Starting at the End (or at least nearer the end than the beginning)

by noelyovovich on December 15, 2016

me-in-redIf you’re young, maybe you imagine that by the time you reach “retirement age” things will be pretty settled and secure. I know I did.

The only thing that’s for sure in my life is that I’m an artist and making things is what I need to do to be happy. I’m good at it, if I say so myself, but it’s a tough way to make a living.

artI finally got divorced about 6 months ago, and came out of it pretty thoroughly impoverished. I thought– twice– that I had a good job lined up, first with F&W Media in Fort Collins, CO (I’ve been writing and doing videos for them for years on a freelance basis) and then for Rio Grande Jewelry Supply in Albuquerque (they flew me out, wined and dined me– then decided not to offer me the job). Tough to get hired at 65.

It isn’t going to be any easier when I turn 66 in about a week.

So I’ve lived through the last couple of years in a constant state of fear and trepidation. I was living alone in the house we raised the 4 kids in, until my estranged husband moved back in, not to be with me but to save money and to put pressure on me to settle. Probably the less said about THAT situation the better.

Ultimately, it worked.


Now I live with an incredibly generous friend who is also going through divorce.If you’ve been following this erratic and infrequent blog, you are probably wondering what happened to my plan to RV across the country. Well, I decided that it is more imcozy-home-smportant right now to stay where I have a network of friends, though I still cherish that dream.


Here’s the thing, though. You can’t live in fear and trepidation. It’s bad for your health, and it’s good for… nothing. In retrospect, I realize I was experiencing hypervigilance. I felt as though if I didn’t hold that fear in my mind at all times, if I let go of it for a second, something terrible would creep up and wallop me.


I did get walloped, right upside the head, by the events of this period, and all the seeing it coming in the world didn’t even slow it down. But I’m still here, my incredibly generous friend has put a roof over my head, a new friend is sharing her studio/gallery space with me, and I’m making things again after years of not really being able to. I have two articles to write for F&W. I *finally* got a web store set up (!!!


A couple of months ago, I sat myself down and decided that the fear wasn’t serving me and that I was going to stop being afraid. To my astonishment, that was all it took! I am sleeping well again (without pills now), and feeling much stronger and more positive. I can’t say that would work for everyone, of course, but if my situation sounds at all familiar to you, I hope you’ll have a “talk” with yourself.


And a couple days ago, I actually made something just for myself, which I don’t often do. I have let my hair grow out for the last couple years, so I made myself a barrette.

Now I just need to let the world know they can finally buy my work online. And I plan to set up some classes at my new space (1123 Florence Ave, Evanston) and offer one-on-one metalsmithing if anyone is interested. I can teach (and have taught) any level and almost any te

arts-room-smchnique, subject to the limitations of not having room for *all* my tools there. So if you can, spread the word a bit for me. I haven’t “always depended on the kindness of strangers” and friends, but I do now.

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