131: unfurling

Reach.

Stretch.

Set roots.

Grow.

Take in nourishment.

Unfurl.

Yes, unfurl. I like that. I feel like that's what I am doing.

I have to admit, I struggle with what I want to present to you. I have talked about this a little bit before, but I think it will be a continual exploration. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of posting and forgetting to reveal the heart of things. Of me. 

Should I be revealing the inner workings ? Or should I be presenting a professional face? This is what I ask myself. Are they mutually exclusive?

What do I want to do? What is the most authentic expression of myself?  Will being authentic and open turn around and bite me in the ass?

It is my nature to be an open book. And it is true that sometimes being that open has had its consequences.

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I am  giving voice to these thoughts that trip over themselves all up in here. I am not necessarily looking for answers from anyone other than myself. In the asking, I find my own answers.  In the sharing of these musings, maybe someone else will benefit by beginning the inquiry in themselves. I am not doing anyone any favors by keeping this all to myself. Least of all, me.

I am a soul-searching kind of gal. In my daily life I strive to understand myself and the people in my life. I try to ask questions that help me figure things out.

It's time I brought myself fully here. It is scary, you know. I am really putting myself out there by saying all of this. I am being vulnerable. I am making myself accountable by voicing this.

My hope is that by bringing this up, I will remind myself to be who I really am when I show up to post.

One thing that has brought this all up lately is thinking about the future. Right now, you know, no one knows who I am. Maybe 100 people even read this blog. I know that in time, that will change. Being a designer for Free Spirit means there will be some attention, eventually.

Of course, there is a part of me that wants to be just this all-together fancy pants designer. I want to be successful. When I am actively working on marketing or researching,  'success' means being in magazines and having a bunch of different licensors. I can't deny that, professionally, that would be great. Of course I want that.

But for me,  that feeling of ambition can easily turn into striving, to grasping, to competition or jealousy. I feel better, more at peace, when I realize that professional success, to some extent, is out of my hands. I can do my best to get my work out there, but ultimately it is up to the companies and the public to decide whether I will have commercial success. All I can do- all I need to do-  is express myself and get my work  in front of the decision-makers.

When I am just still and quiet and hear my inner voice, 'success' feels like whether I have managed to eat well and practice yoga that day. Or I can feel successful and totally at peace with myself if I can keep a level head , remember to breathe and be authentic in a  challenging situation. Success as a person is different, I think, than professional success.

Ultimately, I think succeeding at being  an open and authentic and loving person is  most meaningful to me. I mean, I could be in all the magazines, but if I am all wrapped up in competition and jealousy and trying to 'get ahead', then really, how successful am I? How happy will I be if that is what it takes to get there? Or if that is what happens inside of me  by trying to get there? 

I'd like to come to peace with this ambition-success-career stuff. I think it can get sticky and tricky. I don't want to unwittingly get myself involved in some kind of popularity contest or race to the finish line. I want to just do what I love to do. I want to have a happy life. I want to express myself and help people and love people.

I don't want to measure my success in life by how many comments I get on my blog , or how many magazine articles I am in- how popular I am. I've always been a bit too odd to be popular! Sure, it feels great to be seen and appreciated. It feels amazing, to be honest.

But if that all falls away, I want to still feel good about myself. And that feeling comes not from exposure in the media, or product lines, or stat counters- but in my day to day life, the way I treat other people, the love I give, the understanding I can shine on someone, how kind I am to myself.

I need to keep reminding myself of what really matters to me.

If I don't share all of this, I feel like I am being The Great Oz, scrambling around in a frenzy trying to create this image of me that isn't real.

I just want to be myself.

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I am just a girl who loves color and making stuff and eating good food and laughing my ass off. I love to dance and go to thrift stores and be a goofball with my friends. I love to learn about myself and other people, I love to listen, I love to practice yoga. I love to  play in my garden, snuggle with my honey, and watch the puppies play with each other.

Thanks for listening.

(Did that make any sense at all?)