I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I’ve never been good at focus. I’ve never been the person who refined a skill past the Jill of All Trades stage. In fact, I really am that proverbial JoAT, having dabbled rather successfully in a number of things, but never really mastering any of them.
I’m a good writer, a fair hand at visual arts, a decent cook, a passable singer, a dependable but easily bored worker. I do better with a group to keep me motivated, but eventually I usually get bored and look for another shiny to occupy my brain.
… except for this whole Fiber Arts thing.
Nothing has consumed me like my work with fiber has. Even music had a burnout threshold, though that was in part because of the bureaucracy and politics that can go along with DJing and promoting. Fiber Arts have some of that, too, but the beauty of working with my chosen medium has always superseded any angst from that direction.
The thing I haven’t been able to control has been internal. My brain chemistry conspired to slow me down this year, folks. If you were wondering where I was all Summer? That’s what was going on. I was fighting a heavy bout of chronic depression. It was a sudden, unexpected, unpleasant surge in my already unbalanced chemicals, and it screwed up my entire Summer – which cost me momentum, sales, work, and happiness.
It also affects my beloved patrons, because they – reasonably! – expect things from me like communication, production, and of course, output. I wasn’t making anything. I was slipping on some deadlines. I wasn’t making money because I wasn’t making anything. I didn’t feel like blogging, because I wasn’t making anything worth talking about and it felt so hard to put together even a Community Thursday post. I lost some opportunities because I didn’t have the energy to give it my all. And every loss made things worse, because I felt horrible, demoralized.
I was in a spiral. That’s a scary place to be, folks.
Slowly, slowly, things started to lift, as they usually do. [though when you’re in the throes of this, it feels like it will never ever stop feeling like this.]
I started to get motivation back, I started to FINALLY make things again. I had been spinning, but that had been about it. Almost no dyeing all Summer long, no carding… nothing really creative beyond spinning… now, I was finally feeling the call of color and texture again as the world started to brighten around me. It’s like coming up out of a well – as your eyes adjust to the bright sun, colors become alive and so do you, at long last.
So now I’m playing the game of catch-up in my life and business. And it sucks, because I feel guilty for things that went by the wayside while I was in such bad shape, and it is incredibly hard work to make up for what time and momentum was lost. But I am grateful to be back – and to still be here, honestly – and for the support and kindness that my patrons and friends and family have shown me. I could not do this without you on my side. I absolutely could not.
I have been dyeing & prepping fiber like a woman possessed now. I have been spinning like mad. I have two craft shows coming up for the holidays, and I am excited to meet and greet and see the joy that the things that Rob and I make brings to our patrons and friends. This is the stuff that keeps me going, this is why I do what I do. I pray that I won’t fall back down into the well again, but if I do, I know that they [you] will be there to help me back out again. And I am so, so sorry that you might have to watch this happen to me, but I am so, so grateful that you care enough to stand by me while I work it out. THANK YOU.
Look for new items from us for the holidays and into the new year. If you’re waiting for something from the Indiegogo, the last items should be going out to you very soon. [that’s a whole another post to come, about what we learned about expectations and estimates concerning funding a project like the big shed. Number one? It will ALWAYS cost more than your highest estimate to take care of everything. Yep. It’s an ugly truth.] If you have ideas for us to tackle, we are all ears. Look for me to try some new teaching things in the new year, and there may or may not be BIG changes in 2015 to come – undetermined, but if they happen they will yield good things. Look at me, being positive. 🙂
Again, THANK YOU. This is my Thanksgiving post of gratitude. This is me being completely awed by the people who love and support us. You are better than I could have ever imagined when I dreamed up the idea of Threeravens Fiber Studio. You give me hope.