Recovery Part 1: Why I'm Sharing
Recently, I made announcements on social media that I had received a shock and would need some time to realign and assess how to process what has happened and contemplate how I was still going to be able to work and run this site.
I'm now about to take a path of recovery.
I'll start by sharing with you the reason behind my name, Gnostic Forest.
Aside for my love of nature, I chose this name for the forest in symbolism. In folklore and legends, the forest was often seen as a dark place of foreboding and the unknown. But for those who decided to take the journey, great rewards could be found if they were able to defeat the dangers within.
A few years ago, I decided to enter the forest, but then spent years wandering around just inside, remaining in the light and close enough to the entrance that I had a chance to turn back. I was warned not to enter.
Peering in, it seemed too dense to pass, full of thickets and thorns with no tools in my possession to hack away at the undergrowth. I looked back often, hoping and waiting for a companion to accompany me, but one never came. Meanwhile, the path has become increasingly overgrown and I can't wait anymore - in fact, I've been forced in.
This journey will have obstacles and wrong turns, but there will also be new faces - people to help me with what I need to take forward and what baggage I need to leave behind. And despite being a long and strenuous quest with no guarantees, I'm confident that they'll also be joy and positivity along the way. But the journey never really stops.
Many people have recommended journalling. I have dabbled with this on and off in the past but a lack of accountability (even to myself) meant it was something I just couldn't seem to keep up.
I also have this strange aversion to using books. Aversion is a key theme with me, though I'll touch upon that later in the story.
I do have sketchbooks and sometimes I use them, but I always seem to gravitate towards loose sheets of copy paper which inevitably get all mixed up and a bit tatty. I don't know if that says something about my inability to stick a course, or just spontaneity and lack of organisation, or maybe it's just a random quirk.
And a dear friend sent me a journal as a complete surprise in the week! I'm going to make more effort to use it and after a subscriber sent me a lovely email about gratitude, I've decided to use it for just that.
I saw three choices:
- Close the site and forget art since I've lost my home, I'm not able to work right now and it costs money to maintain
- Push through with art, remain in a toxic environment, ignoring all the thorns in my side and becoming more reclusive while hoping things don't keep getting worse
- Keep in touch, let it all out, and share the way I'm going to get back on my feet and find my way again
So my plan is to share the story of recovery with you here.
Yep, I have thrown caution to the wind and thought what the heck. I need to stop caring about what other people think which is a big part of my problem - I'll explain later on why that is.
Is it professional? Maybe not. But right now, I'm past caring about having some super-polished image and just being human. The professionalism, I hope, comes through in the way I deliver a service when people buy my art.
A few years back, I used to turn up to an office in Mayfair (one of the most affluent parts of London) for my corporate job with holes in my leggings, a gas mask bag, army boots and chugging on a vape at my desk all day. And I lived in a van.
No one said anything because I was good at my job and I managed my team well. I didn't have to see clients for meetings so what did it matter? I'm an artist, not an insurance salesperson.
I get increasingly weary of all the illusion in the world and I've been burying a lot of these issues for so long... perhaps this recent trauma will turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me...or that's what people have been trying to get me to believe.
Perhaps at some point I will be brave enough to incorporate videos of my talking candidly since that's something I've always been terrified of, and fear often shows us the direction in which we need to head...albeit at a safe pace.
And eventually, I will get around to posting the original blog posts that I had roughly drafted before this all happened so the blog won't be dedicated to this exclusively if it's not your thing...and that's absolutely fine.
As I listen to my intuition, this feels like the right thing to do, and I hope that it may help someone.
And as for the website, I'm still able to process orders so the website is currently functioning as normal. As always, feel free to message me at any time :) I might take a little longer to get back than usual, but I will get back...
Thank you for reading,