The stars may align, the universe may conspire to precisely spin the threads of our lives, there may indeed be a reason for everything. There may also be no explanation for serendipitous claims except coincidence. Random, chaotic chance. Believing that things happen for a reason or that there is some greater plan of destiny at work has never been my taste. But there are times in life when your beliefs about otherwise fluffy things are challenged and although I hate to admit it, my own threads feel as though they are being pulled in one unexpected direction.Read More
I just noticed the date of my last post. How often do you read a blog post where the author apologizes for taking too much time between posts? Or makes a claim about how time passed too quickly between days and nights and work and life? How many times have I been the culprit of these time eating claims? Admittedly, I have been thinking about writing here almost every day since April 29 (date of last post). Thinking is not doing.
We've finally settled into our new home in our new city. And by settled I mean we've unpacked most boxes but continue to live in a mild state of chaos. I have multitudes of loose ends cluttering my mind's to-do list, which inevitably get drown out by the immediate tasks at hand: open box, unpack box, groan over how much seemingly unnecessary shit I have, stumble around the mess on the floor looking for a place to put unnecessary shit, find a place for it with weak intentions to one day find a better place for it, move on to next box. Unfortunately for me, I cannot function in any human way if there is mess or clutter within a 10 meter radius of my brain, except for the clutter that lives inside my brain. Totally different.
What is also unfortunate for me is that I leave for New York in less than two weeks. Very little time to do all the creative and important things my weak intentions planned to do in the time between arriving and departing again. Let's get serious, there is nothing unfortunate about my life. Although, the unwanted stress I'm experiencing has pretty much become a normal state of affairs around here. The shop was supposed to re-open today and, as you may or may not have noticed, it's still closed. Stress.
I've decided to stay in NYC for six weeks instead of the initial three. I'll be taking a class, attending a conference and walking a trade show. Cat sitting for the first three weeks, let's not forget. Sounds like a summer for the books, right? It will be, I have no doubt. What to do about the shop and the business while I'm away has been nipping at my heart for weeks now. I'm still undecided. Do I keep the shop open with a limited collection of items? Do I close it and focus on creating new work while absorbing the inspiration that is New York City? Do I create a couple of summer projects/challenges that I commit to posting here so that y'all can follow along?
OR!! All of the above??
I will make a decision before Monday next week. You, all six readers of my blog, will be the first to know. There has been a lot of decision making in our life these months and days. The house with the backyard or the house with the garage? The couch with the tufting or the couch with the cushions? Black table, wood table. Silver, gold. Upstairs or downstairs. Expensive or cheap. Over here or over there. To the left, to the right. Does anyone else find constant decision making exhausting? I get that life is mostly made of small decisions, or choices, each day but I mean those times in your lives when you need to make decisions all day, everyday about one thing. In our case, it has been about the move. I want to go back to deciding if I want yogurt or toast for breakfast.
It's the constant state of beginning that I find exhausting. That is the truth. It's been over two years since I've had any semblance of grounding or growing. Yes, we hope we are always growing but what happens when we're always beginning? New beginnings are truly a blessing, I know, and I have been over the moon excited for this one. There is no complaining about all the goodness that is life these days, only admitting that I am exhausted by the journey. I'm exhausted by what feels like a constant state of starting new, which sounds heretical given that we are reminded daily via social media that new beginnings are blessings and we shouldn't be afraid to start something new. If you Google image 'new beginning' you will be assaulted with social media appropriate quotes to last you at least a decade. It's not that I don't value the sentiment, it's that something can only be precious if it is rare. And in my life as of late (three years), it's been all beginning stuff and not a lot of middle stuff. I'm ready to be in the middle. I've got the starting something new thing down to an art.
A summer in New York can only be a wonderful time, I'm sure. I wish I could say that I look forward to the party but I'm mostly looking forward to finding a bit of a routine; to waking up alone with a cat and a coffee, having no agenda for the day except to write, create and walk, looking up at the buildings and down at my toes, people watching, gallery hopping, celebrity sighting (T. Swift, I'm lookin at you!).
It's perfect timing in that I've been longing for quiet. Because a new beginning is a time of transformation and change, it's naturally chaotic. As much as I will miss my cute, cute husband this summer, right now I miss solitude. The kind that refuels you, recharges your heart and your bones. The kind that licks your face awake and insists you cuddle for a little while longer. The kind where you wake up and get right to work and it doesn't even ask you to stop for a breath. Where you can walk for an entire day, save your voice for another and fall asleep in the comfort the empty space around you. And perhaps all I will need is a week or two of total, silent bliss until the party in me is ready for a shaker, but for now, solitude is what I look forward to.
