Sometimes, when I'm tired and depressed, I wonder if I'd be happier working in a nine-to-five McJob, with a meagre pay cheque and a dull but predictable routine. I had just such a job, five years ago, before I regained my confidence – and my career – as an artist. I loathed it. But at least I had time to hang out with friends at weekends, go to movies or the local pub, and along with most suburban Australians, enjoy four weeks of paid Summer holidays a year. Who knows? If it had gone on much longer, maybe I might have married, settled down and had a child. I made a choice in my late teens to pursue my ambition – to paint, every day, and to be a working artist – instead of partying hard or taking off to Bali. I moved wherever I thought I needed to be, even if I couldn't really afford to, in order to better educate myself and develop opportunities for myself to exhibit and be around other artists. This often meant leaving behind family, friends or lovers. I didn't want to live with anyone and I didn't long for a home, just a studio with a bed in it. My life was – and still is – narrowly focussed, uncompromising, maybe even selfish. As I approach middle-age, it isn't yet everything I've ever dreamed of but it's getting there. I make a good living from my art. I have the means to travel and live where I want. I have the freedom to explore the outermost reaches of both my imagined and real worlds. I'm beholden to very few. Best of all, I can be myself. I remind myself every day not to take any of this for granted.