If the only thing I had to consider was where do I feel my most creative and my most accepted, I would move to Ashland. There's something about the town that really works for me. There probably is a place like it in Canada only I don't know where that is. Ashland feels magical. While here at home, I'm considered somewhat unusual and a bit over the edge, in Ashland I'm downright conservative which means it's a city full of interesting people who stimulate me to be more personally and more creatively. Life is about relationships and those relationships impact who we become. Now that I've experienced being around other highly creative women, I crave more interaction of that nature which is why I took a second holiday to Ashland this year and why I am already planning to go back in June. Other creative women celebrate, stimulate, inspire, and encourage me in my creativity. It's great.
The B & B I stayed at was FABULOUS with just the right balance of privacy and conversation with the host. For the retreat in June, I thought I'd stay at the Ashland Springs Hotel to be nearer the classroom and the group but this accommodation was so wonderful that I've booked it again especially as it's also considerably less expensive and comes with more amenities. The difference in cost is spending money. My second B & B in Astoria was equally nice only it had a shared kitchen which wasn't a problem but I've learned that I want complete privacy and not to feel as if I'm being rude if I keep the door to my suite closed. Good learning.
While I had dinner with friends at some really good restaurants, when I wasn't meeting some one I bought simple groceries and cooked at "home". It was quiet and peaceful and quite yummy in a stress-less way and - of course - way less expensive and probably more healthy AND... on the Saturday night before I left... Ute came for dinner and we could sit and chat and make a cup of tea and chat some more and have dessert and chat some more with no hovering waiters wanting to clean up and go home. I liked being able to invite friends over. In the future, having a kitchen will be an important criteria.
Not every community has a Starbucks and that's okay because, even when they do, not every Starbucks has the kind of ambiance that makes me want to sit and journal. A quiet space is the important part. On this trip, I wrote at rest stops, on the porch of my B & B, beside a pond in the park, and in coffee shops. I made sure to make time for journal writing and to have some quiet spaces in my day. This is self care. Even when we're on a trip that is for us, we can get so busy that we don't take those bits of time for ourselves that are nourishing and we come home needing a holiday from our holiday. I make sure to move slow.
It is possible to travel without my sewing machine. No one died. In fact, I haven't sewn since returning home either. I've been spending a lot of time knitting and this is okay. Recently, I was talking to the owner of a local yarn shop and she said that she'd gone through a three week period where she didn't feel like knitting and everyone was panicking and she felt pressure to get back to knitting until she realized that she knits for fun and if she didn't feel like knitting, it was perfectly okay. It would come back. This is probably the longest break I've ever had from sewing and I'm okay with it. It will come back because I breath in fabric but I think these breaks are a way of recharging our batteries. I'm enjoying the meditative nature of knitting
I'm glad I took the surface design class. I feel a lot more confident about making marks on fabric and exploring the direction that may take me in. The laundry room is all cleaned out and the paints sorted and everything is ready to start mark making today... except the studio... which is a complete mess... so that's my first goal - clean the studio.
While painting, I'll be thinking about my 1-1 coaching with Diane. Sessions like that are quite personal with conversations about the fears that are holding you back and the hopes that you are working toward. Often we don't voice our fears and yet having a place to discuss them, bringing them out into the light of day, can make them less fearful and more manageable and at the same time discussing our hopes can lead to a plan of action and the support in getting there. Both are important.
Other things I learned on my September vacation are that I'm a good conversationalist, that I'm highly photogenic, that I'm inspiring, that I'm not too big or too unusual or too intimidating, and that I'm wanted and included. That might sound needy and yet on difficult days, these are really good things to know, good for our souls because holidays end and back home life quickly returns to normal and normal for me right now is the stress of the mess of the rest of my life. I have the learning and the souvenirs of my trip to continue to support and encourage me. YES YES
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - creative friendships
You have to be willing to give up what you don't want in order to get what you do.
- Edwene Gaines