07 March 2014

So this is my Life: MAKER

Hello there.

I have been a posting fend the last couple weeks and I thought I would share with you my inspiration for the flurry of activity on my normally sluggish, sporadic blog. I have spent the last two years doing some serious soul searching. I have tried things I liked, and things I didn't. And I found that I really like making shoes :)

Two years ago, I was finishing up my super senior year in college, and was terrified. I had just gotten engaged to my wonderful husband, Wayne, and we were both trying to figure out where life was headed. I spent hours job searching, and none of the jobs sounded even remotely like what I had expected four year of college education would set me up for. As an established introvert and homebody, I was terrified I had majored in the wrong thing, (marketing) and that my life was over. Each job sounded more dismal than the last, and I was afraid I was stuck on a path where I could never be happy, and never succeed. My life was in limbo and I was afraid I would be stuck forever.

I spent the next couple months focused on graduation, and planning a wedding, hoping that things with the career would fall into place eventually. Out of desperation, I applied for a job at Burgie's Coffee and Tea Company, a local coffee shop. I got the job, and hated it. I did everything wrong, I was expected to be friendly and outgoing ALL THE TIME, and I couldn't quite get with the rhythm of the busy coffee shop. The only thing that kept me going was the notion that if I stayed 6 months, I would either get the hang of it or that I would be there a socially acceptable amount of time that I could move on and get a real grownup job.

And right around the six month mark, I started to get better and enjoy my job. I was put on "sandwich station," one of the more labor intensive shifts at the cafe, and I found out that I enjoyed keeping busy, the pressure to always be chatty was lifted, since I was working on so many things at a time, and the more socially adept could be left to the conversing. I also realized how much I LOVED making sandwiches! There was something to the challenge of cranking out six or seven sandwiches at once, but I realized that I just love MAKING things. And I thought back on things, and realized that that was always me. I learned to mix paint colors at five, how to sew at seven or eight, I was drawing in 2 point perspective by ten. I always enrolled in art classes, loved the hands on parts in biology, and loved making extravagant meals once in a while.

Its not like I didn't realize this before. I always have thought of myself as creative and artistic. Hell, I double majored in art until I transferred and had to drop out of art or retake all my classes (grrr, IA state). I had just somehow denied myself the possibility of doing something with this (besides possibly graphic design, bleck) solely because I believed I couldn't do it.

But I am a MAKER. I sometimes doubt my creativity, or my artistic talent, but I know deep down now that I am a maker, and I always will be. And I won't succeed in life or be happy unless I am busy making in some way or another. So I decide to stop half assing that part of my like, and go for it. So I challenged myself to make 12 pairs of shoes this year (one a month) and see if I can figure out how to get good enough to turn it onto a business. Maybe I will make shoes in the future, maybe I won't. But I know if I don't at least try, I will regret it the rest of my life. I am going to record my progress here, and if you people like it, awesome, if you don't thats fine too.

If anyone can learn something from this post, it should be to remember who you are, and let yourself do something that allows you to shine. And obvious and overused idea, I know, but one that does not hurt to be said again. It is incredible sometimes how many times I have to see the same pattern or idea over and over before it sinks in as fact sometimes.

I still make sandwiches at Burgie's (and drinks, and people's days) but I am making things. Maybe not the most exciting things, but things that matter. And I think I will continue doing so and be happy there. Some days it sucks and everyone if mean and crabby, but some days I am invincible. And I get to MAKE things.If in the future, I can find something to do where I run the show, that would be awesome, and I will do that instead.

But for now, I will make shoes, and sandwiches.

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