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I didn’t always want to be an Artist. I wanted to be a Journalist. I worked hard and wrote a lot, I joined the paper and yearbook in high school and became the Editor by my Senior year. I got recognized by our local Tribune and I won 2 small scholarships! I was on my way….Until I wasn’t. I had no financial help other than enough to cover my books through the scholarships. I had to work 2 jobs to make ends meet. I got married too young trying to escape an abusive childhood. Life got in the way and I dropped out. I failed.

I got into the banking world by taking a temp job and became an administrative assistant. I was a super fast and accurate typist and that saved my biscuit more times than I can count. Every day was largely the same. I typed, I made coffee, I filed, I wore pantyhose, lipstick and answered the phones with a smile and cheerful greeting. But inside I was miserable. I felt like I was slowly dying inside. I would cry driving to and from work. It was not the life I envisioned at all. I divorced. I failed.

I wanted to go back to college, but I wanted to study Art. Everyone told me that I could never earn a living with it. I should study business management or hospitality instead. But those didn’t feed my soul. So I enrolled. I worked a full-time job 5 days a week and went to school in the evenings. Weekends were for labs and studying. I had no social life, but I was determined! Once I graduated, I learned that “Career Services” didn’t actually help you find a job. I hit the pavement. I applied everywhere. Competition was fierce! I got offered one job after 6 months of looking and interviewing. One job working full-time, but making half what I was making as a secretary. I couldn’t live off of what they offered. I had a diploma. 30K in student loan debt and no Art job. I failed.

Eventually, I remarried a man who made a nice salary. I continued to work hard until I got pregnant and he said, I could quit my job. He didn’t have to tell me twice! No more waiting on a boss hand and foot. No more dressing to the nines and planting on a fake smile every day. I got into crafting and decorating my home. I had my baby. Afterward, I suffered severe and mysterious health issues and spent my time in doctor’s offices and therapy centers. Multiple Sclerosis was the front runner. I found out my husband was a functioning alcoholic who had some serious addictions. He refused to get help. Slowly my marriage unraveled. I got a job and then a divorce. I failed.

Unable to face administrative work again, I stumbled into health and fitness. I had joined a gym to take classes to help me with my balance issues. I took up kickboxing as it was challenging, fun and helped me stop falling down so much. Though I fell a lot when I started! I got so good at it that the instructor offered to train me and give me a job. Within 6 months I had a full-time job teaching all kinds of classes and eventually running the fitness center. I was dating a handsome college professor who adored me. I thought I was really making it….Until I wasn’t. While preparing for a move into a place with my new love, I fell from a chair and broke my foot. 2 days later, I got into a car accident when I stopped for an EMS that was turning right in front of me. The car behind me didn’t want to stop and went around and clipped me. The car behind him wasn’t paying attention (on his cell phone) and pushed me into the emergency vehicle. I was injured in my shoulders, neck and ended up with crippling migraines. I couldn’t continue to work my fitness job. There was no way they could pay me while I healed. After 6 weeks, they had to let me go. I failed.

I moved in with and married the love of my life and am pleased to say we are still happy together 20 years later. I continued to suffer physically from the accident. The vertigo returned. Other health issues arose. College professors are smart, but they are not wealthy. I had to find work. The only thing I could think of was going back to being an administrative assistant. I could do temp work, so if my health was bad enough, I could take some time off without getting fired. I had no business attire anymore. The yoga pants weren’t going to cut it. So I got on Ebay to find some cheap dresses. While there, I noticed they had an “Art” category, so I clicked on it. That ONE click changed my life forever! People were selling paintings. I knew I could do that. The only problem was that I was broke. We had hardly any money for anything, much less art supplies. I had a choice. A could buy a few used dresses and hit the pavement or make a trip to the art supply store. I chose the latter. With 20 dollars, I was able to purchase one 11×14 canvas pad that had 10 canvas sheets in it. Also, 3 shades of blue paint, one white and one silver. I couldn’t even afford paint brushes!! I had to FINGER paint! And finger paint I did. I painted the hell out of those sheets. Took pictures with Hubby’s Canon Sure Shot and loaded them onto Ebay on the one old PC we shared. The first one sold at auction for 75.00!!!!! I was hooked!!! I never bought those dresses and never set foot in a business environment for work again.

Over the years, I have sold countless originals, commissions and prints of my work. I earn a full-time living doing what I love every single day. I have a strong marriage. I raised my daughter to independence. I healed my body and soul from all of the traumas I’ve endured. So even though I failed miserably many times. I never gave up! I did become a successful artist anyway, but along the journey I also learned how to be a happy human. And that may be the biggest success of all. 🙂

Below is the painting that sold for 75.00 on Ebay. I don’t know what the titled was, but Hubby named the file “worms”. It’s kind of fitting considering what worms do. They take crap and turn it into rich life giving soil.