Unearthing creative possibilities: Trish Roque's website, personal blog, & portfolio

The Universe will give you exactly what you want (and/or need)

I am a true believer of this statement: the universe/life/the almighty/whatever you want to call it, has given me exactly what I’ve asked for and what I’ve needed. The consequences are another matter. This brings me to the two points I want to make in this post:

  1. Be specific about what you want.
  2. Be careful what you ask for, because you will get it.

Know exactly what you want.

I’ve struggled with this since I moved to the Bay Area in 2000. It’s a long time to struggle, and the irony of this situation is that I was not always this vague.

Santa Fe Etching Club 1994 Many (many!) years ago, as a fresh-faced college graduate with an environmental studies and art degree, I decided that I would pursue a career as an artist. So, I determined I needed to work for an artist and learn as much as I could from that person.

I packed my belongings in my backpack, bought a one-way plane ticket to Santa Fe, NM and headed west to immerse myself in the art world, surround myself with artists, and live like an artist.

(There I am in 1994, with the Santa Fe Etching Club in what used to be Jo Basiste/Eli Levin’s porch off his studio on Camino Don Miguel near Canyon Road. Jo sold the home/studio he built and lived in for decades for a really large sum of money – a very large sum – several years ago. I’m the fresh-faced, recent college grad in the overalls, trying to be an artist. Hah! More on the club below.)

I was telling the universe: I want to be an artist. I was not vague about my desires.

The universe provided. Somehow, events occurred, providence intervened, and for six years, I found myself doing exactly what I set out to do.

Sculpture by Star Liana YorkI found work as an assistant to Star Liana York, a prominent sculptor in the southwest. She showed me that not only was it possible to not starve as an artist, but that one could truly LIVE a good life as an artist. (That’s one of her sculptures on the right, and my first Star Liana York work of art!)

She introduced me to other successful artists, each one having found and having made their own paths.

And through the American Women Artists, a non-profit organization that Star was a founding member of, and for which I also worked in the years I lived in Santa Fe, I met some incredible women.

I worked closely and became friends with these women, including Sherrie McGraw, Joan Potter, and Donna Howell-Sickles. I learned from them, traveled to Italy with them, and in general, had a blast!

Santa Fe Etching Club in 2000Through another act of Providence, I found the Santa Fe Etching Club and printed for six years with Jo Basiste (Eli Levin), Elizabeth Cook Romero, William Gonzales, Joe Becker, and Norma Evans. These artists were just as passionate about their work.

(Here’s the club in 2000 before I left, inside Jo’s studio with the ancient press. The club was a bit smaller from the 1994 group.)

We met every week to make prints, eat dessert, and tell dirty jokes in Jo’s studio. It was a wonder we got any work done. I learned just as much from them about the reality of making art and making a living.

(I’ve promised them a website for years now and I will get it up — I’ve even registered the domains! The club really deserves a website considering it’s one of the longest running art clubs in Santa Fe, or Jo claims it is.)

After six years of living and loving life in Santa Fe, I decided I needed to leave. I learned as much as I could from the people and the place and it was time to move on.

(Santa Fe is also a very small town and when I lived there, it had a population of 60,000. It became almost funny – ha ha – running into the same ex-boyfriends over and over again in the grocery store…)

But I digress. I left Santa Fe because it was time to learn some new lessons. This leads me to my second point.

Be careful what you ask for – because you will get it.

I had so much fun in New Mexico. The people, the land, the nostalgia can sometimes distract me from what I need to do in California. (I asked for some new lessons – and apparently, I’m getting them!)

My packed Toyota heading to CaliforniaThe decision to move was not a difficult one. I was excited about the prospect of change and the new adventure.

The place to move to was somewhat random – I had spent one weekend in San Francisco the previous year. I liked what I saw and I knew of an old college friend who lived there. He and his wife seemed to like it.

However, they warned me that the rental market was a tough one (and in 2000, it really was tough). That didn’t faze me and even though I had my dog, I had an overwhelming confidence that everything was going to work out just fine.

One month before I scheduled myself to leave Santa Fe, I still had no apartment lined up in the Bay Area nor did I have a job. Still I was not worried. I truly felt that it would all work out – and sitting here remembering all this and writing about it now, I wonder where that confidence came from? I deeply felt and understood that the universe would provide. After my experiences in Santa Fe, I had no reason to doubt that.

Two weeks before leaving New Mexico, my etching buddy Norma told me of her wonderful friend Julie who had an apartment in the Oakland hills that would be vacant, and was I interested? “Oh”, she said to me, “and Julie boards dogs for a living”. I smiled. Once again, the universe gave me exactly what I wanted.

Even the job that I had when I first came to the Bay Area was exactly what I needed to make my transition. It did not work out but it was what I NEEDED at the time. Providence was still there.

So, I arrived in the Bay Area, and the universe provided. But…

Was I not prepared for the consequences of receiving these gifts from the universe?

Was I careless with my request? Was I vague? Am I still?

By the look and feel of it, the answers to the questions above are yes.

I have exactly what I want and what I need, but I am struggling with the consequences of these gifts.

Ahh, it’s 2 AM, and I must sleep now. Then off to Tahoe I go with my wonderful husband and very good friends. These are the gifts I do not struggle with.

But I promise to continue sorting through these thoughts. Because I must know exactly what I want so that the universe can provide accordingly.

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