I'm sure I'll write a more elaborate explanation of the story, but for now, I have to acknowledge the important moment by itself.
The time of my life, the perfect storm, the personal big bang that occurred 5 years ago today, is what sparked my career.
My father passing away in the fashion that he did, at the time that he did, and leaving me with the wisdom and upbringing that he did, gave me an opening, an opportunity to seize the day and start my life over.
I had to face some old friends, old demons and old versions of myself in order to move forward, but I did. I started my career, I learned how to make money as an artist, I learned how difficult it can be and how rewarding it can feel.
I overcame a bad marriage, and plenty more to get to where I am today. And today's anniversary of my father's passing has two sides to it.
On the one hand I'm sad. My dad is not here anymore and I can't call him up to talk and banter about life. I can't share with him all my joys and sorrows or ask him for his advice (even if I wouldn't take it, lol).
But on the other hand, today is a triumph. Today is a 5 year anniversary of a rebirth, a new life I was able to create, a new path I forged and fought for, and still fight for today.
To still be grieving the loss of my father after 5 years would seem silly to me. I'm too resilient and strong to let even a year go by stuck in the past, but I'm not yet fully out of the brush of my new life. I'm still struggling and pulling that cart hard as I can to get away from what was, moving towards what I believe in with great resolve.
Today is quiet and stillness, It's pride. It's confidence, it's reflection. It's meditation. It's mild planning. It's reaching out and saying thank you. It's silence.
It's that I can look back at where I started only 5 years ago and say "holy shit, I've done a lot." I've changed my fathers house from an unsellable mess to a magazine ready sanctuary. I've created a place for myself in my community as an artist when I can remember sitting in my living room painting as a mere hobby. I can say I've loved and lost and been resilient enough to love again.
I can look back on today and see what died, but I choose to see what has lived.
The first large painting I made was about my Dad. And that painting was the first big sale I made that gave me confidence to keep going.
So, I will spend today in the studio, painting, reflecting, being passionate about my life and my wonderful friends and family, I will spend the night surrounded in love and support, and tomorrow I will continue on doing what I do. Because that's what my dad wanted. My dad said to me, nearly every Friday night when we'd see a movie and share a giant strawberry shortcake for dessert, "I don't care what you do with your life, so long as you're happy".
And thank god, he meant it.