I am not the only one who had to put my fine art painting career on the back burner. I just spent four days at the New York Art Expo where I connected with a number of women like me who had to make the financial choice of survival and creative passions were put on hold. I have been very fortunate to have spent the last twenty five years building a successful design and marketing company where my artistic talents have been required on a daily basis. Even though I told myself that I was fortunate to be making art every day and that should be good enough, there was always a part of me that didn't feel fulfilled. Eight years ago the recession changed how business needed to be conducted and it was much harder to make a living and no longer fun. That voice of discontent started getting very loud and was eventually yelling. I started listening and I started painting. It didn't come so easily as I had to confront and overcome the fears and obstacles that I had allowed to hold me back in the first place. When I started showing my work, I felt good about what I was producing and the way my work was being received which encouraged me to charge ahead. I felt inadequate because I lacked the long list of shows to prove that I was credible in the fine art world since so much time had elapsed between my earning my degree at Pratt Institute and the present. I now see that as another excuse to hold myself back and deny my truth. The like minded women I met this week showed me that I am not alone, their stories are my story. It felt terrific putting my work on view, feeling confident about my unique skills and networking with so many talented artists. I can finally shed all those negative thoughts that hold me back. I am through getting in my own way. I am joyful that I am following my heart. I am where I am today and that's okay.