Holy shit, another year flew by. And what a big year it was. I love new years, simply for the clean slate it provides and endless possibilities.
I also love what a natural pause point it is, a chance to reflect on the last 12 months, on what worked, what didn’t, and what you want to do differently. As a friend put it: quit what makes you unhappy. It’s always easier said than done, but I find the new year is a perfect time to make those reflections and to carve out a path for change.
With that said, I thought I would reflect on 2012, what I liked, what I accomplished, and what I didn’t like.
January: I started off the new 2012 year with a new booth at the Old Strathcona Antique mall, selling vintage wares. This was a very fun concept, but not so fun in reality. But, it was only January, so I didn’t know that yet. My cat, Simone, got diagnosed with asthma. She got her own puffer, and started to feel much better.
February: Hmm, don’t remember much about February, except I attempted to get prepared for March, which was fucking crazy.
March: Sarah and I did our first ever vintage Pop-Up Boutique, in the beginning of March. We were blown away by the support from the community. We received lots of press and so many people turned up to support us. I was also the artistic director for the AGA Refinery in March, which had been in the works for a few months. It was an amazing process, and Sewing the Heartland was all that I could ask for.
April: Recover. I was also working (more than) full time during all of this, so April was spent trying to pick up the pieces of destruction that came with taking on too much.
May: Royal Bison, fun times as always, and the start of the 124th Street Grand Market, in which I set up a booth every Thursday night for 20 weeks.
June: June was a dosey: lots going on at work, trying to balance the market and Sarah and I also threw a little party for our vintage collections. Though reprieve came at the end of the month. I left my full time position, and embraced unemployment/f-unemployment/self-employment. Sigh of relief. Though I have to say unemployment does it’s own kind of mind fuck on you. I don’t know what I thought, but there was no dancing in fields of sunflowers, or long picnics by the river. It strips you down and you are left bare. There was nothing left to hide from, and no more excuses. It was uncomfortable.
July: I tried very hard to fill my time with things, and I was fairly successful, though I can’t really think of what. I didn’t do yoga, or make lots of jewelry, or even clean my house. I did babysit some friends’ kids for two weeks, which was a blast. I ended my time at the Old Strathcona Mall; I just wasn’t at my booth as often as I needed to me. Other than that I longed for the distraction of work. And I found it at the end of the month with my fury friend, Sadie. She was, to start, Miel, my foster dog. I never had had a dog before, and since I didn’t want to jump in and adopt her right away, fostering was a perfect solution. She was a deaf dog who came from Playa del Carmen in Mexico. She has been hit by vehicles a few times, and had suffered numerous broken bones. She came to Canada via WHARF Rescue in March. She needed a home and I needed rescuing.
August: Summer nights, long walks, the farmers market filled with new and old friends and amazing food. I also tried my first out of town market, in Calgary. I got to catch up with family, but I missed out on a girl’s trip to cabin, and I really should have just done that. Oh well. It was also my birthday at the end of the month. I felt odd celebrating and didn’t feel ready for another year. I settled on dinner with a few close friends, and their love embraced me that evening. I also officially adopted Sadie on my birthday, too. She was mine for keeps.
September: Panic seeped into my heart. It was September, which always signals to me a new beginning. For years it had been either a new school year, or else the start of the fall season. New collections rolled into the store and I would begin to look at spring collections for the coming year. Fashion shows and parties and new clothes always consumed me. September felt very empty. So I joined a local non-profit as a board member. Threw another Pop-Up Boutique with Sarah. I started working part time at a friends shop. And I got my etsy page up. I guess it wasn’t as empty as I thought.
October: More part-time work for my friends shop. The market came to an end. I also realized that I should really try and figure out what to do with my life. I started applying for jobs.
November: I got a job! A three-day a week office job. Just what the doctor ordered. I also planned to get ready for the upcoming holiday markets. I had signed up for quite a few. The first one, the 124th Bazaar was the first of many, and happened at the end of the month. I was not ready. Anxiety set itself in, and I decided to hold on to dear life. December was going to be a bit of a ride.
December: This was my first December in 10 years not working in retail. A decade! I had such high hopes for it, but as soon as December came around I knew that I had set myself up to fail. Between working 3 days a week, I committed myself to three weekend craft fairs (Edmonton, Saskatoon and Calgary), filling wholesale orders, a feature at a local store and no product ready to go. It was painful, dark and chaotic. It felt like pulling teeth. But I survived (having baled on one of the shows). December 22nd rolled around and I was free. And through that process, I was able to ask myself some important questions. Ones I don’t necessarily have the answers to yet, but it feels good just to ask them.
And here I am, 9 days into 2013. I can’t say my life has changed any in that amount of time, but I have a renewed optimism about the endless possibilities. I am filled with hope and inspiration that maybe this year I will get it right. Not that I’m naive enough to think that I will get it ‘all’ right, but I am hopefully enough to think that the path will be clearer. Wish me luck.