editor’s note :: i’m taking a break this month to work on a new manuscript. some of my closest friends have agreed to fill this space in my absence with their thoughts on bravery and what it means for our faith. you can read the rest of the posts here. today, aletheia shares her words. Am I crazy? I must be crazy. I haven’t thought I was crazy until now...but maybe I am? WHAT am I doing?!!!
I was making my way to Lancaster, newly revitalized art city that I love, to checkout a friend’s attic. Fairly certain I would live in this city, now I had only to discover if this space would be the place where I unloaded my paints and enormous pillow collection.
Earlier that afternoon I tried to create a budget from an income that had yet to make its way into my bank account. And although I knew some of the basics--food, gas, student loans, car insurance (these line items were non-negotiables), some of these other categories alluded me; How much to put away for healthcare, in savings, for rent? How on earth would/could I know and plan ahead?
I couldn’t, really. And I can’t.
So again, as has been the case so often this year as I’ve taken this leap of faith in quitting my job, of saying goodbye to a steady stream of financial security, I did the best I could. I threw together some numbers and offered up another prayer. “A cheap living arrangement, please?!”
We climbed the carpeted stairs to the available space and as I walked from one end to the other (and paused in the middle to look out that glorious window unveiling the enormous tree that hogged the grenery), something in me dropped into place and I knew: We still had to talk details, but either way, I was certain of two things. First, I would no longer be a Resident Director and second, I would call Lancaster home.
In order to move to Lancaster and to create space for the melding of art and spirituality in this next season of life, I have committed to a more simplistic way of living. And living on less, something that five years ago wouldn’t have even made it onto my sketchpad, now, is something I have been practicing, something I am now willing to make a priority: Saying no so often means that I get to say yes.
And yet, not necessarily in this case; Sure, I have decided to make some changes--to move to a place with more opportunity, with more like-minded individuals in the hopes of sinking into a community that gets it, gets me, in this way and so I’ve quit my job and said no to other opportunities that don’t match this passion. And I’ve put relationships and hobbies and even sleep at times on hold in order to commit more of my time to painting or researching or marketing. But all of this is no guarantee. Just because I have a place to rest my head doesn’t mean my dreams will come to pass.
A little while back I painted live at a local coffeeshop while a friend played some fantastic music. It was a couple of months after I had made my decision about next year and I knew that I would need to remind myself of what I wanted to be about. So I painted “Courage.”
Saying no without the promise of yes is what courage looks like for me this next year, and really, what it looks like for forever. Stepping out into the unknown with the determination to hold loosely to all of if--process and outcome--is what I want to be about, and who I want to be, today, next week, and ten years from now.
BIO:: Aletheia Schmidt has been making new things from old things for most of her life but it wasn’t until recently, that she has begun calling herself an artist and living as such. Stepping away from the security of a regular paycheck, Aletheia considers herself blessed with the chance of a lifetime to venture into a new season of trust. Committed to finding more space and time, Aletheia is in the midst of pursuing her newfound love of painting her prayers, Aletheia longs for opportunities to share the way in which the arts, imagination, and creativity intersects with faith, teaching and sharing every chance she gets. For more of her work and writings, visit her blog: www.accordingtoaletheia.com or find her on Twitter: Evrythgaletheia, Pinterest or Facebook: Aletheia Schmidt, Artist.