One of the most common questions I get when I show people some cut paper dealies is, "how long did that take?" When I was just a tike to the game, I beamed at the query. I would try and give them an accurate number, and with some of my larger pieces, they took me 100+ hours. People would expel air and applaud me with wows. I was into it. But now that I'm making a business out of paper scraps, I feel very much oppositely about the question. I'm a bit cowed to admit how long each card takes, because I'm at least pretty sure in business you don't want to be making cents on the hour.
But I'm new to this whole endeavor, and I'm working on just ENJOYING WHAT I DO, so I don't sour Shipwreck before I even have a booth at a damn craft show. It's a daunting task, but this time at home has been a nice sit in the corner with the dunce cap (which apparently used to be a wizards hat, for pete's sake) for getting out of my hard-on-myself habits and trying to get out of my head a little in general and just. let. go. We don't have control over so many things in our lives, and we busy ourselves with a million little things to distract ourselves from that fact, and where does it land you? You feel monstrously out of control. Back at square one.
I can't figure everything out before I do it. I may not be the kind of person who learns everything by doing. I do things, and sometimes I feel so proud of myself for leaping into the unknown and sometimes my take away from plunging is, "well that was exciting, but if I had just thought about it for a second, how would it have gone." I'm a ponderer for sure, but theoretically living and dying is not exactly a life. Constantly questioning yourself is great when you're trying to be better, but turns to poison when you're trying to be the best. When you start to say should, should, should, instead of could, can, will.
What does any of this mean when you are gluing 250 little paper silhouettes of your best friend's heads on their wedding invitations? This is the question.
I'm taking a craft business class online (it's going well, thanks for asking!) and one of the first things I learned is that for all the very unique challenges of working from home, there is one that uniformly polls as the most difficult. Social isolation. I actually got the answer wrong on the quiz, which shows you what a newb I am to all this, but once I saw the answer, I immediately understood. It was comforting in a way. I belong to an anti-club.
My Uncle Tim Tam (Tom) does a lot of product videos and presentation for companies, and works freelance. He has a big video and photo editing desk setup and works from home. And though I've tried to get him into podcasts (old habits, right?) his companion is news radio. All day. People leave the tv on for their dogs, right? We're social creatures and just the voice of another person is like sunshine in a doomsday bunker.
And yet, to be the kind of person who can do this on any level, you are probably an introvert (n) - a person who is energized by spending time alone (or in small groups). Though not the same as being anti-social, an introvert often appears shy, private, and cold to the (population majority) extrovert who is energized by spending time with people.
But when I think about why I can't always engage with people and their plans (why I so often say, "we'll see" instead of "LET'S PARTY"), it's inherently linked to the fact that I want to be working on things.
My Dad was so full of nervous energy, he could barely sit through a movie of his own choosing. And though it did, and in some ways still does drive me a little crazy, because it always comes off as uninterested and unable to listen, I think i'm beginning to understand it a little better, through myself (he's there on the right, shifting his wait because HE'S SO BORED OF THIS LOVELY GARDEN THERE'S SO MUCH ELSE TO SEE PROBABLY).
This drive to do makes being home feel like so much more. So much fuller. And sometimes that may come off as selfish. The choosing of the X-Files over Superbowl Party XXXwhatever, but it doesn't mean I don't have a great need for people. I may seem anti-social because I have bad hearing, and have a distaste for paying money to bars to not be able to have a proper conversation where "what?" is not a common interjection (and which makes it especially hard to meet new people which is either the point or main delusion of bars, depending on whom you ask). Or because of the career path I have chosen (and how far along it I am) makes spending money not on my business less often fun and more often painful. Or because I am fiercely loyal to my true friends, like my true hobbies and in order to be so, I have only so much energy and time for everyone else.
But no matter how much weird pride I get from making a bird out of paper. I'm not making it in a vacuum. I want to share and compare with others. I want to talk about the many hours of podcasts I've listened to, or the life changing power of SimplyNoise. I just want my social time to count. Because it doesn't seem endless to me, which makes it seem so precious. Which is a good way to calibrate for life in general.
A place for product updates, inspiration, behind the scenes stuff, and in general a place for mind meandering.