i do this for me.

i want to write in this space today & be completely authentic. about my life, about my job, about my health, about my work as an artist. & to be completely honest, to be authentic- i have to reveal the not so great parts of my life, the real junk. 

since starting my full-time job, my life has felt different. i am beginning to enjoy my job, but the balance of living has been a challenge. i spend most of my days at work & the rest worrying about what i should prioritize when i'm not at work. should i prepare dinner right now?, weed the garden beds?, sweep the three inches of dog hair off the floor?, actually take a shower?, or spend time with my neglected husband? all of these questions lay heavily on my heart as i clock out at 5:30 p.m. & head home. 

of course, i've heard it is a challenge for everyone who is brand new to the i just graduated from college & now entering the weird world of full time work club. that doesn't make it any easier, though. 

the last two weekends have felt especially hectic. two weekends ago, i drove to columbia to hang a show in the bakery where i used to work. it was an amazing learning experience & i am so thankful for the opportunity to share my story in a place that means so much to me. this past weekend, i woke up at 4 a.m. on saturday to participate in a funky little craft show in oklahoma. it was great & i just love the feeling of being with other artists. here's just a glimpse...


my show at uprise bakery in columbia, missouri





my booth at dustbowl in oklahoma
as i was driving home from oklahoma in the dark & exhausted, i kept wondering about the direction of my life. i worried about my goals- where i should be, what i should be doing as an artist, when should we buy some land & start a farm. 

then, as my thoughts started to go down hill as they so often do, i remembered... i do this for me. regardless of where i am, what i think i should do, i do this for me. i drive hours to share my photography & sell my work because i love it. i stay up late & spend weekends on the road because being an artist brings me joy. i write to you instead of making dinner because being a part of this community is valuable. i am thankful for my life. although it doesn't make sense in the now, i take time out of my life to be creative because that is who i am. & it is all so good.

p.s. if you are wondering, luke & i have learned to schedule very important date nights & our sundays are sacred. we are learning as all young married couples do. 

love,
natalie


12 comments:

Jasmine said...

Thanks for sharing Nat! Good stuff

christopher christopherson said...

you two inspire me so much. keep up the good fight!

shari said...

i completely understand your feelings. i've felt the same recently after starting a new job.

so glad you share here natalie. you inspire me.

Alicia A. said...

You'll find a nice pace soon, and you'll get more comfortable with your days. All you can do, Natalie, is take it one day at a time, which is what it sounds like you're doing already.

I'm glad you share here too. Hugs.

Ness said...

it's bizarre being out of school with no-one to tell you if you are doing it right or not. It's such a dumb cliche to "follow your heart." But maybe that's because that's what you have to do and not worry about what anybody says. The more you commit and are present in what you are doing, the better off you are.

She says after wringing her hands over what to make today and not getting started until late, late, late....

You are doing it. You are doing just fine. Keep on.

Ky said...

I love reading your blog. It is such an inspiration seeing people live out their passions and dreams especially in such a humble way. Keep up the hard work!

Julia said...

natalie! i'm over six years out of school and am still having the same feelings. i have to keep reminding myself that this is just what my life is now. and that doesn't mean it can't change. you're still so young (so am i) and we have so much time to figure out what we're doing and make our dreams come true. that doesn't mean the day to day of figuring out what to cook for dinner when you're tired from 8 hours at a desk or how to find time to keep up your garden or all your projects (sounds like you have just as many, if not more, of those as i do!) isn't hard. it's hard. but it sounds like you're keeping things in good perspective, and you're so lucky to have luke by your side (i know you know that). xo

Liz / Tangible Ingredients said...

Yes yes yes! This was very inspiring.

dont-flinch.com said...

Beautiful and inspiring, as always. I think I may be more anxious than you to see what you do next. You and Luke give me hope that I can make the life I want for myself someday, with someone by my side.

Daniela B. said...

Dear Natalie, I am Daniela from Italy.I am partecipating on your Print:a year in film, and I regulary read your blog.I love it so so much!!
I am newly married and I am facing your same difficulties with my day to day schedule, and I often feel very stressed.I have many creative projects, I love to cook weel for my husband, to spend time outside, to be with my large family of cousins and aunts..I have too many projects and not enough time :-)
I am trying to take a single goal for every day (for exemple do the laundry, or write a blog post, or do the groceries), ONE SINGLE every day, trying not to be too overwhelmed.It's a hard time.But we surely will survive it :-)
hugs, Daniela

abby said...

I can relate so much to this. Even after years of practice, life is busy and challenging and sometimes complicated, and keeping the balance is always a topic of conversation around here. Having your head in the right place, and keeping a bigger picture perspective is key - and you've got both! You will find your rhythm. I appreciate your beautiful way of expressing, so much.

PS Yay for date nights! :)

melissa said...

very inspiring! balance is hard but you'll find it.

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