There's nothing quite like celebrating ten years of being a deviant by placing all of your old artwork into storage and deleting a decade's worth of journal entries. I didn't even feel inspired to read any of them, because, as much as I empathise with the person I was way back when I joined DA, in the present, I am a very different person. The last couple of years have changed me in profound ways, and my reality has changed as a direct consequence. I am now a published author and artist, with an established business, I am now single, I have entered peri-menopause, and I have finished writing and illustrating the Dreams of Gaia Tarot after six long years. I have been ill, and I have recovered. I have experienced moments that have taught me to recognise what's truly important to me and to focus on what makes me happy and fulfils me, as opposed to doing what others want or expect me to do.
The tarot changed me. It made me more mindful, more expansive, and less willing to tolerate toxic behaviour in my life, including my own. It taught me how to like myself, to respect myself, and to question imbalances within my relationships. My relationship ended because of the changes that took place within me, and I have not one single regret. I realised when we parted, that I want to be alone. This is the first time I have lived free of a relationship for any real length of time since I was born. I kid you not. I left home, and I flowed from one relationship to the next, living alone for only a few months before my ex came into my life. When he left, I honestly don't know if he realised what a gift his leaving was. It makes up for all of those giftless Valentines, birthdays, and Christmases. He walked from this relationship straight into another after telling me that he wanted to be free, and instead, gave to me what he claimed he wanted for himself.
I no longer have to compromise. I no longer have to apologise. I no longer have to share. I can do as I please whenever I please.
After a half a lifetime of living as part of a couple or part of the family unit, I am now free to just be me. I am free to focus on creating as selfishly as I choose.
Freedom, now it has been gifted to me, is not something I am willing to give up. Life is so ... peaceful ... now.
And I have discovered that I am unwilling to share my bed. I like having a big bed all to myself. I sleep more soundly. I sleep when I want to, and wake when I want to. If I want to work in bed, I can. If I want to stay in my room all day, I can. If I want to lay diagonally across the bed, I can.
Almost a year down the way, I find myself admitting with no sadness or pain, that single life agrees with me. I find myself smiling so much more now. I can even say that I wish him well. I hope he has found what he was seeking. He helped to create a space in which I could heal, grow, and create, and then recognised that in order for both of us to be happy, we had to part ways. We had nothing more to do for or offer each other, except our giving each of us our freedom.
The tarot was completed during the chaos of this last year, because whilst we split up at the end of January last year, we could not afford to part physically until July. This created quite a bit of tension, especially when he entered into a new relationship within weeks of our breaking up.
The split, however, for all that it hurt at the time, gave me the impetus to finish writing the guidebook, but it was hard going, because just as my relationship needed to end, my time working on the tarot needed to end also. I was so tired of working on this heart and soul project. Don't get me wrong, I love this creation of mine, so much so that I can say without any hesitation that if he had asked me to choose between him and the tarot, I would have chosen the tarot. But, that being said, I needed the project to be finished for my own mental wellbeing. After so many years, I had almost nothing left.
But it is now finished. The tarot is with my publisher, and in pre-production. I spent the weekend approving edits, and am now in the process of reading through the guidebook and making sure everything flows and that no more major edits are required. Once the edits are finished, the guidebook will be put together, the card files created, and everything will go off to the printers. It will take a few months for everything to be done, but I am confident that the tarot will be in stores before my 47th birthday.
Along with the tarot, there will also be a colouring in book, a selection of journals with one being made specifically for use with the tarot, and a few other little secret projects. This year, is going to be a big year for me, especially if all falls into place and I find myself free to move away from the city.
What does the future have in store for me? I have no idea. I have goals and plans, but I don't dwell on outcomes these days. I focus on doing what needs to be done, knowing that what I do brings those goals closer to manifesting ... when it is time. I no longer set deadlines. I allow things to grow as they are meant to, trusting that all will unfold when I need it to.
As for projects ... I am working on a secret project right now, but once that is completed, I will start work on a new oracle deck ... or two ... or several. I will eventually settle on a primary deck, and then flit between it and one or two others when I need a break. I plan on painting some of them with traditional mediums, and some digitally. This year, marks a return for me to digital art, and I have to say that learning to paint with acrylics has made me a far better digital artist.
That's it for now ... I guess. One thing that has not changed is the fact that I ramble.
Oh ... I will be adding art shortly. I've painted so many paintings over the last couple of years. It's going to take me a while to sort through everything and decide what I want to upload and display, but it shall be done ...