As if to reinforce my current state of mind, and my attitude towards the coming year, I made a discovery…

In a fit of pre-christmas-visitor tidying, I came across the notebook I had used in the meeting I had with my old boss about the changes in my working contract, in March. At the time, irritated by having only an hour’s notice of the meeting, I passive-aggressively wrote down every word that was said, slowly, pausing and asking for clarification frequently. So, this stands as a document recording that emotionally charged hour. In it, I see the meek, ingratiating HR person. I see the ambitious boss, determined to get her way, sat slightly too close to me, on a slightly higher chair, grin fixed.

In my notes I can actually see the point at which my brain switched to NO.

At the time… I felt besieged, belittled, targeted, victimised, trampled.

Now I feel emotionally strong, empowered and independent.


That brief interlude no longer colours my feelings about the ten year job that I loved. I can read these notes now with a sense of detachment, wondering about that me versus this me.

I would have been a disciplinary nightmare if I had capitulated and stayed against my principles. I would have subverted, undermined, and rattled the cage.

Leaving was best for all concerned, especially me!
She did me a favour.

This me is more me than I have ever felt.

So I’ve ripped out the pages and shredded them.

…and I’m running towards 2015 with open arms!


Meanwhile, away from the nine women, life goes on…

The funding is going to be great, but I do need to earn money after that. If I removed myself from the possibility of other earning for the duration of the project, by the time I finish it I will have been forgotten, other prospective employers will have moved on. Therefore, obviously I have to maintain those professional relationships and friendships that will give me continued employment, hopefully for years to come! I am very fortunate that when I finished working in school I found myself on the education team at New Art Gallery Walsall. Having had a load of time off for my knee op, I will be glad to be working back there next week. It is a lovely gallery, a great team and I love being part of it!

Last weekend I battled my way through The German market in order to spend an afternoon with some of the artist teachers and MA students at The School of Art in Margaret Street, Birmingham City University. I loved my time there as a student. I love it just as much on the other side of the table. I love looking at students’ work and drawing out the discussion… Doing as I had been done unto!
Rewarding work in both settings…. And….

Both these roles pay well. I refuse to deny the importance of that factor. I’m not going to be coy about it. I had a regular salary last year, regular but low pay. This meant that to earn enough money, I had to work a lot of hours. Working lots of hours stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. It even stopped me knowing what else I could possibly do. All that is easy to see in hindsight. Working for three or four times the school hourly rate means I can do less of it, and actually have brain space for my own thinking.

I’ve never really been that interested in the whole new year celebration thing… Just the change of numbers doesn’t signify anything usually. This year it does. The first week in January 2014 my previously happy life started to crumble underneath me. The first week in January 2015 sees my life at a point where anything is possible! The year in between has varied from horrendously negative to gloriously positive and all points between.
Not a resolution as such, but, I find myself with intentions for 2015: the laying down of the foundations for a sustainable life as a professional artist.

Onwards and upwards!