Autumn has always been my New Year. Most likely ingrained in the depths of my heart from the ending of summertime vacation and the beginning of the new school year in September. That excitement of new books & crayons and seeing friends I missed since sharing our last secret in the schoolyard was palpable in the air. Every year September brought a new beginning on the Autumn breeze. This year was no different, although I didn’t have to pack a book bag.
Have you ever had the opportunity for a new beginning in your life? A new chapter in the cliché Book of Life, a fresh start, a re-do, or a let’s start over moment? Sometimes new beginnings gently enter our lives, quietly finding a space and settling in, such as the happy times of graduations, marrying the love of your life or bringing a new life in to this world. Sometimes our new beginnings are thrust upon us, unwanted, sometimes fiercely barging in on us, by a divorce, loss of a home or job or worse, a death of someone precious to us.
My new beginning started a few months ago. Actually, I had been working toward a new beginning for a couple years but Life had her own plan for me and I had to put my planned new beginning on the back burner. I became a full-time caregiver for my Mother. Sometimes the cycle of life decides what you must do with your time despite your best laid plans. I was very blessed to have a close relationship with my mother and to be able to care for her at the end of her very long life (95 years!). I have so many joy-filled memories and laughs to carry with me through the rest of my life. My mother knew my plan to become a full-time artist and she was one of my biggest champions.
And now my new beginning begins…
I think it’s really easy to falter and stumble during new beginnings, after all it’s all new. You have to find a new path to walk, sometimes the path isn’t actually there and you have to make one. Sometimes you have to cut down a lot of brambles to make your way. I’m not at all one to follow the herd (as anyone who knows me will quickly attest to), so I’ve had to cut my own path as I walk along dreaming and planning the next chapter in my life. There have been insecurities along the way, lots of questions I ask myself, of course the self-doubt creeps in and I take two steps forward then four back.
My journey took a very different path for many years (you can read about that on my hello page) but I always knew in my heart & soul that I was meant to be an artist in this one life I have been gifted. It has taken me a very long time to realize that all of my life experiences have worked together to bring me where I am today to be the artist I am meant to be. Every personal experience, every professional experience, every friendship, every adventure…they all add a nuance to my work.
New beginnings are exciting, exhilarating, exhausting and sometimes scary. Finding the trust in my heart to follow the process has been the easy part, believing it has been much harder. Along the way there have been tests put in front of me to strengthen my belief in that trust. And just as I am beginning to falter in trusting the process, I am given a firm reminder to have faith. Faith in the beautiful, and sometimes messy, process of a new beginning and faith in myself that I am capable. Embracing that faith each and every day brings me closer to achieving the dreams I have in my heart.
The beauty of trusting the process of a new beginning adds rich layers to our lives. And it enriches our Soul to believe in ourselves in ways we may not have done so before. I’m an eternal optimist, so even though my new beginning came out of the heartbreaking sadness of losing my beloved Mother, I know that her season ending as mine was beginning is all part of this big, sometimes crazy, cycle we call Life, “To everything there is a season…”.
For me picking up the brush to paint, whether I am swirling watery pigment on paper or brushing buttery oil paints on canvas, brings me to a place of peace and joy. A place I can dream, a place I can call my own, a place where I can shine a light on my corner of the world. A place where the magic of new beginnings happens. I can’t imagine a better time of year than the Autumn New Year to begin.