Sunday, January 13, 2013

This is not how I planned it.

Lately, I'm overwhelmed with inspiration. It's coming at me from all directions and I certainly don't mean that as a complaint. It's that whole drinking from a fire-hose thing. Ink & Alchemy is just bursting at the seams, which is a good thing, except there isn't enough time in the day for me to follow-up on all my ideas. So much talent, so much inspiration, so much generosity. It seems that the more I immerse myself in it, the more the ideas flow.

You may recall that when we last spoke, I was preparing for my first ever workshop focused on social media for creative people. I had it. It was awesome. But. But. There's always a but, isn't there?

It didn't exactly go as planned.

I've seen this concept at work many times in my life. I'm always amazed when it happens, and then that astonishment fades and I forget how it works. If I just get in there and get busy, get my hands dirty with whatever the task at hand happens to be, things have a way of working themselves out. Going to college was like that. Raising kids. My career. Finding and meeting my husband. Art. Writing. Ink & Alchemy.

Looking back, none of those things turned out to be quite what I'd thought they'd be. They took longer than I would have liked. They were harder than I'd expected.

An example, you ask? I'd just about had it with online dating. Strike that. I was fed-up with dating as a whole. If there was a weirdo to be had in Albuquerque, I managed to find him and fill his dance card for Saturday night. There was the man who revealed half-way through dinner that he'd just been released from prison for international drug running. Prior to his incarceration, he'd spent seven years on the lamb. His words, not mine. There was sweaty guy. One man professed to reading books, but when I asked what kind of books he liked, he was stumped. Just stared at me, eyes wide, gears cranking. When he finally came up with an answer it was this. "Picture books." I promise, I'm not making this up. A man in line at the gas station tried to bum some change from me.  When I returned to my vehicle, he knocked on the car window, scaring the bejesus out of me in the process, and asked me out on a date. Yes, this happened. Oh, and the nurse with the voice like Kermit the Frog who had a breathalyzer in his car.

I was working, going to school, and raising two kids. I was tired. Tired of getting my hopes up only to see them fizzle out yet again. One that fateful, shining day, I was slated to meet a man for drinks after work. I slept through the alarm and was forced to get ready for work as quickly as possible; this was not a recipe for glamorous shiny hair or a stunning outfit. Add to that a busy day working in the lab, classes, and no lunch. By the time the end of the day rolled around, I was cranky, exhausted, and my hair was hideous.

Not what I'd expected. Not what I wanted. Not how I'd planned it.

I almost didn't go on that date, and in fact, I was late. I didn't have his phone number, which is fortuitous or I most certainly would have canceled. Thank goodness he was hungry, so he was still sitting there at the table when I arrived. Again, not what I expected. How could I ever have expected this? He was so far outside of my realm of experience that I had no way of even imagining what was in store for me. That kind of awesomeness can do nothing but knock your socks off, throw you for a loop, and change your life forever. He was perfect. He still is.

I'm taking the circuitous way around to say this: Unless you put yourself out there, unless you stretch and grow and push your boundaries, you can't know what will develop. For me, Ink & Alchemy is illustrating this concept yet again in my life. I don't quite know where I'm heading with it. I don't exactly know how it will turn out, yet I just get in there and do the work. Get involved. Try new things. Miraculously, each of these things just leads to something better.

The Don is like that. It's been five years since that first meeting. Five years since we sat at that little high top table and guardedly offered up little bits of ourselves over tapas. It was terrifying. He had such kind eyes and was so brilliantly smart, that I wasn't quite if I knew what to do with him.  Our second anniversary is coming up, and I can tell you, it's been worth every breath-taking, wondrous,  absolutely terrifying second. It's not always easy, and sometimes I have no idea of what I'm doing, but I just keep on.

It turned out that I didn't even get a chance to work through the slides I'd presented for the social media workshop. The questions and comments took us in a completely different direction. In fact, it turns out that live, in-person probably isn't even the best way to do that. No matter. We had a lovely time, we learned a few things (I know I did!), and I have a new direction for I&A. 2013 is going to incredible!

I plan on producing weekly podcasts. Here's the intro. Please subscribe so that you don't miss them. The monthly newsletter went out today for the first time. But most importantly, I've got The Don.

If you want to sign-up for the mailing list, or the Featured Artist/Writer Program, you can do so at my website.

Have a great week, Inkers! I hope something completely unexpected happens and it takes you in a magnificent new direction. 


  1. I enjoyed reading the blog and seeing the unusual art. I also enjoyed the first podcast I saw the other day.

  2. I'm glad! And I really appreciate the positive feedback. You made my day!

  3. I can't wait for your podcasts Robin! Loved reading your dating history lol.


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