Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Gift

So, I often talk about getting help and trying to work through problems and situations that leave one stuck, so to say, in the mud. I've done this. Been stuck and couldn't go forward or backward. Absolutely paralyzed.

I recently walked back into a situation I had really left long ago. Struggled with it for a good 20+ years after I left feeling I had to help. Feeling there was nothing more important than helping someone who was dependent on alcohol to get through the day. To deal with the present because they could not go back and change the past. They just want to forget the past and they didn't want to deal with it. So they drown the feelings and hurt out with their choice of tool.

I figured out a long time ago though it wasn't my job to get them help. They didn't listen to me, friends, family or anyone. I understood this was not my job or my battle. This was their battle and they are completely and fully aware of it. They told me they don't want to change. They told me if death came again to just give them a cigarette and a beer and let them die.

I think though I always hoped it would change. I hoped that they would pick themselves up and figure it all out. They didn't. They didn't when they were sick or even when death was at their door twice already.

So there I was, with this person, standing in the same spot looking at the same situation that I had been in (I do not know how) many times years ago. I wasn't worried because I had used that game plan up years ago. I wasn't shocked either to see them in the same state doing the same thing. Abusing themselves over and over again like there was no problem with that at all. 

What hit me standing there and thinking about it was what was my lesson in this? What was it?

It hit me today. There is so much to do in life. And I WANT to do it. I don't want to be stuck. I want to move freely and soar the way my life is meant to be. I had let go of so many things before today, taken care of me, but yet I held onto this hope for whatever reason for another. Why? I may never know. But for me, hope is that there will always be something better out there. It's how I got to where I am now and how I literally survived my own hell I put myself through.

The lesson this person gave me is to live now. Don't let the past dictate your future. That I am so very worth it to go forward and leave this behind. To let go of them.

My gift from this is to live my life and I am damn well gonna. To live the life I was given. Given! I need to live it in my own way. Taking care of me and understanding that if I take care of me it is okay. It is okay to put me first. I am brave and strong and that, in this world, is a difficult thing to do and be. Admitting your faults and taking steps to make yourself better is hard lesson you know. It sucks, but it's been worth it. I'm a freaking member of the Super Friends!

I'm so grateful to see it now. My perspective shifted for the better. The hope I have is only for me now. That's my lesson and the gift this person was meant to give me without even knowing it. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Leap is Paying Off

...nothing will be impossible to you.

"...For truly, I say to you if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you." -Matthew 17:20

It's not every day I say, "I'm finished." No, not every day.

Two June's ago I did just that. I left a career I never wanted and started focusing on what I knew I could do and be who I knew I was meant to be. I not only left a career behind, but I left some volunteer positions as well to focus on me and my family. Mainly me if I am going to be completely honest here.

Is that selfish? Some would say it is. Dropping your job, dropping your income to pursue your dream. Hmmm...but to me it wasn't. It was more than that. I was slowly slipping away and my soul was not fulfilled. I had to make a move before I lost me in the shuffle of day to day. I knew it was important.

I don't miss going to the movies, taking expensive vacations and buying things I don't need. It's interesting how much you really consider needing when you change your perspective of what is really important in life isn't it?

So, in this I have also continued to seek out help for my past demons. To improve my thoughts and self-esteem so that I could go forward. Not really leaving those hurtful things and trauma behind, but truly finding a shelf to put them without the pain. I own those now. They are no longer controlling me and my emotions. I continue to receive help to this day and go forward.

I began working on my art, my techniques, my strengths in fibers and drawing. Exploring things I loved like knitting, tatting lace and weaving. Creating things for sale, participating in art fairs and a fashion show where I presented my collection of accessories even. I learned a lot in this time. Things I like, things I never want to do and things I can't wait to dive into.

I've now begun dreaming of traveling and starting to look into the areas of the world I want to go. Where I want to take my kids and where I want to backpack with my friends.  It's important to travel. The more places you go, the more you learn and the more your world opens to new possibilities. It's a wonderful gift to give yourself.

I'm also working on going to Haiti to share my knowledge teaching the techniques I know. The people need help in earning money not only to live day to day, but to afford schooling for their children. It is nothing for me to take the time out of my life to help those who really need it. It's my dream to continue on this path of giving and helping wherever I am needed. It's a passion I can't put away.

Also, I have created a path to a career I am pretty darn sure is going to launch me forward even more. I will be starting my second company in August called Smart Party. An idea that I have been bouncing around in my head for about two years now. Basics are I present several ideas for parties based around famous artist or art movements. I teach the history and show the people how to create in the same manners. It's one of my passions to teach in my own way and with my own rules. I have taught in college and at art fairs, but I wanted to come up with something that would work with my schedule and three children. That's how I got here. Educate, Empower and Create. What more could I possibly do that is more fun than this? Seriously?

So, that leap of faith I took two years is now coming full circle and I am hopeful to teach what I love while continuing my career as an accessory and intimate apparel artist. I have one life to live. This is my choice and I love it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hand-Tatted Teal Daisy Necklace

I'm beginning to make more necklaces to match the earrings I have been making now for over a year. So this is the newest necklace. I like the way it lays in an asymmetrical pattern. Then also, I am playing with different colors ways for the daisies. It's exciting to try something new and different. I never in a million years would have thought my love of lace making would lead to this. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Walk into the Mist

Things are changing for Fibers Studio! So many plans and starting a brick and mortar shop hopefully this year is at the forefront of this journey. I'm very excited, but at the same time all this change makes me a little nervous. Like the unknown of cost and having to estimate everything out for the business plan. I am literally walking into the mist!

