Yesterday’s Arts Walk was intense, to say the least. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I had no idea of the events that would unfold. The last few have been rained out, and I was hoping that wouldn’t happen again, because I had been planning this for so long. Well, instead it was 95 degrees and clear, with the sun beating down on us, and no shade whatsoever in the Artist’s Lot.
We were lucky enough to get a pretty close parking spot, so transporting everything to our setup area was pretty quick. But once we started unloading, the heat started to get to me. I tried to power through it at first, but the more I squatted down and stood back up, the more sick I started to feel. I sat and drank water for a few minutes and then tried getting back up, but it just kept getting worse.
By that time, Acacia had arrived. Now let me tell you, she is such an amazing friend for coming out and helping. She wasn’t going to be able to come, due to personal reasons, but I messaged her to share that I was getting nervous and I wished she could go. She informed me that she actually was going to be able to come for a few hours.
By the time she got there, I thought I was having heat stroke. I was sitting with my head between my legs, an ice pack on my neck, and seeing spots. Being a total idiot, I had only packed one large water bottle, and I was trying really hard to not drink the whole thing. Eric and Acacia were amazing, they basically set up my whole booth, with little to no help from me. I was able to get up and help a few times with little things, but 99.9% of setup was all them.
Times like this make me realize just how lucky I am to have Eric by my side. I mean, he worked 8 hours, rushed home on the motorcycle, in the heat, and then set up my entire booth, even after doing all the heavy lifting.
I was feeling pretty defeated, worrying about how on earth I was going to get up and sell. More than a few times, I thought about telling them to stop, that we needed to pack it up and go home, because I was pretty sure I was dying. I was being just a little bit over dramatic. Thankfully though, I had the good sense not to do that. I just sat, with my back to the sun and my head down. Anytime they asked if something was set up correctly my response was “yup, looks great,” because not only was I not up to being critical, but I also wouldn’t dare with the amount of work they were doing for me.
After a while I started to feel better, I was able to stand a bit more, and Eric was able to go buy drinks for us all. The start of the Arts Walk was a bit slow, probably due to the heat. As the sun started to slowly go down behind the buildings, more people started coming out. I started to feel much better. I know I looked pretty disgusting, and smelled worse, but I was so happy to be there.
I often feel disappointed that I’m not as successful as I’d like to be when it comes to my art. But days like yesterday remind me that it doesn’t matter. I’m doing something I love, and have tons of people around me who support me and appreciate what I do.
Not only were Eric and Acacia there to support me and setup my booth when I wasn’t able, but many others showed up as well. My sister drove out from Orange County, braving the 91 freeway at rush hour, just to be by my side. My brother, who works in Laguna and lives in Arizona, stopped on his way home to not only support me, but also help break down at the end of the night and load up the truck. My father in law drove out from Ontario, just to take a look at my booth and see my work in person. My close friend Meg drove all the way from Newport Beach, also in rush hour, just to see me.
I am so incredibly lucky to have each and every one of these people in my life, supporting me, valuing me and my work.
In all the craziness, I didn’t get a picture of my booth, but Meg captured this great shot of me in my element. Finally happy after all these years, doing exactly what I want to be doing. Being exactly where I need to be. Also, trying to pocket my sister’s credit card 😉
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me!