Things change. Things stay the same. Recently I have been thinking about where I am. About progress and regression. I am thirty after all, and that's as good a year as any to wonder and wander, gathering things to your chest. Perhaps it is a good year for a transition. They say that people get more done on decade eve years (29/39/49/59). This fits with my trajectory. Last year, I really hammered my Shipwreck goals, but I'd associate that less with fear of oncoming thirtyness and more with the fact that it was a breaking point for my Shipwreck plan. I had been working on this concept for 5 years, and I hadn't done a craft show, made any sales to speak of, hadn't really met any fellow makers. And so as I returned to New York from living at home, it was really important to me to give Shipwreck a full on, heave-ho, college try and if it didn't work out, then I'd move on. SPOILER ALERT: it went really well.
Now here I am on the other side of go for broke. And I'm mostly looking forward (without forgetting all the great things that happened last year) to all the new opportunities this year, the new knowledge, the new skills, and perhaps most importantly, looking at the things about myself that will not change. My bad habit of forgetting to have fun while I'm cutting paper. To look at the nuts and bolts of my expenses and question the point of any of this. The isolation I am so good at subjecting myself (somewhat unnecessarily) to. Long days without much human interaction, the weeks, where I (somewhat proudly) see that I spent about $50.
But here's the thing about all those things. I know them. I will never be able to "fix" my depression, never be able to push down my anxiety, I will always be susceptible to isolation, to making a cage out of my home which most times feels like a palace. When I first moved to New York, I got a job managing a restaurant in Williamsburg. It was a total nightmare stress mess, but it paid incredibly well, and I got to feel good about "moving up." It was the job that caused me my first panic attack and when it ended abruptly, I had a three month spell before I found another job. I baked bread and looked for jobs and felt absolutely miserable. But for a really kind, compassionate roommate, I might have had to move home for a bit. I spent extravagantly saying "I'll have a job soon" and eventually depleted my savings and moved myself into the most debt I've ever had. It was one of the hardest times I've been through, and the reason I was never without a job for the 4 years following.
Cut to: RIGHT NOW. I am going through a similar thing. And some of it hasn't changed. I still like to bake bread and cook, when I am unemployed. I tend to socially cocoon myself when I don't have income, both as a way of saving money, and not having to talk to people about finding work, which can feel infantilizing with most people (even some good friends). And honestly, I did A LOT of the work on my Kickstarter when I was unemployed the first time around. It certainly wouldn't have come together as quickly as it did if I didn't have the time to spend with it. But it came with so much doubt, so much fear. It scared the hell out of me. But so many things are different. This time, I am not completely unemployed, I have dog walking and sitting to help ease the blows. I am not spending aggressively, and in fact have learned to find pleasure in spending as little as possible. And Shipwreck not only doesn't scare me any more ( which isn't to say I don't worry about it all the time) it has become one of the greatest joys of my life. And I have put so much good work into Shipwreck in these first few months and I just can't wait to share some of these marvelous projects with everyone soon.
My goal list this year, is just as ambitious as the one I chopped to bits last year, and honestly? I'm gonna eviscerate this one too. Because I no longer look at challenges as a reflection of who I am and the ways I have fallen short. I look at challenges as beautiful mountains that I want to climb not just to say I've climbed them and sew a patch on my pack, but because I love the mountain, I love the things that live on top of it, I love the smells, I love the vistas, and I want to share the stories to convince other people to trek.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.