The design of an imagined life becoming real – I need to pinch myself daily

I began a design project earlier this month for Scott Wallick. His wife Binita is a court reporter and I am designing and illustrating a logo and business card for her. Thus far our contact has been via email only. We have never met in person nor have we spoke on the phone.

Initially I had contacted Scott, who is the designer of the Barthelme Theme, in use on this blog. I was looking to barter artwork for coding work. We emailed back and forth a few times and he asked if I would be interested to do some design work. I said yes. And thus this leads me to today.

jessica_doyle_untitledSM.jpgWhether by stroke of luck or genius I am working this month in my chosen trade(s). I have had to pinch myself and sit quietly inhaling and exhaling preventing onsets of many an anxiety attack. What does this have to do with Scott? Well, simply put working in the design industry has in the past lead me to using drugs to get my work done on time. I am not using drugs this time. My brain is thoroughly being challenged right now to keep moving forward without regret of what happened in the past.

Much of the work I do in my life is not payed work. That is tricky. One needs money to survive. My non-paying gigs are as important to me as my paying gigs. This also causes internal stress of meeting deadlines and of meeting my rent due date for my apartment rental.

March has been a month of ideas, compromises, admitting I was wrong and above all else trusting that I am OK as human being and deserve good things in my life. It is easy, very easy, for me to retreat to my bubble when good things happen i.e. a new design client, MailArt, Astronutrition, pillow fight, dogs, cats, friends, new friends and old friends. I surround myself with that bubble for protection. The thing I haven’t grasped yet, is why I need to go in there when the good things happen and why when the bad things happen I want them worse. And why my emotions are so intense that I am not able to see beyond anything else but the emotion being experienced, itself. I cannot move from one project to next quickly until I am finished with the first.

Last night I cared for two sick people. It drained me not in a bad way but in the way that I don’t prioritize jobs over people. I prepared and then cooked a tomato chicken stew. Rene, a friend in my building came for supper last night as every Tuesday she does. She brings food from the food bank she cannot cook herself and I throw in some food I have and I cook a meal for us and pack enough for her so she can eat the next day also. She has serious ongoing mental health issues and is in the care of the government. Another friend is also ill at the moment. Very ill actually with the flu. He had been throwing up, has a fever and has been sick now for over a week. I brought him some meds the other night and last night packed up a fresh jar of stew to bring down to him. Boy, he is ill and you know what he was able to keep the homemade stew down without throwing it up. That made me so happy.

Yesterday, I mailed off MailArt five days late. I am running behind with Scott’s design. I am also working on making amends with people for things that I did or did not do over the past years…? I thought I would be healed by now from addiction. I am realizing that that is not so.

Today, my life feels very precious to me. Yesterday, three people told me I was very kind and am the first person to care about them in a long long time. There was a man I met on the street while walking to the post office. We had smiled and said hi and then had kept walking in opposite directions. We both turned around to check each other out at the same time and had a great laugh and then continued on our separate paths. Walking out of the post office I saw the dude looking in every store down the street. I yelled “dude!”. He turned and was walking, holding a piece of paper and handed it to me. He said I have missed too many opportunities to not have come back to find you. We hugged and it was nice. We’ll be going for coffee some day soon.

Late last night I sat staring at the computer and didn’t know where to start. I began to panic. I turned in for bed. I cried myself to sleep. First time a long time. Not because I was sad but because I know I am on the right path. I also got wind that my ex-boyfriend is alive and well in Thailand, from my friend Tomoko, Ian and Kai. And I love him and miss him so much.

What really broke me down today and caused the writing of this post, is someone called and bought one of my paintings. I sold a painting. There was no haggling, he offered to pay the full price I wanted for it. I am so grateful to be alive right now. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to know that how I am choosing to live my life is ok and that is pays to be kind, honest and transparent.

I don’t want to jinx myself by talking about good things. This scares me to talk about the good things. But without them I wouldn’t exist so I will continue living this way. This Blog and all of you really do keep me alive, healthy and doing what I love to do best, create with emotion.

*image credit – This is the painting that I sold today. Price sold for is $1250 Canadian over four months. Then he gets the painting.

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12 thoughts on “The design of an imagined life becoming real – I need to pinch myself daily

  1. Great news on the sale Jessica. I’m so very happy for you and glad to see you’re riding a wave of joy. It’s a beautiful painting, sure to bring the buyer years of pleasure.

  2. Jessica, Getting paid for work you love to do is hard [do I deserve this?] and rewarding [yes!] at the same time. May your many blessings continue never to be taken for granted. – Al

  3. jess, so good to hear that you’re doing well. and congrats on the sale of the paining! it’s beautiful…

    i’d like you to come over for dinner one evening next week. whaddya say??


  4. amos – Thank you and I hope so to. Buying a painting is kind of like buying a good mattress, maybe a good house would be a better comparison ’cause paintings tend to outlast mattress’s for the most part ;).

    Al – nice to see you again. I ask myself that question, Do I deserve this? It is a conundrum, a riddle I am slowly answering. I think we all ask these questions from time to time to ourselves. Everyone will have their own unique answer to this question to. And in allowing room for the answer to evolve over time from yes’s to no’s to maybe so’s, the answer is the question itself. Thank you for some food for thought. Hope you are doing well.

    tiffany – I say – I’d love to come for dinner. I haven’t seen you in so long. When would be good for you and I’ll mark it in my planner. Send me an email. :) I can pick some fresh herbs from the garden to cook with.

    range – thank you. Glad you like the painting. It can always be found online for free right here. 😉

  5. congratulations girl, it’s great to know someone will give the respect that your work deserves. Im really drawn to that painting, very rich. beautiful.
    BTW, i sent the mailART today, will post pics tomorra…

  6. rodrigo – OMG! I will wait patiently for it to arrive. NOT!

    I am so excited about this project we are doing. Can’t wait to see/get my hands on your artwork. *hug*

  7. Those paintings and drawing are between psychedelic and dreamlike, going from an Otherworld to our world, breaking the barrier between normal and odd, dream and nightmare.

  8. Haig – Thanks for stopping by. I seem to have hit another roadblock. I’m learning how to navigate around it right now. Being self reliant is hard. I’m gonna do it though. I don’t have another choice.

    It was really nice to see you at Northern Voice in February. You are one of my favorite people as far as teachers go. You gave me hope and belief that there is another way to live that isn’t so mixed up. Your excitment in class kept me coming back for more. History of Design rocked.

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