I’ve worked in the same place for twenty years. Over the last ten years I’ve drastically cut my hours to accommodate my art work, writing, exhibitions and presentations.
Despite the lessened hours, my day job has remained a stability of sorts in a life that tends towards the creatively anarchic.
Yesterday the shop I work in shut for an indefinite period of time, for a refurb. We’ve spent months building up to this point, clearing stock, and packing up jewellery.
The old Georgian building that houses my work-place seems to recognise this wind down and as the space emptied I became clumsier, unable to adapt to the new layout.
The carpet had marks where cabinets had stood for years, someone smashed the front window, customers who had come in as children and now had progeny of their own, would rush in saying ‘but you’re not shutting are you?’
I was working here when 9-11 occurred, when my colleague and dear friend found out that her husband had cancer and later on when she was informed that he died.
I was there when the shop owner heard of her father’s death in South America and when I received the call to go to Singapore to be with my mother as she died.
Lovers came to visit me in this shop. I met my closest friend here, as well as many other interesting, odd and occasionally illustrious and very famous people.
Simply enough this place has been woven into my life: a foundation from which developed both good and sometimes difficult events.
I will receive a very basic wage whilst I’m not working and in many ways it could be seen as being the perfect opportunity to finally focus fully on my art and writing.
I don’t have enough money to travel, so I can spend all my time immersed in my home, the people around me, and my creative expressions.
Huge changes and quite unnerving as in many ways this is the situation that I have long yearned for; the time and space to commit myself to doing what I love.
I’m aware I’ll need to create a structure and routine of sorts as it would be way to easy for me to drift into an unemployed, agoraphobic, depressed teenager lifestyle.
There is an expression, ‘be careful what you wish for’ and in some respects I have had a wish granted. I’ve been given the opportunity to be a full time artist and writer and need to move past the grieving of what was and the fears of what could be, and learn how to appreciate this gift to the nth degree.