(Warning...this is a very long, wordy post!:)
I had a HUGE A-Ha moment last night.
I paid off a loan yesterday. The last $1000 and pennies owed on it. This loan was taken out about three years to start my licensing career. I was working with a licensing consultant and she was expensive. There was her hourly rate, designers and digital manipulation fees, portfolio and printing charges, travel expenses, a babysitter, etc. I took out a lot of money. With the hopes and dreams that I would be a very successful licensing artist. That I could work from home and make a lot of money.
I worked with the licensing consultant for almost a year. I traveled to the Atlanta Gift Show and CHA in California. Worked full-time for four months straight on a "million dollar" deal. And then the company went bankrupt and I was left with nothing.
I was out of money and time. My Dad passed away and then one month later I found out I was pregnant with Jackson. It was time to let the dream go.
I told my husband last night that I had paid the loan off and he said "Don't you feel great?" I was kind of taken aback. I really didn't feel great. Taking out that loan was a hasty decision, and a gamble at best. I felt like I had let my family down. I felt like I was taken advantage of. I thought about all the money "wasted".
But he assured me that I should feel good. It was over. The decisions had been made and through many lessons learned the financial burden was over.
All of a sudden I had a very profound a-ha moment.
My self-worth has been wrapped up in my "success". And when the deal fell through, I felt like a failure. Through all my artistic accomplishments, I have never felt like it was enough. I would finish one goal, and then set my standards higher. This is a pressure I put on myself. No one else was telling me these things.
Wow, I am feeling a lot lighter today. I still have a dream to be a licensed artist. I think it would be really cool to walk into Hallmark or a bookstore and see my items for sale. But I surely am not willing to put my family's finanical health in jeopardy again. I am not willing to work 18 hours a day 7 days a week to see it happen. And I am definitely not willing to trade my self-esteem or self-worth for a contract.
God is good. We go through trials and tribulations for reasons, and even when we don't know why, He is there waiting, holding our hands, telling us that it will be okay. I think I got this one:)