Strange, Wandering Late-Night Thoughts

So it’s been about a month and a week since I left my desk job in order to pursue my dreams of becoming a self-sufficient, self-employed artist. Amongst the other 1000 things that have changed in this time, my sleeping schedule has been turned on its head. As of lately, I go to bed at 4am and wake up between 10am and 11am. I forgot what it’s like to be awake so late into the night and just feel so… alive. My creativity seems to flow best after midnight. I love that. I love not having a schedule!

There is a point to this. It’s 2:03am and my thoughts are wandering. I am going to a metropark tomorrow to take some (hopefully) lovely autumn pictures. I did the same thing last year, and posted this post. I remember thinking the whole time how if I was an artist, I could do that any day of the week. I remember the joy and freedom and wonder, just from wandering around the crunchy leaves and orange trees with my camera. It was October 15, 2011. Exactly one year ago today. Okay… technically yesterday. Since it’s now 2:05am. But I haven’t slept, so to me it’s still October 15.

Isn’t it amazing how much can change in one year? Last year I was dreaming of this. And while probably exactly 50% of me knew I could do it and I would be there (here, where I am now) at that time the following year, the other exact 50% of me knew I would still be at the same miserable 9-5 desk job. A pretty intense inner battle. And right now I still remember telling my boss I quit. It was almost like I was watching someone else say the words, like I had no control over the words coming out of my mouth. And here I am. October 15, 2012. I did it. Yes, Normally I would have been paid today. Therefore, all my bills are due today, since that’s the schedule I set them on. This year, some will be late. My paycheck today was being able to sleep until 10:30 after staying up until 4:30 the previous night painting… because I just couldn’t stop. My paycheck was getting an email from the director of a local arts festival, inviting me to participate in their December 1st event. It was an email from a designer in Australia, asking me to design a logo for their new clothing company. It was an email from the very first person who ever contacted me after I started putting my art online, just about a year ago, when she said she thought it was cool. Today her email was congratulating me on being free and living my dream.

I actually had to buy some Tylenol PM the other night, because as soon as I lay down to go to sleep, a million thoughts like this fly into my head all at once. Please don’t judge, Tylenol PM is legal and non habit-forming. I guess I just can’t believe it. Still. Five weeks later. Then at night you turn the lights off and lay there in the silence and your head just spins. The fact that you are in complete charge of your life, all the time, every minute of every day, has never seemed so real. The angst I am feeling right now about how I am going to pay my cable bill (which isn’t even a necessity… well… I mean… not really… kind of…) is NOTHING compared to the angst I felt over spending 9+ hours a day EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE doing something that made me miserable.

It’s just a lot to take in sometimes. And right now I can see my camera battery charging. And I remember last year seeing my camera battery charging (but it was a weekend last year), being excited for my day of “adventuring.” Walking around, taking pictures, exploring the woods, collecting inspiration. Imagining what it would be like if doing that was my job. And right now as I watch that blinking orange light, I’m actually worried about how emotional tomorrow could be… just knowing that I did it. I’m there. Where half of me thought I would never be.

I cannot wait for tomorrow.