November 20, 2014

To Me, Four Years Ago

Four years ago, you lived in a protective cocoon, working hard--learning, reading, and struggling--to write your thesis.  Had just learned what Etsy was, and felt a creative spark go off in your always-going mind; made a personal connection between yourself and the handmade movement that went beyond sheer consumerism.  However, you have never referred to yourself as an artist, although you have been persistently artistic and imaginative since the painfully shy childhood years when your companion of choice was either a book to read or a blank sheet of paper on which to write or draw out a story.  When most everyone else around you was lost in gab, you preferred instead to delve inward into the wild recesses of your mind; to find and explore every nook and cranny of the spark that lit you from the inside out.  And you shared this wild creativity with a select few who saw beyond the quiet exterior into the richness within.

In 2010, you began channeling that lifelong creativity into jewelry making; into teaching yourself, without formal training, the ins and outs of making jewelry from materials like stone and wire.  Learned during the rough spots--through sore wire-poked fingers and hours spent figuring out how to create the sturdiest-as-can-be wire-wrapped pendant--when to move forward and when to stay still and master a technique.  Learned when to step back a few steps in order to gain clarity and perspective.  Developed patience and a knack for writing ebullient listing descriptions.  Got through the tough transition period of quitting a long-term job a few months after finding Etsy and making your first few sales through the site.  You experienced some amazing non-work-related transitions in that four-year span too, such as finally marrying your (now) husband and making it through grad school.

But still you wonder how this all came to be, these innumerable transitions that, at the time they occurred, were seemingly unconnected and offered no condolences for the familiarity lost--life changes that left no parting excuses in their wake (I'm referring to the work-related transitions here).  In the time since, you've finally earned your Master's degree, and with the academic training directly gained from this invaluable experience, began offering professional writing services.  Surprisingly, these new services have been well received: you have worked with wonderful clients who understand that quality writing and hard work go hand-in-hand, and who also patiently understand that the physical act of writing is itself a creative process that can take longer than expected to complete.  What is far less surprising is that you have found this work to be deeply fulfilling on many levels, which satisfies both your personality and love of a writing challenge.

So to the uncertain, transition-fearing woman of four years ago, the me that I once was: toiling and teeth pulling over earning your Master's degree was worth it.  Quitting your then long-term job was worth it.  With uncertainty over the future comes the (scary!) chance to explore new avenues, to learn and grow with your husband by your side.  You may stumble a little, actually far more than you are comfortable with, but will get up again.  And again, and yet again.

Actually, you are more ingenious than you give yourself credit for.

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