I write to you from my front porch this beautiful, crisp, fall morning. I have my cup of tea and am really not sure where to begin with all of this. I wanted to share with you a little bit about me and my recent decisions. Sorry in advance for the rambling.
Here’s a little back story for you all. My husband and I lived in a very small house in
Andover, Minnesota for a few years. We lived comfortably there and have a lot of good memories there. It was just what we needed while getting started out. It was very close to everything including short morning commute times for getting into work. It was located on a through street and was always very busy, loud, and packed with people. Even taking the dogs out for walks was so stressful with their high energy and the amount of distractions that were on every corner. To the left, a woman approaches walking her dogs, kids play across the street, cars zoom by from the right often times not even bothering to look at what or who is on the path in front of them. The sound of yard instruments constantly reminding you to mow your lawn and line up your rocks so everything looks pretty was something you could never escape from. It was a very cookie cutter kind of neighborhood and my husband and I grew tired of that environment and all of the hustle and bustle. City life really isn’t for me. The loud power tools, people conversing, children yelling and running around, and sound of lawnmowers, while in their entirety, aren’t bad things, they did feed my anxiety and restlessness in ways that I can’t fully explain.
So often I started to feel like I was stuck and there was no out for my anxiety. I started dreaming about a quiet home surrounded by nature and living my life out there as an artist with my husband, furry companions, and the mere peace and calmness that nature always grants me.
I was waiting tables at Denny’s and my husband was working for a security department at the time. I fell into a monotonous routine of working a job I didn’t enjoy because I felt like I had to in order to help sustain us and our lifestyle and our new home. For a few years, I had struggled with tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety due to this job and, in general, not being happy with my career (which is a big thing considering the amount of our lives we spend working) and eventually, where we were living. I realized that I felt like I was suffocating within the walls of that house and within the everyday routine we fell into. Perhaps I am somewhat claustrophobic in addition to anxious. I felt like I was trapped in an endless circle of obligation and that there was no way to escape. “In order to move onto something better” I thought at the time, “I need to go back to school so I can change career paths. I want to do more.”
So, I did. I went to school at Metropolitan State University in 2016/2017. I had switched from majoring in nursing to business admin and back and forth again. I really had no idea what I thought I wanted.
However, I still had dreams.
I discovered that art was an outlet for my constant stress and worries. I’ve never felt proud of my job or content with my work life before. I felt disappointed in myself because I was working for something I didn’t morally or ethically agree with and helping to make money for people and working for people instead of for myself. (more on this in the future if you wish)
I was draining myself that by the time I got home, I was too tired physically and emotionally to do what I really loved and really wanted to do. I would spend hours in the spare bedroom in that small house. I was coming up with ideas, drawing, painting, and developing my art. I used that room as my getaway from the stress and unhappiness. It became full of little trinkets, paint, canvasses, and all the things I found to be inspirational. It was a nursery until we decided to re-paint it and make it into an art studio.
My husband noticed a change in me as well. He noticed how peaceful I became while in my room. He told me it seemed like my anxiety melted away and I seemed like I was in a good environment when I painted. He would often come and remind me that it was dinner time or that we had to go to bed soon. I lost track of time, worries, obligation, and anxiety. What I found in myself was so much more important. I found my purpose. I found my passion. I found myself. I wanted to be an artist.
Being the amazing man that he is, Jonathon decided that it was time to put my dreams into motion. He encouraged me to build my now trademarked brand, QuinDu Creations. I began working more often, and we were using all our free time to get the house whipped into shape to put on the market. We were moving. October of 2017, my husband and I have decided to move out into the countryside for a fresh start. We are currently living in Princeton, MN with nearly 10 acres of land for our three dogs to roam about freely.
I really wanted a front porch, but realized I don’t spend enough time out here. That’s why I write from my porch chair this morning. We’ve worked really hard to get to where we are currently and have been through a lot together. It has always been a team effort and he has always done everything in my power to make me happy. It has been a peaceful transition into the new house. There is a space for all our necessary things and I am currently in the process of minimizing the amount of stuff I own. I live a simple life and don’t have need for the biggest and best things. We decided to live more humbly and watch our spending. I started a garden and haven’t bought produce all season long due to the hard work put in out there. We rarely go out to eat anymore which was once a weekly thing. Things have been wonderful here, and I have felt my anxiety melt away living in our new Minnesota farmhouse. If only I were doing the kind of work I really wanted to do.
I pushed this idea from my mind several times. I told myself that it was only a daydream and that I didn’t have what it takes to be an artist. “I’m not good enough. I don’t have the time.”
It didn’t seem practical and it didn’t seem safe. I continued striving for goals I knew I didn’t really want, but that sounded better. They sounded realistic. They sounded like “real” jobs and I know I would be able to make some money doing that. I only recently realized I wasn’t making these decisions for myself, but rather, for the public and for social acceptance. Making a lot of money has never been a goal for me.
Recently, I have decided to be honest with my family, my friends, and with myself. My passion has never been with nursing and I don’t feel I would be content with that in the end either. I would get my nursing license, begin practicing, only to feel the same way about my career as I already do now working as a server at a restaurant that I don’t like. To me, that seems like a waste of time. It’s just not for me. The reason I know this is because art and painting, creating in general, was always in the back of my mind with every career choice I would consider.
All of that to say, simply, is that I did it. My last day working a job I got no fulfillment from was yesterday. I’m not trying to say that serving or nursing, or even being in business are bad jobs. That’s not it at all. These are hard jobs and are very respectable in my eyes. They are just not for me or what I want for myself out of this life. While I will miss all the people I have met down that road and the connections I have made working there, I am happy because quitting has been something I wanted to do for years.
I know what you all are thinking.
I know, because I was thinking the same thing at first and for the past few years. “What is she going to do now?” The honest answer? I’m going to figure it out as I go. I know there is a market for my art as I have sold many paintings and prints over the years. The only difference is that now I am putting all my energy and focus into this aspect of my life. I do feel scared and unsure, but what I also feel is contentment. I am happy with all matters of my life and am very blessed to have come this far. I have a Divine Creator that I am listening to and am following what my heart has been telling me for so long. I’ve been scared to put this all out there out of fear for what might happen;
Thank you for tuning into my post. I hope I’ve provided some clarification to your questions. Perhaps I will continue these blog posts regularly. Let me know what you think. This is the first day of my self-employment career as an artist. I’ve already wandered the house in search of ideas and art inspiration and eventually found myself here writing. Even though there is a lot of fear and uncertainty, I know I am following the right path.
While I know the fear is still genuinely there, I am also excited at the many opportunities I have coming my way. If I fail, at least I will have tried. To me, that is way better than giving up on your dream. In that regard, I feel I have already succeeded.