This sentence has been screaming out at me for the past few days. And I feel like screaming back in agreement ‘YES IT IS’. It’s okay to feel that way, to say it, to scream it if you wish.
I just posted one of my older blogs on twitter to the Mams and Makers Ireland and it has once again made me sit down and write. I am surrounded every day by social media commenting on things I feel strongly about and I feel out of the loop. Starting a blog, as infrequent as my posts are, it gives me a chance to lend my voice to the conversation, whether anyone listens or not!
It’s bloody hard in this country to be an artist, a creator, a maker. Then add to the equation a family and all the responsibilities that brings with it, it becomes a mountain to climb. Now I like climbing mountains and being the Capricorn that I am, steep climbs don’t phase me and the vista from the top must be amazing so it will have been worth it ,won’t it?
So that’s not the issue. What is, you ask? I ask myself all the time too. Perhaps in my case it’s the isolation.The arts in Ireland are still so centred around urban areas and all resources and opportunities are there. The further out you go, the sparse, empty spaces appear and I feel like I am standing on an island, with boxes and boxes of ideas, dreams and the fizz of excitement but no one to share it with.
I do plan to change this and take back the power but today I feel tired. I have done two school drop offs, have another to do in under an hour and the optimism which sometimes carries me through is a damp mist floating outside of my thoughts.
I want to work, I want to share my knowledge. I go online and look for drama facilitation work and there is one job advertised this week and in Dublin so that probably rules me out. Then I think about where my focus lies, yes, I am an actress and want to work in film and theatre. But I can’t just focus solely on that as I have mouths to feed and need another income when I am resting. Actually, I never rest! I feel this country just does not have the opportunities for artists to use our skills to benefit society and in turn supporting us in our careers. I would love to work with my community, with different groups, on different projects. Again if these do exist they are centred around urban areas.
I look at Galway, where I am from and it always seems to be a hive of activity and people are creating and making. Why can’t that happen here? Maybe I need to answer my own question.
And to be fair I am in the process of doing that and need to trust that something new will be created and everything will fall into place. I would like to feel supported though instead of feeling like a lone voice in the wilderness. The struggle is real when it comes to trying to piece something together without money, without resources. It requires a hell of alot of stamina and right now I am trying to be a mother, keep myself fit and healthy, not let the worry of financial instability drag me down and keep the faith that paid work is around the corner. It worries me a lot.
It really is a see -saw kind of life, most days I am fighting fit and ready to conquer the world and days like today I find it hard to put one leg in front of the other. It’s only human isn’t it, I am not alone there. So perhaps as I take the time to examine further what I feel is lacking in my creative journey maybe that mountain just might stop moving further and further away.