With sweat soaked clothes, worn out calves, and tired shoulders I wait anxiously for the C train to catch the next bus that will deliver me back to my studio. It’s there that I’ll create with gratitude and love the work to fill these new orders.
Standing on the platform, looking down at the litter, the subway rats, the filth, a rush of love radiates through me and out to all those sharing this platform, out to those flying by the passing D train, and out to those above at street level. My eyes water and I choke up a bit as I flow this feeling.
“Thank you”, I silently say as I visualize reaching wide to hug everyone all at once.
The sweat is still drying on my skin. The passing train stirs up the dirty subway air and I am relieved to feel cool. I try to just breath deeply. I don’t have much time to catch the next bus. Another train flies by. It’s not mine though it fans me again.
“It’ll only be a few more minutes”, I say to myself as I attempt to bypass the anxiety that is trying to creep in. The weight of the stressful side of business, the debt, the road blocks, the challenges, all trying to force themselves on me and cloud my vision. Devilishly, it tries to trick me into a state of worry and stress distracting me from forward motion.
Finally! The C train is here to take me to the bus. After a dash through Port Authority I arrive a few minutes early for the bus. I board my ride to enjoy the journey as I lift out my keyboard and attempt to write a bit.
I breathe deeply as I think back to the most recent anxiety attack from the subway station. This business has grown bigger than me. It is a source of consistency and innovation to my retail partners. It supports the livelihood of the artists who I collaborate with, and my staff who rely on regular hours and consistent pay. It aims to transform the family property into a creative haven and take over it’s financial responsibility. This is not just a want for success as it once was over 11 years ago, (when I started the business and I was my only staff) it is a need to continue to provide and grow.
I breath. I think again about the thousands of people that I’ve made happy by sharing my creative work. I think about the many buyers who call on me for their special requests, and the dozens of retail establishments who honor me with the floor space for their buyers to shop. I think about the new accounts I just landed, and the new ones still solidifying. I think about being included in a recent trade magazine’s write up ‘Best of Shows’ (from winter’s recent trade shows). I tear up again. The happiness and gratefulness flood back stronger than the weight from just a few minutes before. I am thankful to be blessed with so much opportunity to serve those around me.
I am a hustler but in a good way. I have more ideas than hours in the day! I absolutely love my work! I love the ability that I have to provide a lifestyle that brings something special to those in my circle. I have an innate desire to share beauty and light with the world. I clock 12-18 hour days at least 5 days a week. It used to be 6-7 days weekly with those kind of long hours but something else that comes with age and experience is awakening to realize that I need to prioritize days off to enjoy time my fiancé, family, and friends. I need those times spent breathing salty air and hiking in the woods. I need to leave the studio in order to be fully recharged. Although, I never really ‘leave’. I am an artist and every experience is somehow filtered into my work.
My clothes are dry now. My mind is more calm. It feels good to get these words out there. I am ready again to create.