Let’s Start Again

Muddy boots

I’ve moved all the way down south and am living right next to the sea in the quirky town of Hastings. My life seems to have been turned upside down and all topsy turvy… I’ve chosen to look at this recent turn of events like someone has waved a magic wand over my life and said, “do what really makes you happy – have whatever you want. Start again.”

Apart from the odd bout of extreme homesickness and missing my friends and family terribly, I am incredibly lucky. I live with a man I love completely (sick buckets at the ready I know), in a cosy flat and there isn’t a huge amount of pressure for me to start earning a wage right away. I have the luxury of being able to have a go at building a life and having a lifestyle that I truly desire… so how do you go about deciding what that is? When you have so much choice how do you settle and stick at one thing?

I’ve decided that embracing life with a whole heart is the way forward. Focus on being happy in the present moment and the rest can’t be too far behind.

Here begins my rebuilding, redesigning, a brand new chapter.

Where The Wind Blows

20130616-100236.jpgI’ve been a bit absent on here recently but as the wind is changing direction in my life I thought that it might be a good time to get back to blogging.

The main news is that in exactly two months time I will have left my job as a Support Officer, finished my Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills and will no longer be a Northern Lass; I am moving down south to live with Ranj: First stop Hastings followed by a move to Brighton (hopefully).

This raises questions about what I really want to do with my life (work wise) that I’m not sure I’m ready to answer… I’ll see where the wind blows and hope I will find my way. I’m sure I will.

I have booked my first ever craft fair to mark the occasion and to try and take the edge off my homesickness when I move. I am ridiculously excited about this. It’s going to be at the Rye Arts and Craft Fair on the 28th September; hence the beading above. I’ve got lots of ideas for theme, products and layout, so as soon as my coursework is handed in and I leave my job it will be full steam ahead.

I have so many projects rattling around my head and a huge fear that I won’t do any of them. Luckily I have an incredibly supportive partner to keep me focused. Time will tell.

What I’ve Learnt About Being Creative

The period in-between Christmas and New Year is always an incredibly reflective one for me. I’ve found myself contemplating what I’ve achieved, learnt and loved; but also where I’d like to go. A few years ago I found myself blocked, frozen stock-still and started a journey just to get moving again.

Here are three things that I’ve learnt this year:

1)  Set Goals: It’s an oldie but a goodie. You hear it everywhere, all the time (especially working in education) – but I’ve never before practiced what I’ve preached. This year, for the first time, I gave myself a new year’s resolution; I would get my jewelry online, nothing more, nothing less – just get it up. I’m the kind of person, like many creative people, who flit. I’m a crafty, creative magpie. I want to try to do everything and as a result master none of them.
Setting a goal this year kept me focused. Many times I’ve wanted to stray and start a glitteringly attractive new project, but remembering the goal I’d set and more importantly why I’d set it in the first place, forced me to stick with it. I’ve not had over amounts of success with my etsy shop but I have sold some things and in my eyes the success is that I did what I set out to do – I put my jewelry out there.

2)  Start Before You Think You’re Ready: If you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me this one is really important. I don’t want to do anything or put anything out there before I think it is flawless. I’m scared of criticism and I’m scared of failing at stuff. This one has taught me to just go for it and learn as you go. It’s alright if things aren’t quite ready yet – I’d never be ready. I’ve learnt more about photographing jewelry and writing a blog by doing it than I have thinking about it or planning it.

3)  Read and Follow A Lot Of Blogs: This is the reason I’ve started my Online Love series. I find seeing other people doing what I aspire to do spurs me on. It gives me inspiration, ideas, focus and drive. I also find the blogging community to be as supportive as everyone says they are. People are willing to encourage, comment and share.

I’ll get working on next year’s goals to help me move another creative step forward…. suggestions welcome.

Back to Work Vs Being Creative

So my summer is over and it’s back to work and reality tomorrow. I have that great feeling that you get when you’ve had a really long break: I feel like I could do anything. I can keep fit and write everyday and dance and make my etsy shop work and craft until I can craft no more… in reality I’m aware that this feeling wears off and the routine of a 9-5 can tire me out and make me lazy.

I’ve been speaking to my very creative friend, who has emigrated to Australia, today. She makes me feel so inspired. She has this amazing energy and is so proactive herself that it’s infectious.

I need to find ways to keep that feeling up. I’ve been learning that completing things keeps me motivated, as well as surrounding myself with proactive, creative people that I admire. Whether this is in life, on skype, or reading people’s blogs. Being creative is the most amazing thing in the world and has a huge power… it’s just not always that easy when life gets in the way.

Right now!?! I think I need to get back to my flat and make sure that it is all clean and sorted. I need it to be a nice space that I can come back to when the working day is over and get on with all of the creative things I love. Joy!

Beginnings and Endings

imageThis is me and my beautiful friend Angie. Last night we had a surprise baby shower for her.

Angie’s baby-to-be made me think about beginnings and how amazing a new life and a new venture is. The start is filled with possibilities, hopes and anticipation. This made me think about endings.

Endings I’m not too good with. I don’t like them. I don’t like leaving and I don’t like being left. When a relationship breaks down I bolt and they never hear or see me again… not the most mature way of dealing with this I know.

What I don’t seem to be able to handle is that life goes on. People will have experiences that I won’t know about and that don’t involve me, and vice versa. The pain of that makes me shut down and push forward.

Recently a colleague of mine passed away. She was only 50; it was sudden and a shock. The combination of this, along with the joy of Angie’s pregnancy has made me think a little differently. It’s made me think about what you leave behind when there is an ending (a break down/up, a death, a move).

Working in a helping capacity I have a quote that I once heard stuck to my desk, “We plant the seeds knowing that we might not be around to see them grow.” This gives me hope when faced with some of the grimmest events and consequences that life can offer out.

I’ve realised that this is what I hope for. I hope to plant a seed. I hope that I leave something good. Whether it is in the young person I work with, to whom I tell that they are intelligent and worthwhile, or the ones that I’m just there to listen to, or the one’s whose behaviour isn’t too positive yet and I try to teach them that there is a different way… I know I might be there to see those results; but I really hope that one day they will manifest and they will think of me.

I want to make sure that whoever I encounter I leave something postive behind; a good dance, a kind ear, a laugh, the memory of a half-decent story. Maybe that will make endings easier.

As for my colleague that passed away; I know that she touched many peoples lives. She also fostered and created safe spaces for those children who hadn’t had them before. Surely this is an amazing thing to leave behind.