everything on my plate
April 9, 2011 § 17 Comments
A slice of guilt. A dash of fear. Complemented by a healthy serving of optimism.
While waiting at the check-out at the drug store this afternoon, the latest issue of Toronto Life magazine caught my eye. It’s their annual issue devoted entirely to weddings. I picked it up, flipped through the pages and found a very brief (nevertheless, blissfully becoming) blurb about me and my recently euthanized business, out-of-the-box ideas. I fought back the tears.
I’ve succeeded at fighting back the tears for a long time now. There’s really no need to cry over failure. Was it even failure? Clearly, it couldn’t have been failure if the business (no longer in existence) is still being recommended by this city’s chic magazine, no?
This made me re-evaluate the reasons why I threw in the towel and why, as of three weeks ago, I began full-time employment in a civil engineering office (a phenomenon I hadn’t experienced since 2006). Perhaps it will take much longer than three weeks to mourn the past four and a half years I toiled as a business owner. But I am moving on.
So, why did I throw away a sky-high limit, a flexible schedule, a pajama dress code, and a potential for greatness in my life? Because:
-Sometimes, the sky is not the limit. The limit is gravity. No matter how high I reached, I was pulled down — grounded — by the things that are more seemingly real than what I was reaching for. Sadly, those real things are mostly monetary. Things like rent, a business loan, material and advertising expenses, a fluctuating revenue, and a seasonal market.
-Sometimes, a flexible schedule meant a three-hour lunch with a good friend followed by three consecutive days of three hours of sleep a night (or make that three consecutive weeks). It meant working until three in the morning on many nights and being reduced to mental and emotional vacancy for long periods.
-Sometimes, pajamas were mandatory all day because there wasn’t even time to eat a proper meal, take a shower, let alone get out of sleeping clothes. There were days it was work the microsecond I got out of bed.
I was afraid that leaving my business behind meant throwing away all potential for greatness in my life. But it was no reason to fear. Because I will never be rid of my own potential, no matter the obstacle. I never threw away, will never throw away, the promise of being the best version of me I can be. It’s a promise I make to myself daily.
Since I wrote my recent post about all the goings-on in my life, things changed dramatically in a matter of weeks and I am now getting over the shock of returning to the work force. Yes, the best decision, among several choices I’ve been dealt, is full-time employment doing utility coordination at a civil engineering firm. I do still work with children on weekends because, well, I need to work with children to feel sane and inspired and whole.
My reinstatement into daily cubicle life has enlightened me with a newfound reality. The reality is: what I do from 9-5 does not dictate my capacity to be everything I can be after 5. What you see right here, on this blog, is everything that makes me happy. A hundred times more happy than making wedding invitations. Thank you so much for being here to validate that purpose, for always reading and following along, despite life’s many changes. There is more, so much more, in this life to create! ♥
I hear you so much! I’ve found too that trying to do your own business sometimes takes all the fun out of it, cuz you still have to pay the bills. And I have found doing 2 completely different types of work at the same time keeps me happiest and most balanced.
I’m so happy that you’re working with kids on the weekend. Crafty creative people are so needed by kids!
Hang in there. I’m cheering for you.
Aw, thanks, Donni. 🙂 I can hear your cheers from all the way here. ♥
You’re right, some fun was taken out of it because of the part about having to pay the bills. I’m happy I still get to have my bit of fun working with kids. I guess it’s true both ways — crafty creative people also need kids around to keep being crafty and creative.
BRAVO!!! You made the right decision my friend. No one can take away your amazing talent! That’s for sure. And I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!
Thanks, Melanie. 😀 I believe it’s the best decision at this stage in my life. And no matter what, I shall keep crafting!
You are an awesomely talented woman, and where you are now is where you are meant to be. When God closes a door, he opens a window. You will continue to shine, and be a blessing to many.
Real life. Just another opportunity to grow.
You are so sweet. Thank you. I do believe things happen for a reason and trust that everything is meant for the best. Still growing and catching up with life’s speed. 😀
Oh, I missed the first post, but just went back to read it. I am SO happy you are revising your view of things. Not a failure!!! Good god, woman, your rampant talent and creativity are going to take you all kind of amazing places, never fear! Nearly all success stories include a fraught first business venture. When eventually you look back, I’m pretty sure that will turn out to have been one of your most important life experiences. You did the smart thing – and how cool that the job offers came knocking at the perfect time. Keep dreaming big, but make the rent!
And please please please keep amazing us with this blog.
I do hear that all the time, about the subsequent successes of others who’ve hit a wall with their first business venture. I’m glad there are many others out there who lead by example that we can get up from a fall, wipe ourselves clean, heal, and get back on the saddle. I do believe in dreaming big, and you’re right — making the rent is important, too! :p
Thank you. 😀
i feel ya! i am a working mom who wishes and dreams she was a stay-at-home-mom (like it seems all the other bloggers get to be, and many of my friends), but that is not what God has in store for me right now. as you wrote, my day job does not define who i am. although i take my job seriously, my life starts after work and weekends, when i get to be a mother, wife, crafter, daugther and friend. i wrote about this if you want to read it: http://aprilscraftnest.blogspot.com/2011/02/one-year-reflection.html
i help myself remember that circumstances change rapidly, so who knows what will happen in the future.
Funny, I was JUST thinking last night “Since when did it become my dream to be a stay at home mom?” LOL. It’s seems like such a luxury (that is, from my perspective of being unmarried without children). :p But honestly, it’s becoming more of a dream for me, too. Definitely not something my career-minded self from 5 years ago would’ve said.
Thanks for the link. I read your post and I really, truly commend you for such a beautiful blog on top of being a wife and mother. Gosh, I don’t know how you do it, I have a lot to learn!
And yes, anything can happen in life. It’s just a matter of flexibility and open-mindedness and faith. 😀
Never see it as Failure. I started a small business & know all the time & energy that goes into it. From my experience, I learned that it is also about TIMING. Never give up on your dreams. Presently, it just may mean that it is not time yet. When it is, you will have gained the wisdom & experience to build something even better. Usually, it’s better than what you ever imagined:)
Thanks, Ann! You’re right. That “F” word has to get out of my vocabulary. :p It was a learning lesson that I truly value and I know that I’m stronger because of this. I’m happy to hear about the experiences of other small business owners and to learn we are never alone when it comes to laboring all of our time and energy into something we love. I trust my lessons learned will help me through whatever is ahead. 😀
It’s very sad to have your much loved business end, but you have so much creativity in you that you just need to find the perfect venue for expressing it. Perhaps having that end will be opening up another, better door for you. Good luck and keep creating. I love your ideas!
Thanks for the warm words, Noreen. It is certainly sad, but I do have a bit of relief knowing that I tried and accepting it didn’t work, which is better than never trying at all. I am hoping for many more wonderful creative endeavors to embark on. 😀 So happy you love the ideas here, thank you!
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