But parenthood and "life" set in too early and my ability to dream, in general, was lost. Seventeen with a child, no high school diploma, working minimum wage, doesn't leave too much room for dreaming and the life that comes after that is no walk in the park either. My passion and love for horses was replaced with the responsibility of tending to, providing for, and the loving of my children. Art was an unnecessary, useless activity that I had no time or energy for. It went by the wayside. The grind of living left all dreaming to my childhood--facing reality and survival were the main focus of daily living. I was literally without any dreams or true aspirations for years, accepting that it was enough and I should be grateful to just get by day to day.
I did made it back to school. I earned my associates degree, magna cum laude and with honors despite having three daughters I was raising at the same time. I made it all the way to university level--attending George Washington University in Washington DC and Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. But I lacked a vision, a dream. Where was all this learning going? What did I want to be? My major was in psychology, hoping it would lead to a graduate degree in art therapy. But something was missing from that plan--a spark or something. Eventually I was drained of all tuition money regardless which put a stop to my college days.
Only recently can I feel a seed of a dream beginning to stir. It started with realizing my desire for my farm--my homestead--again. I realized that if I could live anywhere that place would be a little, tucked away homestead somewhere. Kind of sounds like that childhood dream, only this time without the all horses. Why stop there? I would like to have some chickens, a milking cow, maybe a goat. I’d eventually have one horse or pony for my six kids and I to enjoy.
This is how it began!
As simple and innocent as that--I had a dream again--something to hope for, to strive for, to work towards. It was like that seed had been there--inside me--the whole time, all these years. Not dead, just dormant. Little by little it is awakening.
One of the reasons I love my Mary Jane Sisterhood Membership (my member name is Homestead Dreams)--which was a little gift from my mother, who herself is member--is that it gets you to try things that you may not ordinarily attempt on your own volition. The Sisterhood is sort of a Girl Scouts for grown women--farmgirl style! Not necessarily “literal” farm girl, but at least one at heart. Just like in your days of girl scouts, you pick a project, fulfill the requirements, and you receive a certificate and badge. It helps broaden your horizons and adds a little fun to life. I’ve blogged about a few of my badge earning experiences.
There’s a badge called Entrepreneurial Spirit. Your supposed to:
So I went for it. If I could be anything, do anything, I’d probably put my art as more of a focus in my life--be a freelance artist. The reality is I'm a mother of (to be) six, My children come first. This would be a great way to provide for my family, doing something I love, and still keep up my responsibilities as a mother. Not to mention it could be a means to working towards that homestead dream! People have suggested this idea to me in the past and I receive many compliments on my work, but I’ve always lacked the confidence to do anything serious with my art--to actually consider myself an artist. I researched how to write a business plan for a simple home based, free lance art business. I looked up how much it would cost to start it up--which in my case the costs are minimal, $60-100. I’m still working on a serious name. I am temporarily referring to it as Project Barn Loft Studio, a reminder of that childhood dream--of that place in me that once dreamed--that wanted to be artist and took it seriously. I printed out my plan and, yes, I’m literally sleeping with it under my pillow! Just as important to me, I've been praying about it as well. Maybe someday having a little studio--an art space of my own-- on my little homestead isn’t too far fetched after all. Confidence is what I need. Confidence to pursue my dream. If I find that, I could make this dream into reality possibly as soon as the beginning of the New Year. Wish me luck, and say a little prayer for me, as I continue this venture.
. . .and Mom-Mom keep a Christmas free for me in a few years. Don't call off that Christmas on the farm just yet!