DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to be an artist because it’s one of the things that helps me express myself. My mother says to follow my dream, but my father thinks it’s a hobby that won’t help me financially. I somewhat agree with him, but it is my passion and I don’t want to look back on my life and regret not following through. Is there a way to be an artist as well as have a job? -- Loving the Arts, Minneapolis
DEAR LOVING THE ARTS: Yes, it is possible to be an artist and have a job. The easiest way is to go to college for an arts education. If you get a degree so that you can be a teacher, you can literally make art and teach others how to make it as well. Many fine artists who have created strong careers for themselves are also teachers; it can take a long time to earn enough money to take care of yourself by selling your art.
There are many great art schools in the country. To be accepted, you will need to create a portfolio of your best work that illustrates your talent, creativity and commitment to developing your art. Go for it!
DEAR HARRIETTE: I was at a party the other night and had a little too much to drink. Some of the people there were asking me about my past, and I told them about the man I was in love with years ago. All I said was that I used to be in love with him; nothing ever happened between us. I have been married for many years and we are doing just fine, but it was obvious that there’s still something there between me and this other guy. I keep those feelings to myself, but my loose lips messed me up this time. I’m afraid that the women I was talking to might bring this up again or even say something to my husband. Should I just let it go? What do I do or say if they bring up my revelation again? -- Big Mouth, Seattle
DEAR BIG MOUTH: Too many people have spilled their secrets after one too many drinks. You have just officially joined the crowd. If you have never done anything except remember your torch from years back and say it out loud, you should be OK. Play out the scenarios in your head. If the women you were talking to told your husband, what would you say? You could start with the truth: You were in love with this guy back in the day, and you remembered it when you were talking with these women about your past.
What you shouldn’t do is bring it up again with the women or anybody else. Instead, bury that torch and focus on the life you have built with your husband. The two of you deserve your full focus and love. If your commitment to your husband is strong, this blunder shouldn’t matter.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)