I came up with this little phase while having coffee with my dear and talented friend. I was waiting on her and there was a wall where I could play with words. Interesting how I picked these words isn't it?

Seriously though, a light hearted seriously, I am ready for this change. Like I have written so many times before, this journey has been taking time because I couldn't just jump and change all the sudden everything in my career and home life. I had to take small steps to get there making slower transitions and really thinking everything through. I've mostly been a quick transition gal. This is a new pace for me! I've made loads of mistakes also, but that's good because I need to and I don't mind them. It's how things are and I can't make everything perfect. Plus, I don't want to. I am accepting of mistakes.

I do though want to bring my love of art and why I do what I do to my community. I want people to come together to create for a cause that needs it or simply create for themselves. I want to teach and run a shop that reaches different age levels and interests. I've been coming up with several ideas and concepts the last few years. I need to do more research on loans, ask friends that have or have had shops what they recommend, and talk to the small business organizations out there that provide assistance for such adventures. That's the next step of my five year plan. I am on the 4th year and this is the year for the big jump. Wish me luck and if you have any advice please comment! What would you do? Really!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Refresh, Rethink and Renew

Oh winter. It's still here although it feels like spring today. I've been reorganizing my life lately. Slimming down responsibilities, focusing and honestly trying to get past bumps along the way that have trailed with me for too long.

I tend to take on too much. It's one of my flaws. I have often wondered why and thought I was just an overachiever. Well, that part is true to some extent, but I have tried before to slim down the load and focus just on one thing always to come back to too many pans in the fire yet again. This just leads to me not doing as good a job as I want, then I beat myself up and fall back into old routines that do not nurture me well. So, this time it took me a year to slim down to just me. I dumped volunteer jobs, board positions and a career path that had become undesirable after twenty years.

Looking around I found a lot of the things I love left behind, unfinished and basically untouched for years. At first I was really sad and it got me down a bit. I became overwhelmed by what wasn't done, what I left for something I didn't even like and then realized it's time to start over.

What is different this time is I am dealing with those things I never wanted to face. Things deep down, tucked away out of site for no one to see or me to think about any longer. Just like an alcoholic, drug addict, or anything of similarity I ignored some things in my life by putting it away. I took on so many things that I wouldn't have to think about it. Does that solve those things unfinished, unwanted, buried for you to ignore? No, it doesn't solve a thing. In fact, it just makes things harder in the long run. In my own way I just kept ignoring those things that I really needed to deal with.

I decided recently that it was really time to take a good look at me. I have been seeking help for over a year now and digging through my past. The reason I finally realized I needed to tackle this old news was because it never truly went away. Something would happen and my emotional reaction was so over the top it didn't make sense. I didn't realize I was reacting the way I was until I stepped back and really looked at what I was doing. I couldn't find by myself what was the cause of such a disproportional response. Logically, I could understand what I was doing and it made perfect sense, but emotionally I was no where near where I needed to be. Little things would spur this reaction on. I couldn't let things go, I couldn't stop thinking about what happened or I couldn't leave it at the office at the end of the day basically.

Sometimes we as people just get through our days. We do what we must so we can make it to the next day. We set aside hurtful events and just go on never really dealing with what has happened. Not taking time to really deal with trauma, hurt, loss, etc. will only prolong the hurt. I have been going back in my mind trying to connect those things that hurt. It has been a long, long road and I am no where close to the end, but I do know the more I am willing to work on this the more I remember. I have blocked years out. Not months, but years. I have gone on thinking I just need to get through, but somewhere along the way I just didn't do what I needed to. I didn't deal with the situation. I didn't ask for help.

Finally, after decades of just getting on with life, I am honestly dealing with the loss, the hurt, the trauma and trying to find that key to not let those things get me down. I am facing the fear. I am letting the emotions come forward. I am crying. I am forgiving. I am going forward so I can be the mother I dream of being and the artist I know I am. I am getting my emotional response to equal my logical response slowly over time. That's really it.  I now know how to ask for help.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why I Don't Race


A few years ago I started riding a bike again. No big deal except I hadn't ridden since 1992. I know because I use to ride to the park where my university was with a bunch of friends. 1992 was it! It wasn't a race. It was just for fun.

So when I started biking again I was trying to lose some weight and would post times and distance. I guess to prove I was getting better because when I started I was SLOW! For a while I toyed with the idea of racing. In fact, I was asked if I was going to do exactly that. Once I really thought about it I honestly didn't want to. I didn't want to take the pure joy I have simply riding my bike away from me. I wanted to feel the wind through my hair (now with a helmet) and against my skin enjoying the moment of it all. Some things about riding a bike brings back those memories of freedom as a child and that makes me smile. 

I didn't want to buy "the gear", "invest in a bike", "join a club", "sign up" for a 30 mile bike trek. It just didn't make sense to me because I didn't want to do that at all at the time. Maybe I will race someday and find a way to put that happiness into racing, but until then I am going to focus on build my muscles, gaining my strength back and losing the weight. The thing is for now I need to keep enjoying biking as I know it. Just like that happiness I had as a kid riding down Sunset Drive in Belleville, Illnois.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Teaching Maggie to Tat

In this short video above I am introducing my daughter to the movements of tatting. I think it's important to feel the movements and how relaxed one is when tatting. We are making double stitches which involves tatting two parts of the double stitch.

In the video above I am tatting a ring. You wont be able to see the actual tatting very well, but it shows you how I work & the motions. I describe it as I go.

It's been fun playing with video a bit. I may just do more and find a friend with a camera that could really zoom in and see the delicate lace I make.