TO BE OR NOT TO BE; My Company asks this question.
One year ago my husband and I closed down our life on Orcas Island to move to Raleigh NC. To accomplish this I had to dismantle my business like a puzzle in reverse, piece by piece . It had taken 17 years to put that puzzle together never sure what the final picture would reveal but it was a wonderful, difficult, profound, frustrating , ego boosting soul scraping experience. So very happy I did it. But now it was done. We were leaving kicking and screaming but we were leaving.
I was suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; my heart was ransacked, my body was depleted. Moving sucks.
Now a year later, semi settle in Raleigh, I am faced with do I do it again? Do I rebuild, build anew the puzzle that is Petals and Twist. My thoughts, considerations clicked like worry beads on a worn string. Beads 1 through 6: I had the chops, the portfolio, the knowledge, a mature skill. I was more self assured and more comfortable in my professional skin. Beads 7 through 13: Big down side I am17 years older, in a huge community , when compared to our little island, with scads amounts of competition. I don’t have studio. I don’t know anyone. How do you network a very personal service company to strangers? How do you market to a blank wall? I knew the startup drill would require a lot of trust patience (short supply) and work (okay that’s a given) . Yes? No? Yes? No? Click click click.
It was a Monday afternoon a few weeks ago that I was asked by a professional paid to ask these questions what my hobbies were. This stopped me cold. I have hated this question whenever it has been put to me. I don’t have a pat answer that’s for sure. Stumbling I said”Uh, I read?” said like I wasn’t sure if that fell into the hobby slot. “If I had an outside I’d plant I guess”. It was painful. I don’t knit or do water-colours. I don’t take theatre workshops or do Zumba as a hobby I do it as exercise. I don’t practice yoga or meditation (some day I’ll get back to this issue), I don’t make stained glass objects or ceramics. I felt deflated as a New Year’s eve balloon on January 2nd. I don’t have a hobby. I am uninteresting because I am uninterested. Get out the cat o’ nine tails.
Great so now I don’t have a business, I don’t have friends, I don’t have my forever home anymore AND I am once more reminded that I am pathetically absent of hobbies. I felt deflated and not a little lost already. Now I felt a boot on top of my intake valve. No air to lift this latex failure.
Several days later I bemoaned my woeful lacking (pick a category) to my therapist. She sat and listened as she does with her quiet compassionate face listening to my self flagellation without comment. When I stopped for no reason other than I realised I had begun repeating myself, she very casually said as if this was obvious to everyone, that my vocation is my avocation; it is what I do because I love it, it feeds me I do it just to do it-this is my hobby. I could be mature and say it as a watershed moment. But really, It was like I found my beloved dead dog was no longer dead and was running full tilt into my heart, wagging his ridiculous beautiful tail.
I was tickled pink -seriously I felt like I won a contest or discovered I could do something miraculous like sing- I had a hobby folks!!! One more notch in the belt of I am not as screwed up and beige as I thought. It wasn’t until later that day or may be the next morning that I realised this question I had been worrying down to fine thin thread had its answer.
To be or not to be: Petals and Twist is be because I am.
I am sorry Hamlet did not have it so easy. And I apologize Mr. Shakespeare for appropriating your brilliance for my little tale.