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If You’re Gonna Do Something, Just Do It.

I have to put a warning out there before you get too involved in reading this post. Because it’s going to be a bit long. I’ve got to set the stage so you know where I’m coming from.

My dream since high school was always to work in the publishing/magazine industry. I didn’t necessarily want to take photos, although I did enjoy that very much. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do was what a photo editor does but that was it. I majored in photography in college and went to an art school that was supposedly one good for churning out artists but not actually for preparing you for life after college. Once you were out, finding a job in a highly competitive field was all on you. Upon graduation, I worked in management at a retail beauty chain I had been at for a couple of years. I thought I found my big break into the industry when I landed a job at a wholesale jeweler photographing their merchandise for the web. Needless to say, for reasons I won’t delve too much into, the job at the wholesale jeweler didn’t work out and, after a year there, I returned to my management job at the beauty store. I had been there for a number of months when my career path took an unlikely yet wonderful turn.

As a young newly-wed (I had gotten married shortly before taking the job at the wholesale jeweler), I decided the only way I might be able to get myself into the photo industry was to take up an internship somewhere. My thinking was I could get my foot in the door by working for free and then once my capabilities were in the spotlight, I would woo others into hiring me. I applied to be a photo intern at a local style magazine and got it! To make the internship work, while holding down a full-time job, I worked 7 days a week for about 4 months. It was rough but I loved what I was doing as I assisted the photo editor. Soon after my internship was over, the magazine’s administrative manager left and I took up her post (my idea of a way in to advance to where I eventually wanted to be). Now, I know my journey to where I wanted to eventually be was somewhat round-a-bout but it eventually paid off. Less than a year later the photo editor moved on, as well, and my efforts paid off as I was moved in to her position.

Now, it was about this time that I started to take a serious interest in sewing. I had taken a few basic classes in the past but never felt like I learned as much as I wanted to. I met another young lady at my church who owned her own business making window treatments (among other things) and she generously offered her time to me to teach me what I had felt I was lacking. I got that one-on-one instruction that I needed and craved and my love for sewing just grew and grew as I not only learned but understood what I was doing. I realized that later on down the road, this was something that I wanted to pursue professionally.

So here I am, three years after this epiphany and a lot has happened. I was laid off from my job at the magazine, took up a job at my local Anthropologie when I couldn’t find a photo related job, and have just had my first child about 3 months ago. I’m sad to say that I haven’t made any headway in my journey as a professional sewist. But…this is what this post is about (I do have a point). My husband and I have been talking for the past few months about our dreams and what we want to do with our lives. Whenever I ask myself what I would want to do if I were able, my answer is always to have an Etsy shop selling bags and other goods full-time. And the thing is, I don’t know why I wouldn’t be able to do this. The only thing that’s been holding me back is my own fear of failure. I’m always saying, “One day I’m going to” but it’s time to leave the days of wanna-coulda-shoulda behind me. My husband said to me the other day, “If you’re going to do something, just do it.” It’s time to stop saying “one day I’m gonna”; it’s time to just jump right in. To take hold of my life after three years of having no clear direction.

To keep this post from getting too lengthy, I’m going to leave off here and pick up with phase 1 of my (undoubtedly long) journey to full-time sewist next week. I’ll give you a hint: it involves organizing something. I know. Very vague. Keep following to see what I’m doing and where it takes me as I try to transition full-time into a career of creating.

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