Where do I start? That is a question I have struggled with for weeks now, and finally decided that the place to start is at the beginning, er, more like somewhere in the middle actually. I had stopped creating so many years ago. I had made several turns down different roads in my life that caused me to make creating less and less a priority in my life. I was working as an Art Director and had been for many many years at this point. My wife and kids and I had moved from LA to The Great Pacific North Wet several years before the moment things changed for me. My wife was pregnant with our 4th child. She had recently finished her Masters degree. I was commuting 4 hours a day for work. Yup, you heard that right, 4 fours a day. Nothing I could do could speed that up, but many things could make that much much longer. It was two hours door to door, first I drove to a park and ride, then got on a bus, then onto a ferry, and then a quick walk to the office. To say that I was killing myself with work was an understatement. I was a zombie, walking dead. When I was at home, I was unhappy. I was tired, and very very frustrated. On one of those standard long days of commuting and working, I walked into the house and was greeted quite pleasantly by the Boss Lady and the kids. Seemed strange at the time, like something was up and I was not in on the entire story.
My wife grabbed my hand, kissed me, and led me to the den. The Den was the family room, the TV watching zone, the gathering place, and the location we slowed the day down to a slow crawl before climbing into bed for the day. My wife and kids had spent the day gutting the den of all the standard den thingys, like the TV and the sofa and other den like stuff and replaced it with all of my art supplies. She had propped up my easel, purchased new canvases, hung unfinished paintings on the walls, and generally created an art studio. I looked at my wife’s smiling face, and she said, “It’s time for you start painting again.”
With tears in my eyes, I stood there in shock. To this day, words just can not express the importance of this moment. Of course, this is exactly what my soul was needing. And of course it took someone on the outside, my wife, to point this out. She then went on to say, “It’s your turn to finish your degree.” I said, no. I’m not going back to school. I do not have the time for such foolishness. She then said, “You were there to help when I was working on my degree, well, then we are here for you to finish yours.”
My wife pushed and pushed for me to go back to school. I dragged my feet day after day. Because why would this middle aged man go back to school. Nothing but debt will come from going back to school. Clearly, my wife was not taking no for an answer. It was about a year and a half of the very best stall tactics I could muster, and I received a phone call while I was at the office, from The Academy of Art in San Francisco. The person on the other end of the call told me we need to work on my schedule for the upcoming semester. I said, I am sorry, you have the wrong number. Nope, she said, your wife signed you up and everything has been taken care of. We just need to put your academic plan together.
Needless to say, I went home, kissed my wife with everything I had, and began several years of working day and night on school work. Sacrificing weekends and holidays. Fighting the urge to quit semester after semester. Bitching and complaining the entire time. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments of great breakthrough as an artist. Moments I could feel my world expanding as a creative. All the while, my wife stood by me, supported me, picked up the slack when I just did not have time to be a supportive partner in the household responsibilities.
I owe everything to her, the boss lady, my partner in crime, the love of my life. I am a better person because of her. She fought through my stubbornness, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for not giving up on me. Te Amo Mucho! Mi Tesoro.