Friday, April 8, 2011

Goodbye and Hello

I wrote this post a few days ago, hesitant to share it with you, because it doesn't really explain anything about my personal/business plans... But I realized last night that it would have helped me to read something like this to know that I'm not alone. So just in case you're struggling with similar thoughts and ideas, here you go. And if you're not struggling with dream versus lifestyle, here's a glimpse into my thought processes this month. 

What must it be like to have hobbies?  What does routine look like? What happened to energy and motivation? To relaxing, to adventuring, to taking trips and finding new space in which to breathe deeply?

What happened is I started a small business. A small business that is slowly sucking the life from my bones, sticks, and stones.

In order to follow this accidental dream I sacrificed a lot of myself. The part of me that would rather spend every weekend in a new city has disappeared. The part of me that finds the adrenaline rush of emergency medicine to be the best high in the world. The part of me that

plays in the dirt
creates adornments
writes novels
fills journals with inspiring words/phrases/photos/places
loves working hard and long
playing in new soil

That Brie, I miss.

I miss having a life outside of customers, wool, and tea. How could a life surrounded by those things possibly fulfill me? And the thing is, I knew that it wouldn't be enough for me when I started this. I knew that I wouldn't be fulfilled by small victories. I wanted it to be a temporary fix for going to school full time, for supplementing income when I was laid off from my non-profit job, for trying something new.  So when did this 'hobby' turn into a full time job?

It turned into a full time job when my adventurous nature said out loud "I wonder if I could do this?"

I wonder if I could make enough money to survive off of this.
I wonder if I could be one of those people that doesn't need more than wool and tea.
I wonder if I could be happy working from home alone all day.

So I stopped going to school because the work picked up and I didn't have enough energy at the end of the day for both. I gave up on eight hour workdays. I started pouring my heart and soul into making new connections, friends, customers.

And for a while I was really happy. I was in charge of my future, my days off, the processes of the business, I worked in my pajamas, slept in, became a good boss, collected treasures to share with others, took the dogs to the beach on my lunch break. Who wouldn't be thrilled with that?

But there's a reason I'm really restless at the end of the day, I'm not sleeping as well or as much as I like. There's a reason the failures hit SO hard.  And that reason is that I am in charge. I'm not saying I'm scared of responsibility or that I'm not a strong person because those things are still true of myself. I'm saying that no matter what happens, whether it be in my control or not, me = my business.

So when my credit and debit card numbers were stolen yesterday, it didn't just inconvenience my personal life... It delayed packages, caused panic about automatic payments for various merchants/suppliers, delayed ordering of office supplies and raw materials, and basically affected every person I've ever done business with. So not only am I worrying about myself and my personal finances, but suddenly my business could be at the hands of a mad(wo)man trying to buy shoes (I'm assuming shoes, because if I were a madwoman with someone else's card in hand, I'd buy shoes.) at Macy's and online services.

When etsy went through the privacy fiasco a few weeks ago, my immediate thought was not 'oh no, now people can see my real name' but 'oh no! I hope my 14 year old customer that bought tea from me for his girlfriend for v day isn't found out because I left feedback too early!' or 'Gosh, I hope my customers are okay with these changes because there's nothing I can do to fix this for them.'

That's a lot of people to worry about.

And I worry. Because my income is based on how much people like me. So imagine that every tiny thing you do or say online can make or break paying rent.

You'd worry, too.

And not only about money, but about who to hang out with online, who to support, which battles to fight, which battles to write off.

I miss being free.

Ironic how I feel trapped by owning my own business and freed by the idea of returning to the work force with steady pay checks, less responsibility, and weekends off.

I know there are people out there who LOVE pouring their creative juices into making a life around their craft and I think that is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately the little voice deep in my soul that tells me I'm not one of those fortunate people has been pushed down and beat up and trampled on for more than a year now.

That voice is coming out loud and clear this month.

So it may be time to say goodbye to Fall Creek Fibers and hello to a new kind of dream. When the right opportunity presents itself I'll begin taking steps in the direction of adventures, vacationing, hobbies, buying our house, living deeply. Taking the steps that are GOOD for me instead of the steps I WANT.

And trying to remember that the strong decision is cutting off a toxic relationship, not giving up on a dream.


eNVe said...

What an honest and real post, Brie. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure it wasn't easy to do. I hope the stolen info is resolved asap. And I'm rooting for you all the way, whatever your next venture may be. :)

Sarah Palmero said...

You know we'll be here when you're ready to share the next turn in your path, Brie. :)

Jim Coffis said...

Just came across this post and wanted to let you know that I've admired how you wove your business and (some)of your personal life so adroitly. I'm confident your quilt is not complete and I look forward to seeing how it all gets stitched together. Thanks for sharing and being connected, the only advice I can offer is being yourself seems to be working for you - keep it up.

The Litter Box House said...

Ah Brie, that was so well said. The hardest thing in life can seem to be change so we avoid it like the dickens, but avoiding change when it's truly needed can actually be even harder on a person. I'm glad you woke up to your personal truth and are taking steps to a happier, more fulfilled life. What an exciting (yet challenging) time for you. I'm in the same boat myself.

Eyes wide open!

Selkie on Ravelry