When I was little, I used to struggle with spatial concepts (great for an artist, right?). I’d be in the car flying down the road and wonder how the car 20 feet in front of us could be going the same speed but still be ahead of ours. That sounds nuts I know, but my mind was trying to sort something out there… I don’t know what it was, but it worked overtime.
Same with the horizon, the perceived drop-off point. I’d go on these longs walks alone during which I’d talk to myself or hum or sing or pocket interesting rocks, and I’d wonder how the clouds seemed to be staying ahead of me with the road stretching out but never bending down. I understood there was something bigger going on there, something more, I just didn’t understand it fully at the time.
Isn’t that always the way?
I have two degrees. Two degrees and about four careers. I’ve had wonderful “working” summers of delivering flowers, driving the beverage cart at a golf club and waiting tables during which I had fantastic tans and many weeknights partying down like a champ. I’ve had horrible, pasty white office summers in the mortgage industry where all I could do was fight off yet another sinus infection and wake up miserable, knowing I had to go to that office again that day. I’ve lived. I’ve traveled. I was even insured once upon a time. I wouldn’t change any of it, but it’s not been enough.
The horizon kept bending out of view.
Last weekend I found myself in a kitchen with the boyfriend of my friend, talking about pieces of art and travel and galleries. He mentioned that he’s hoping to open a gallery of his own soon, and that he needs someone to help run it. Ideally, someone who is capable of thinking critically about art, articulately and with a certain amount of scope. Someone who can turn a key and type up an email. Make a phone call, seduce on-the-fence buyers with wit and charm. In short: me. Ok maybe some of that was a little indulged, but the more we talked, the more it clicked. The horizon stopped bending away from me, even just a little.
I have no details. There is no blueprint. It’s all stardust and maybes at the moment but you know what? I’m actually allowing myself to do something that I never, ever, ever do unless I know there is the chance of reality: I’m fantasizing about it. I’m picturing a brightly, naturally lit space. I’m wearing heels and a skirt that didn’t come from Target. I’m smiling, I’m thinking about the images and things that surround me, and which type to best use on the title card about to be mounted to the walls. In my more wildly imaginative moments, I’m thinking about getting on a plane to anywhere to look at pieces to sell. Discussing them over wine. Silent, subtle eye rolls when dealing with a particularly eccentric artist. I’m allowing these thoughts to wash through me – at least for a few minutes before I shut them down and wag a realistic finger at them.
The dream can be intoxicating. That the horizon may actually stop and I can catch up to it feels euphoric. To be independent, empowered, enlightened, creative and confident in a life’s work is something I never saw for myself. Much like ever being financially very comfortable or dizzy in love at age 82 surrounded by grandchildren. These are not dreams that have touched my life in any real way (but especially the money part). Sadly though, the total happiness. I’ve never pictured myself simply…happy… in life. Content with bursts of joy, yes. I’ve had that and even when it goes away, I know it will return. But to be contentedly happy and secure is as foreign a feeling for me as those pretend grandchildren.
I’m a realist with a touch of optimist and that’s where I’ll choose to remain until I have more information I can count on. The daydreams will continue until that horizon slows down enough to where I can almost catch it.
I know it’s out there.