I've been blown away by all of your comments and emails of support for my decision to shift gears away from production. I'm equally amazed that so many of you took advantage of the sale to purchase and add to your collections. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
RISK and the UNKNOWN
Everything feels so bittersweet right now. I don't think I ever realized the impact that the work was having on so many of you. Its been so validating to hear all your comments and see the orders come in...it has really made me second guess myself.
This choice is not without a great deal of risk. Letting go of all I've built is difficult. While the future is wide open, I also have the sense that it could turn into a freefall. For so long I've known the cycles of the business, daily and monthly and yearly. Its been my port in the storm during times of great struggles. It has lifted me to great heights and achievements. It has been all the things. The idea that I won't have this in my life anymore leaves me feeling, well, anchorless. Its risky. And scary. And exciting. Oh, the possibilities!
Since I'm home healing from knee surgery I've been spending a lot of this time alone. To be completely honest, I was not planning on revealing this until after the holidays. Processing all of this in a vacuum has been difficult. Its really bringing forth all the good and bad parts...and even though I've rolled them over a million times in my head to come to the decision to stop, I still find myself doing a bit of second guessing. But I think that's the fear of the unknown creeping in.
There is, of course, regret, too. Maybe if I had been better at business, or marketed more, or this or that, I wouldn't be feeling this way, or I could have headed these problems off at the pass. Honestly, who knows? It doesn't really do any good to think this way, as there is no going back. But since my head spins, these are the things it spins around.
I always said that if I ever stopped doing this work, it would be because I was going toward something else, not running away from the business. I always imagined that this thing I would be going towards was a place: a move to a new location or a new job. It wasn't until recently that I realized that the thing I need to go towards is my creativity.
One day a few months ago I had to drive down to Rutland to pick up a pallet's worth of clay. We were desperate and they could not deliver for another few weeks which has been happening a lot, so one of us has to go get it. Last time Cadence had to go to Kingston, NY, so I got off easy having to go to Rutland. As I drove down Rt. 100, through the beautiful Granville Gulch in a misty rainstorm, I was just so in the moment, and listening to good music, and enjoying the beauty of the rain and the landscape and I found it so awe inspiring and lovely. Somehow in that moment that I realized what I was going toward. Inspiration. Beauty. Awe. Creativity.
It became so clear. This was my tipping point! I was buzzing with excitement and amazement. This was what I had been waiting for. I had to pull over in Rochester and write it all down.
So, this brave new future is where I am choosing to focus my energies. I have been using the time at home to research and try out some new things. I realized that I am still very interested in lighting design, and am committed to finding new ways to create the visions in my head. I have made some good progress in figuring out where to start, which is exciting to me. Knowing that I'll have the time and headspace to work on these new ideas is really making me happy.
So, for now I'll be content with that, knowing that the road will have its ups and downs. I'm embracing the unknown. I have been here before, as I'm sure many of you have too. I know that when following your own path there are always times of uncertainty and fear, and I remember that in order to push through I must trust in myself, and my choices, as well as my strength and ability to create and move forward. It isn't always easy, but it is always worth it.
In strength and love,
ps: I do not know how, or if its even possible, for me to reply to comments on the blog. Please don't be offended that I haven't responded...I just can't figure out how to do it yet! Know that I read them all and responded in my head, and am grateful for all your kind, supportive words!