But it's time to go on to the next stage of life, whatever that is. I've always found that, when the decision to make a change is made (whether it's a change of duty station, change of job, whatever), then I don't mope about what is past. I get excited about whatever's coming down the pike. That's the situation now. I decided three months ago to find some other full-time employment. Then, in order to focus more on the job search and be better prepared for any offer, I decided three weeks ago to close down the studio. I think that was a good decision. It removed an ongoing distraction ("gotta go down to the studio and paint") as well as a Sword of Damocles ("what am I gonna do with the studio if I get a job offer and have to be somewhere in a week?"). Of course, it took quite a bit longer to close it up than I thought: two weeks instead of the anticipated four or five days.
But in the end, it worked out. I sold off a lot of stuff: furniture and equipment mostly. I packed up the reasonably-good artworks and destroyed a lot of substandard ones. Some artist friends and Goodwill got some things gratis. When I removed my workbench and painting rack, I found some really hideous bug sanctuaries. (Hey, the bench and rack were there for eight years, what did you expect?). Now all the "keeper" items are in a 10x10 storage unit, ready to be loaded into a moving van for transportation wherever we go next.
And I'm pretty sure we're going to go somewhere. Asheville is a wonderful place to live, but it has been recognized for having one of the 10 worst job markets in the country. There are lots of examples: a PhD who's working as a federal GS-5 clerk, a young lady with a masters in biology working as a figure model, a large number of people with bachelor's degrees working as waiters and waitresses, former owners of construction companies working at Lowe's. And those are the lucky ones.
As noted in previous posts, I think something will pop for me before too long. It probably will not be here. So tomorrow I double-down on the job search. It won't be a half-time effort anymore.
And I'm pretty excited about it. Whatever it brings.