Now that my studio space in the new house is mostly set up (I have a table in front of a window with a chair and a lamp), I can get to work again. This space is beyond beautiful, barely set up, I already want to spend all my time here. And although the work may be fragmented or disconnected, it's a good start for a new beginning. And beginning is what I'm doing, again.
We just got back from a most lovely vacation in Sayulita, Mexico. Have you been? It came onto my radar a few times over the past year so when I found a gorgeous house for rent there, I convinced my husband and our two friends, Shannon and Eric, to set out on a Mexican vacation.
It was really kind of perfect. We ate, we drank, we swam, we napped, we ate some more and napped again. There were a few fun adventures sprinkled into the mix which made it a true vacation. What made it even more so was I completely disconnected from social media (minus one photo I posted on IG of the house. To make people jealous, obviously). It wasn't even a conscious decision as much as it seems to have come to a natural boiling point of a desperate need of disconnection. Keeping up online is exhausting. It also allows you to connect to other things, like, I don't know, your thoughts?!
With all the time I had lounging near or in the pool, I got to thinking how when we allow ourselves to remain open to possibility, even if we are stubbornly digging our heels into the dirt — in fear or discomfort or actually just stubbornness — good and sweet things will naturally present themselves. And maybe even, as soon as we stop thinking about it too much, life has an organic way of shaping itself into something beautiful.
And then it started happening. One email after the other — a wholesale re-order, a new wholesale order inquiry, a custom design request, a positive review, just to name a few — rolling in, showing me that I don't have to always be 'on' for my hard work to pay off. That it's ok to step away for a minute or a week. That just because I haven't logged onto Facebook or Instagram for six days, I won't have to watch all my work swirl away down a tinted brown drain.
This got me reflecting on the past year and how I have been indeed moving forward, although, digging my heels in the whole way (mostly out of fear and uncertainty, I admit). But despite that, my business is growing: slowly, naturally, in a way that I am comfortable with. I let something go in Mexico and have come back with a softer sense of what I want LLR to become. I can't help but acknowledge that I haven't known where I've been going with this ever, not since day one. You, dear, darling, reader, have been along for the uncertain ride and I thank you. And despite the fact I still don't really know where I'm headed, I am working on the bits and pieces that I do know and am watching it magically stitch itself together. And when I say magically, I mean that I work at it everyday, in one way or another, and some days working on it simply means stepping away from it long enough to see that the world won't end if I hold off on responding to an email or I don't produce new work on a set schedule.
Life is bigger than work. Even if your work is your life.
And then Saturday happened. I woke up too early, my husband sound asleep beside me, and I took to the internet for some early morning news. The first thing I read was about an earthquake in Nepal that had caused a major avalanche on Everest. Instant tears. I shook my husband awake, 'There's been an earthquake in Nepal, an avalanche on Everest. Caroline and Jason.' More tears. We have two very good friends who are on Everest. They were there. They are still there.
Here is where social media truly wins. It didn't take long for us to get some information about them and we soon learned that they and their team were ok but stuck on the mountain. I couldn't help but think about all the work they put into getting there. The time, the energy, the training, the money, the hope, the dream of the summit. How you can plan, and plan, and execute your plan and it just doesn't fucking matter. Life will happen in the way that it chooses and you will just have to be ok with it.
My husband received a text from Caroline the other day which of course was such a relief but until they are home, a sense of worry remains. We love you two and truly cannot wait to see you, to drink and laugh and cry. To celebrate this life.
What does life look like when you are faced with death? (Wow, this post just took a turn!) All I mean to say is that a change of plans is always just around the corner and those plans can either be unexpected and unwelcome or...they could also be wildly exciting and the best thing ever. Right? So why not stay open to anything? To remain open to all possibilities while actively working towards your goals. It seems like a good way to go about life, yes?
So last week, while lazily lounging by the pool, Shannon came outside to tell me she has a friend in New York City who is looking for someone to cat sit for three weeks in July. Am I interested? Ummmm... YES! After a few facebook messages and a Skype conversation, I am heading to NYC on July 3 for three weeks to hang out with a cat and to submerge myself in inspiration. Can you imagine? How did this amazing thing land in my lap? I don't know for sure but I think it may have to do with keeping doors open to any and all possibilities and always choosing yes.
It feels a bit like I think surfing might: I just keep catching waves and riding high but I'm not so sure of myself that I am above the possibility of getting caught in a wave and being taken under for a bit of a beating. But I also know I would just have to get back up on my board and catch the next wave. For now, I'm riding high and enjoying the salty water.
I will write with more details about this bonkers opportunity soon but will add that because of this, I will actually be closing the shop for the summer. It will give me the time I need to get sorted in a new city and reshape my plans for LLR.
With that said, although the shop will be closed, I will still happily take requests for custom design work and remain open for wholesale inquiries.
Also, if you have any recommendations for things to do or see in NYC, PLEASE let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,