I’d love to tell you that I went on a trip to the mountains of Nepal or to wrestle an Anaconda in the Amazonas. But the truth is, I don’t like snakes, much less the ones that could eat me whole, and the only fresh air I’ve gotten in my lungs comes from an open window in my house.
I’ve wrestled, alright. Instead of snakes, it’s the darkness I thought I’d conquered a while ago. I trained to deal with stressful scenarios and violent attackers. I wasn’t expecting a pandemic to wake the demons up from their slumber so they could chase me again to the point of exhaustion. Mentally, emotionally, physically.
As much as I tried to get back to making cat dolls, the future still looks uncertain from where I stand. I’m not feeling creative, productive, or cheerful. I feel guilty for not doing all the things during the quarantine. I should have a whole arsenal of dolls ready to sell at a future craft fair. My YouTube channel should be packed with tutorials, maybe even have a first class published on Skillshare. My online shop should be filled with a bunch of physical and digital products by now. Unable to focus, I couldn’t make it happen.
I had to disconnect from the digital life as much as I could. There are only so many cheerful Instagram pic I can take before envy kicks in and makes me question where my life is going. Right now, it’s not going to too many places besides the occasional grocery store visit.
To keep my mind off the ever-repeating news cycle and what felt like impending doom, I escaped to analog life in search of the answers I needed to survive.
Although I still haven’t discovered all the answers yet, I’m finding solace in learning Lettering and working with watercolors, figuring out if or how to incorporate them into what I do. Holding a brush in my hands has forced me to slow down and ground my thoughts. I don’t know where this road will take me or if I’ll hit a dead end.
Today, I’m still not sure my struggling business will survive this drought. All I’m faced with is a bunch of unknowns and doubts. Some days it feels like I’m steering a car without breaks, and I’m ready to let go of the wheel to see if it comes to a full stop. But I’m holding on to it for as long as I can. It’s the only thing I’ve got, but I’m also not sure my resilience is, in fact, Cancerian stubbornness. I wish both could help pay the bills.
There’s still a lot to think over to keep going. I don’t want doll-making or embroidery to become an expensive hobby of mine. My purpose is to make it a source of comfort and happiness for you. Something you can look forward to after a busy day.
It might take me a little while to iron everything out. Even if it means letting go of the steering wheel, playing with watercolors some more, and trusting that everything will fall into place as it’s meant to be.
You’ve probably felt a whole range of emotions in the past months as well. Know that this is normal and expected. If you can, experiment with something new. If you like coloring on your tablet, try a pencil and paper. If you sew on a machine, try doing it by hand. Try to switch from digital to analog for a week and see what happens.
Stay safe, stay weird, and take some time to play.