sale of the house, I couldn’t believe the time had finally arrived. For three years, I had worked to re-establish my life, stabilize my business, and sever all ties, financial and otherwise, with Mike. Not only did my agent tell us this good news, but she also said that the buyers are so excited they can barely stand it and that they wanted to accelerate the closing procedures and close on March 2nd!
Upon learning more about these buyers (a husband and wife team), my OKC sister’s words started to whisper again. I learned that the husband is a builder and is impressed and elated with the quality of our timber frame structure. I learned that the wife was ecstatic to leave California and begin a new lifestyle. I learned that they both fell in love with the fact that it was built by artists and could appreciate the vision we had in the design of it….and all of a sudden, I found myself smiling and so very glad that they love the place so much, knowing that they will be excellent custodians of this dream home of all of ours.
And then the whispers became a shouting narrative in my mind again. I heard the words again, loud and clear—“You will be humble, you will be unhurt, you will be pleased. You’ll see.”
And, now I see.
Wow. It took three years, but somehow along the way, I DID evolve. I did the deep-down soul searching for attitude adjustments, emotional alterations and corrections in perceptual neuropaths. Even among all that minutia with lawyers and Covid and adaptations of all kinds, somehow I had gotten to that visceral state within my character, where my gratitude for the house, the buyers, the whole thing—was bourn of my genuine, natural instinct rather than some kind of faked intellectual affectation.
I am humble.
I am with humility.
I am unhurt.
I am pleased.
So, the day has come, marking the end of that era of my previous life and transitioning into a new one, filled with infinite potential and possibilities. And as the transition begins, too, with the end of Covid nearing and the dawning of mass gatherings again, and, too, with my wanting to move back out West, I suppose I’m ready and up for it!
I surmise we’re all ready for a change, aren’t we?!
In less than a week, I’m leaving for my first show of the year, and I’m ecstatic to be traveling to Orange Beach, Alabama for a wonderful show! I’m sure my traveling skills will be a little rusty and funny things are bound to happen during this adventure, so I’ll be sharing this transitional experience with you every day LIVE on social media this week and next. Please feel free to follow along and catch the spirit of this whole transition idea that we’re all ready for! Let’s manifest this needed change with the outspoken word and energetic action!
Let’s transition together! Let it begin!
We will be humble.
We will be unhurt.
We will be pleased.
Be Well & Be Journaling (and transitioning!),
Featuring journal pages from your
Mind's Eye Journals community!
LOOK at what some of your fellow journalers have done to their pages in their Mind's Eye journals! I just LOVE how this active community helps to inspire others, and I hope you feel inspired, too. Let's hear it for the contributors of last month's #mejnation on social media...
From left to right, top to bottom:
1 & 3 By "Crow" from "Somewhere"
2 & 5 By Sondra of Wyoming
4. By Jill of Tennessee
6. By ME!
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