Thursday, January 21, 2010
Somone to Watch Over Me
Do you control your life? Or is it controlled...let's say directed...by something greater than yourself? I tend to believe in both. I think we get a great deal of latitude in managing what happens in our own lives, but that a higher power also exerts itself on us. We can choose our mate(s), friends, careers, where we live, how we act...but I believe that if we are choosing poorly, the Universe will nudge us in a more appropriate direction. And I think that if we don't listen, it will nudge us a little harder. Like going from stubbing your toe, to spraining your ankle. And if we still don't pay attention after the small nudges, things will really get messy!
I've had it happen many times in my life. It's not always easy to see when it's happening, but it's quite clear when looking back (that hindsight thing is pretty accurate). I've encountered people who seem to have no other purpose in my life than to nudge me one way or the other. Some seem to be aware of their purpose, others not....but I don't believe those encounters are random. I've run into incredibly painful or frustrating (or both) situations that have made me take a huge step back and reconsider nearly everything in my life up to that point, and realize that things need to change...in a big way. Or in several small ways.
One of my more recent toe-stub nudges (that turned into an ankle sprain, and then practically a broken leg!) has been career-oriented. I've been designing jewelry since the early 1990s, moving from bead work to wire, dabbling in PMC, and then a little in metalsmithing...then PMC again, followed by more metalsmithing...but somehow I felt that I couldn't get past the wire work, which comprises most of my current designs. I have had it in my head that metalsmithing was this HUGE mountain, so high that climbing seemed impossible. And forget about reaching the top! That was never going to happen...as much as I really thought I wanted to try.
So the Universe stepped in, in two ways. First, it brought me in contact with my friend Delias, who is an extremely talented 'smtih herself. Not only have we become close friends, but her studio is my Learning Annex and she teaches me about so much more than how to make cool stuff with the torch. We've been friends for just over a year now, and I have learned so much - both personally and professionally - during that time.And there is no question about her purpose...Delias doesn't "nudge". She pushes you forward despite yourself, refuses to accept "no" for an answer, and problem solves all roadblocks into oblivion. If you're ever fortunate enough to have her take you under her wing, count your blessings!
Second, my business has struggled over the last 16 -18 months. It's not been horrible , but I was not achieving what I wanted to achieve. The business wasn't growing, and I wasn't enjoying it like I used to. I felt stuck - to old designs, old ideas, old routines. I felt trapped. This didn't happen all at once, of course; it has been more like a series of hurdles that I couldn't seem to get past, disappointments, and frustrations. I didn't know what to do to shake things up, make the appropriate changes. Everything I tried seemed to bounce back in my face.
And then, slowly, the process itself has started taking over. I've become more proficient with the torch, and a bunch of other tools. I've started to "get" why some things will work, and some won't. I've melted some things, made some cool stuff, and become comfortable with the idea that maybe I, too, could really metalsmith one day. And even if I never reached the top, the journey was going to be one hell of a fun path. As this began happening, I almost literally felt the doors opening. Ideas blossoming. Possibilities shining so clearly in the distance, beckoning me to try them. Now I can't wait to get into the studio every morning (and I'm not even set up to solder here yet...but I am doing everything else possible in the meantime!).
I'm nowhere near where I want to be, of course. I still feel like I don't have a ton of fully formed ideas, because I don't truly understand the possibilities of what I can do - and there's a lot I still can't do right now. But I feel like thoughts and plans are rushing into my head, and I can't wait to try them out!
Oddly enough, though I felt so unsure about choosing the fabrication path, I have managed, over the years, to amass nearly everything necessary to do it. The big things - torch/tank, a true studio, a couple of necessary items (pickle pot, firebricks, etc) were missing, but I have had all the other tools at my disposal for some time. I just didn't have the confidence to start the climb. So...was I getting the subtle message from the Universe, and gathering items necessary for my next career journey? I believe I was...and could have considerably shortened the wait time by paying closer attention to the first few nudges.
What's nudging YOU lately...?