Sunday, August 15, 2010

the absentee

i'd like to think that i am a focused, dauntless, & resilient person. that i'm capable of anything that i put my mind to.

i'd like to think that my work & personal life are in harmony.

i'd like to think that my current career path is well-suited for me. that it makes sense. that it helps me achieve this harmonious balance in life.

but what i've realized is this: sometimes, even the most fervent beliefs aren't enough. i can't will something to be true that simply isn't. and though certainly i can continue to work towards a goal that has proven elusive... maybe what i want isn't what i thought i wanted. maybe i don't know what i want.

and that's okay.

(i'm still working on accepting that last bit of wisdom as my personal mantra, but goodness knows: accept it is exactly what i must do.)

a bit about how i arrived at this crossroads:

i always knew what i wanted to do. so i did it. i went to college. i studied fashion. i became a designer at a company that i wanted to design for. i worked there for four years. i slowly became someone that i didn't recognize. i caught the ubiquitous disease-of-more. i had an abundance but felt that it wasn't enough. i left this company. i decided to strike it out on my own. make etsy a living. i set a weekly goal for myself that i considered to be modest. i never stopped working. or worrying. or anxiously awaiting my next sale. some weeks i exceeded my self-prescribed modest goal, but clearly, these were not the weeks that inspired the creeping self-doubt. they were the weeks that i came up short. proper coping mechanisms were not in place. self-loathing ensued. anxiety levels sky-rocketed. (perhaps the past tense is not the most accurate one to be used here, but i'm working on that.)

again, i find that i don't quite recognize myself... and this time for different reasons, but really, the end result is the same: now what? what on earth am i meant to do?

and this is exactly why i have been so very absent here. in a world that hosts every imaginable variety of social marketing & self-promotion (some that i haven't even attempted to understand... chictopia? weardrobe? oh dear), i am overwhelmed. and confused. and not without lingering self-doubt.

now, *ahem* i don't fool myself into thinking that this is something that has been weighing on your minds, however, i do believe that honesty is the best policy. you all have been kind enough to stop by my little blog & i appreciate that far more than you probably could ever know, so i thought it only fair to share a bit of the seedy underbelly of my mind.

so, as i re-evaluate, i seem to have made some small revelations:

what i definitely know: that i will continue both of my etsy shops (capacity undetermined). that i need to get out of the house more. and converse with real-live people. and that i need to do this on a regular basis.

what i think i know: that the above means that i need to get a job outside of the house.

what i don't know: how exactly this job will manifest. will i work part time at a boutique? maybe look into fashion freelance? possibly get another full time design job & make etsy a hobby again?

it's hazy. i suppose i'm still a work in progress... but then, aren't we all?

i'll leave you with a video that i found via deargolden & lolavintage that has helped me through some bleak moments recently:

i hope it inspires you as much as it did me.

and thank you for reading.



  1. Lisa, great post. Whatever you decide to do or not do, it will be the result of honest and grounded thought and that's half the battle. Thanks for sharing the video, too - you're right, very inspiring.

  2. lisa,
    you've always amazed me for being the most honest & sweetest person i know. i've been at my own crossroad a few times. all i can give my own 2 cents is this will make you a stronger person. you have always know what you want to do, keep on doing all the things that you are doing right now. you are going the right road. even in bad weather and getting lost. etsy is the gps that will help you find your destination.
    i was a pretty damn good fashion design student once at 18. so shy & unsure of myself, took a safe 'JOB' which totally different then i studied, instead of doing something that i'm love & good at. i didn't believe in myself i guess. now, 20 yrs later, i feel like i'm dying everyday at my current position and trap due to obligations & responsibilities. if i can turn back the clock, i would do it differently. you are very talented and with the ability to touch many people with your sweetest and kind heart. if i have lots of money, i would buy all your necklaces... lol.
    i love the video, thank you so much for sharing it.
    love ya and big hug.

  3. whatever you do in life do not stop making beautiful art. Even if it's a hobby.

