Saturday, July 19, 2014

Do Something

I get stuck .... I am thinking we all get stuck and tangled up sometimes, it's hard to know how it happens or why, but, you know when you are there.  I shared that I am taking this summer slow and all the reasons why; family needs, mess cleaning and time to be. All valid and true, however, if I am being totally honest with myself, I got a little stuck. I lost my mojo and creative drive and I didn't know what I wanted to do next.  

My stuckness started as I did a local vintage show. It's a fun show, I love that it's in my hometown, the girls who put it on are insanely awesome, the vendors are fun and its overall a great show to do.  I was super excited with all kinds of fresh goods and displays and my space looked just how I wanted it to. The show opened and customers came in and I stood there in my cute tank and apron with a smile on my face and fluttering excitement. People filled the show spaces.... and they walked by my space without stopping or slowing down. It was early and patience is always important as is letting go of expectations. Trying to just have fun with the day, I said hi to everyone who wandered by my space and engaged anyone I  could in little bit of "how are you" banter. I was having fun and  I was in perfect spot for great traffic.  But still, not many took even a second look, I mean COME ON PEOPLE, I have really great things here!!!   There were some who wandered through my little "shop" and took a better look but mostly, people walked on by.  Now to be totally fair, I had some sales and wonderful friends stopped by as well as some who I knew from Facebook and Instagram. And it was a really really hot day.  But..... for whatever reason people didn't stop and shop with me. I saw other booths carrying out sold items s and selling their goods but not so much for my stuff.  As the day went on, my smile stayed intact but admittedly, my heart was sinking just a bit.  Sunday came around and I made a huge effort to just enjoy the day and all it brought and not worry about the sales, however.....I'm a handmade business and it is about the sales as well as the experience.  I didn't fare much better on Sunday which was even hotter than Saturday.  So, let me state clearly, I LOVE this show and it was a fun time,  but I felt like a failure.  I brought fresh new goods and they were displayed well and I  was sure they would sell and they didn't.   Bottom line...they didn't.

Now, on the plus side, I am going back, I looked at the setups and tents and made some exciting changes to how I will situated in the that isn't the deal.  What to do with what felt like failure and lack of interest was what weighed on me hard, that is the deal.  And the internal battle began, fueled by the criticism of people who also judged my success on how many dollars were made versus my expenses.  I questioned everything, including my own ego and abilities.  Did I just assume my stuff was cute because I made it or am I fooling myself?  And how could it just not appeal to ANYONE?  Add in a slightly funky unrelated misunderstanding  and I was stuck, as in quicksand the "I can't get out" kind of stuck.  Quicksand of self doubt and letting other people's (who don't understand why I do this anyway) voices into my head.  Not how I usually am in life but then I was stuck and when you are stuck, you don't even really know what to do or if you want to do anything at all... because you are well....stuck.

So without any clear answers and a whole list of negative thoughts in my head and heart, I got more stuck, up to my neck in muck stuck.  I shipped off the extra goods to a friend's shop and put my sewing machine away and declared this a summer of time off.  And now I can shaemlessly admit/tell you that a great deal of my summer off was running away from the doubt that was chasing me. I needed a break.   For a month I didn't sew....not a thing and I didn't even think about it.  The thing that has always been my joy and refuge became my nemesis.  I took the cowards way out .   Yes, I was a chicken and was walking away, no pulling up of big girl panties or getting back on the horse, I just turned away from what I love because I was afraid of failing even more. You could say I wallowed a bit, in the muck and doubt. Hiding and wallowing, never attractive and never will those things get you where you want to be.   

Somewhere in the depths .... as always happens with me, after a month of hiding I began to hear the voice  that says  "Don't be a jerk, get up, DO SOMETHING" , the voice that won't be quiet was speaking again ...I ignored it a bit longer, like a couple of weeks longer. But it's a persistent kind of voice, and will not be silenced. I ignored it because I wasn't quite ready to face the possibility that everyone was right and I'm not succeeding and never will, chicken to even find out, chicken to admit I still cared.  Afraid of possibility that nobody would like what I was doing even if I did my best, it might not be good enough. Afraid of the voices telling me to quit and afraid they were right. Afraid to have people walk by again without looking at  my stuff. Afraid to put myself out there.

 HOWEVER, I am not that girl, the one who listens to the negative voices or gives in to fear. Because this is my story, I didn't want it to be a story of "I tried and just quit".   I'm the girl who bends rules and does things her own way. I am a girl who does things the way I do because I believe in myself.  I'm the girl who falls down 7 times and stands up 8.  I'm the girl who can't sleep with a brain full of ideas and visions. I'm the girl who is always positive , who trusts my gut and instincts and follows them to the end of everything.  I'm the girl who started with a stack of old sheets and a basket of yarn and created a business and I'm the girl in charge of all this, not a quitter.  I am a tangled wildflower kind of girl whogrows where she shouldn't and shows up over and over again because I believe in the truth of my passions. Tell me I can't and I will do it just to prove that I can... It just took me a bit to remember that and pull myself out of the muck which it turns out wasn't so neck deep after all...I was just standing in a shallow puddle and all I had to do was take a step, a teeny step but one taken with conviction and intention.  I just needed to want to try and the moment I took that step back into my world, I was free again.  Unfettered, unraveled and unstuck.

Do Something... probably the best advice/reminder ever given ( a big shout out to my friend for the butt kicking) , so good I wrote it on my wrist where I would see it as I sewed and worked. Turn up the music, dust off the work table and get back to it.  Just start with anything,  just start.  I was able to post some new things yesterday and to my delight, there wasn't the sound of crickets in response, to my great delight, everything I made found a home.  It feels super good to be unstuck, to make a plan and again have a purpose.  To remember who I am and what makes my heart beat a little faster.  Indeed I still need days off and it's still summer so the pace will be slow to spend time with my boys, but, all the failure and all the negative voices are not welcome here and have enthusiastically replaced by the mantra of Do Something.  Because that something will inevitably lead you to something else and before you know it you are back home where you belong.   Doing what you love in peace and truth, no more chicken  run away from a little challenge kind of behavior...... I'm back at work, watch out world....... 


  1. I'm feeling a bit of that stuck feeling myself ~ it started because ALL of my shows this year have been tremendously slow. I feel that I'm growing both creatively and in my business but the sales aren't there and it is very disheartening. However, I don't think you "ran away" you took time to think, contemplate, and rest before regrouping. That is how smart people stop themselves from becoming burnt out.

    1. Celicia, I believe that at times we need to get back to creating from our joy and the pure place that caused us to start a business in the first place. I also believe that the sales will follow if we are in our right place...enjoy and keep going. Thank you for reading!