WARNING: shit gets personal

by Lillian Black

Three years ago today since I left Illinois. No plan. Just me, my amphibian packed in ice, and all of my belongings on our way to a whole new life.

Signs were a part of my life in Illinois and I had considered a graphic design degree dozens of times, but the fulltime switch to art didn't happen until I got to Idaho. I wandered into an interview only to be met at a storefront full of sign blanks that still needed to be painted. I informed my soon to be boss that they had found the person who would do their signage. It was very serendipitous. It's really too bad that work environment was as toxic as it was, but it gave me signs when I didn't know I needed them.

Today I am reflecting on the burnout I've been dragging with me since February. I didn't start this company with any business foundation, just my own will to make rent and follow a passion. In 2022, that caught up to me and I continued to ignore it. My rent has increased close to $400 a month since I've been here and with each new lease a new level of anxiety has followed. I needed to regroup a while ago but the fear of "taking a break" kept me from committing. I didn't want any of you to think I was unavailable to you. Even when I was!

Now I am covid positive and I'm having an even rougher go. I cannot continue to nurse this burnout and this illness together. It's made me realize that I need to set myself up for success, not for sickness. Baby steps, then one more, and another, in the direction of health and stability. That's what I'm committing to going forward.

I know that by prioritizing the life I want to live, my signs will only get better, my business will only run more smoothly, and my clients will only find more satisfaction. My first goal is to start painting daily again and to publish weekly blogs/rants on my website to keep myself accountable. Expect a lot of personal rants, self taught arts and craft skills, exploration of the intersection of autism and sign painting, and much more. I have so much I know I will accomplish and I am recommitting to that journey TODAY. Come watch it unfold?

There is a mailing list if you'd like to know when the next blog is uploaded! Thanks for being here, thanks for continuing to support little old me, and thank you for your patience. I know there are great things around the corner.