    P.S. I always get compliments when I wear your necklace

  4. "If you stick to you art it will take care of you somehow"
    Kiki Smith

  5. Hi Lisa, I just found your blog today but I met you last november at the From Scratch market in Trexlertown (you are your sister are so cute!). I just got married this summer (also!) and I've been wandering around in a "what do I do with my life now?" stupor ever since! It helped me to know some of my friends were in the very same boat, which I why I thought I'd share that your not alone! It's smart to step back and consider what you need to change around in your life when things aren't quite working, and you'll surely figure things out eventually. Can't wait to see what you decide, I hope you find a fulfilling balance.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    Its almost ironic how I ended here. I did an erroneous search on google and a link came up
    you see, I'm a graphic designer graduated 2 years ago and have been struggling on finding a job, when I read your interview I felt both, envious and inspired. I needed to look for your shop which you mention in the interview. I absolutely loved your jewelry,(once I find a job, I will be your #1 shopper)from there I figured I should "like" you on facebook to keep updated about your jewelry... finally, I ended here, someone that sounds completely different from the person on that interview. Thank you for being honest, I continue being feeling envious and inspired, by your work and your integrity

  7. Lisa,

    this is such a wonderfully brave, thoughtful, introspective post. i recently convoed you about a yellow skirt and thought i would check out the person behind the shop. reading through your entries have really echoed the thoughts I am currently feeling. your perspective is right on... so often people lose sight of the important things, and so often people don't know what the important things are in life. but what separates the people who are fulfilled and those who are not are that the people who find happiness learn that there is no way to happiness; happiness is the way. that is something that has really resonated with me, and i hope it helps you get through tough times. i think you won't have a hard time with that seeing as your kindness shines through your blog, and your talent shines through your etsy store.



  8. I know this comment comes much later than the post, and I hope that by now you have a lot more figured out, but as an artist myself, I have to say that I often find myself feeling EXACTLY the same way lately! Where did the excited creative girl go? How do I keep myself motivated to make new work? What happens if the sales just completely STOP. The word anxiety sometimes doesn't even do these feelings justice! I'm really glad to know I'm not alone in this crazy existential crisis. I think your designs are amazingly gorgeous and I hope you can find that balance - please let me know how if you do!! Haha
    Sending hugs from NJ,

  9. I am so glad we ran into each other on Twitter! This post along with the one you commented on over at my blog make me feel understood. I feel anxious about all these things too and was just recently talking about getting a little job on the side... maybe working in a fabric store was my idea. Something to get out of the house but still be able to talk about making things all day for when I return to my little creative box.

    My car got towed this morning... so I said screw work, I'm going to the river for the day. Ha!

  10. I really identified with this post as a design graduate myself and 29 year old "corporate drop-out". I struggle with this as well and have moments of huge self-doubt and confusion. I know a lot about what I don't want and still haven't figured out what I do want. I really respect your sweet honesty Lisa, you seem like a very sensitive and compassionate lady with loads of endless possibilities in doing whatever your heart desires. Keep that chin up, this too shall pass, and please don't ever stop creating your beautiful jewelry! You are one of my original inspirations for starting my own Etsy shop, you are amazingly talented. I truly believe that just getting out of the house more will really help! And if you are anything like me, you compare yourself to others and have relentless expectations of what you "should" do. Just be you. It's already amazing. xo (((sending hugs)))))

  11. Hello there,
    I just found your blog and wanted to tell you that it is just lovely! This post is especially touching and relatable. I am new to the world of blogging, so I am trying to reach out to other bloggers who I admire and say hi! Feel free to stop by sometime and say hi! I am sure to be back here often now. Hope you are having a great day and that a years time has helped you figure out your own balance!
    xo hannah

  12. i am glad i stumbled across your blog. this was a great post to read. i do etsy full-time, but i really need to find a job out of the house to feel stimulated, fulfilled and happy. i recently did a post about working from home and being on the hunt for a teaching job:
    i wish you the best of luck with your search