I'm trying to change my perspective. That is not to say, I don’t like the position I am in, or the view from my window, but the furniture of my mind has left some deep grooves in the rug. I feel at times the channels of my thought patterns are forming lines I find restricting. Lines that look a bit like a net.
To step back from the poetics, there are some things about my life that I’m not the biggest fan of. My lack of romantic partners for instance, and my hard to picture financial prospects. We’ll start with the big one, Relationships. You thought I was gonna say money? Money, I have as complicated a relationship with as anyone, but I am experienced enough to know that I will always have that.
Relationships and meeting people, well I could go on and on about why I think things haven’t gone well for me w/r/t relationships in New York (dating apps, the paralyzing nature of choice, how hard it is to stand out in a city of 8 million, not being a super competitive person, etc). OR, I can take some responsibility. The real reason I didn’t struggle much in my pre-big city days may have been a fluke. I was lucky enough to meet people at work and through friends. In New York you may say I have been unlucky not to do the same, only, it’s an odds game, and I have never truly looked at improving my odds.
All this to say, I’m taking a cold hard look at myself and my attitudes towards the things I am struggling to have. I clearly have some issues when it comes to dating, issues that get boiled down to choosiness and hard luck. But have just as much to do with attitude and lack of endeavor. New York may have done a hit job on my self-confidence, but I let it, and I never took the time and effort to build it back up. So I am focused on learning more about what is so scary to me about dating. To unlearn all my instinctual excuses.
For instance, when chatting on a dating app, if I wasn’t totally into the person I matched with (which is most of the time) I would feel a sort of relief when our date plans got cancelled, or if we never even made it that far in the conversation. Why? How can I claim to want to be in a relationship and not want to go on the dates? The answer is, I’d like to skip all the first bits and go to the part where you don’t have to win them over. I don’t particularly thrive in this space. It is terrifying to me (I'm also bad in job interviews), and my defense mechanism when in this scary judgmental space is to freeze and then accept it when things fall apart. That's at least the case before we meet in person.
Once I’m on the date, there have been many times when I have put a lot of myself into the interactions and I have been very softly rejected. My dates usually let me know how much fun they had and how refreshing it was to go on a date with me before they tell me they’d be more than happy to be friends. This doesn’t have to be a defining characteristic of who I am, but i ABSOLUTELY identify with it in my weaker moments. I think back. What did I do wrong.? What can I learn here.? A. Nothing you won't repeat throughout your life B. There is always something to learn in suffering, most importantly, how to minimize it.
All the advice that people give you about dating that sounds condescending and roughshod is also true. It’s been hard to rework my thought grooves, but I’m starting to get better at believing myself when I say, “you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want you.” This is what I mean, I’m trying to see things from a different perspective. The perspective of not me. To get out of my head. But dating is just the issue that most calls for a recalibration. There's also Shipwreck.
Last year was many things wonderful, and lots of hard spots and messy lessons. And this year is all about taking those lessons to heart. I am moving from focusing on being carried in stores to putting more of myself into Shipwreck Circle, and into craft shows. Two projects that are the most rewarding for me, and honestly, where my income is coming from. Wholesale was something I wanted to do to establish myself. But the way my cards are made, the long hard way, it's not the best place for me to make money. It was a loose networking idea. When people see your cards in a shop, they feel you are established. And yet, its emails and contracts, and many things I don't mind learning, but that certainly don't excite me.
So instead of feeling hard done by, I'll just focus on the things that are working right now. And I'll let the things that aren't fall by the wayside a bit. I'm focused on updating my web presence, learning a bit of product photography, and traveling to shows far and wide. Oh, and I'd like to enjoy myself and my life more than I did last year. More than not meeting all my goals from 2018 was the feeling of uncertainty that permeated my entire being. It was a form of growing pains for sure, but I'm ready to grow out of them. And in that vein I've had to take a hard look at my habits.
I’ve recently hit the pause button when it comes to drinking coffee. I switched to tea, so I haven’t completely given up on caffeine, but unlike in the past when I have tried to go without morning coffee, I haven’t experienced the push back from my body. In fact, I’ve felt less tired, less overwhelmed and perhaps a little more optimistic about the world. Optimistic because I just feel a little less scared, a little less like I’m scampering from task to task, hoping one will transform everything. Knowing full well, that I'm going to have to get out of my head this year, and make the changes I want to see in my life.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.