I don't do New Year resolutions (can't keep 'em, no point in making 'em!), but today I was reflecting on the past year. On February 2nd, it will be a calendar year since I left paid employment for full time study, and what a year it's been! I've learned so much, both in terms of my creative skills (which would be an essay in itself), but also in the sense of learning more about myself, what I'm capable of, what I can deal with, how much I've grown in a year.
When I think back to the first weeks of the course, I remember how scared I was. Everything was new: new place, new routine, new teachers, new classmates, new things to learn. I left the job I'd been working for sixteen years, and it was hard to move out of that comfort zone. Hard to leave the routine. Hard to leave colleagues. Hard to leave the pay cheque! I wasn't at all sure I could do it, leave the safe and known for the scary and unknown.
But you know what? Here I am, a year later, thriving. Happier than I've been in a very long time. No more job stress, no more instant anxiety the moment I wake up and realise it's a week day, no more 1am freakouts. Now I wake up in the morning - and to be honest, I'm really NOT a morning person - and instead of my first thought being one of dread, now I look forward to the day. What will I make/draw/paint/sculpt/sew today?
I'm 48, female, just finished a two year course in Visual Arts, and am now back in the market for a job (boo!). I worked in the library field for the better part of three decades and two years ago took the plunge from a job that made me unhappy to go back to school. I've loved every moment of it and as soon as I have enough money to tide me over being a poverty stricken student I'm going back for more!