Spring is finally stepping into the sun here in Colorado, displaying her glorious wares. Isn’t it funny how we look out at the tree in the front yard, the same one we see every day, and it is suddenly wild with colorful, soft petals. Just yesterday, I could swear it still dormant and dark from winter. Life likes to play those little tricks on us, I think. We might go about our day feeling stuck, resentful, hurt … and then, just as suddenly, the Universe plays its hand and we see the light at the end of the tunnel where before we thought no light could ever shine. A lot has been happening behind the scenes in surprising ways …
Since mid-winter, I’ve been in a “sorting” sort of head place. I wish it was as easy as putting the Sorting Hat on my head (Harry Potter, anyone?), telling me automatically which direction to go in. I’ve struggled with burn out and exhaustion in my work, leaving me … well, to put it bluntly, pretty unhappy. I took a break (a long one, apparently) and decided to spend time figuring out where my energies should go, to find where the value truly lies. In this sorting phase, I have uncovered something that felt hidden for a while: that I really love knitting. I love imagining and thinking, dreaming and planning! And I love writing. All of those things felt lost, buried beneath the cloudy murk of busyness, deadlines, struggle, and fatigue.
Someone once told me that it is no good being “busy,” because ants can pull that off enough on their own. You have to be moving forward meaningfully. And I haven’t been! I have been treading water in the same place for well over 5 years, struggling to make ends meet and inching along ever so slowly. I’ve been so busy trying to get things done, that I felt like I was churning out uninspired, empty shells of what I had originally envisioned. Just as the spring ushers in new growth and new hope, I’m letting the warm winds push me into new directions.
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t continue doing the same thing and expecting different results (because that IS what they all warn you against in the motivational posters, you know). I’m exploring several options, from returning to regular full-time work “in the real world” to possibly starting a new business venture in field I wish to enter, but that part is a little open ended for now (especially with the competitive job market here in Colorado — I’m thinking because everyone wants to live where it is awesome). But, it also means that I am pulling the reigns back, just a little, in the knitting design realm. It isn’t about quitting, but about slowing waaaaaay down to release the pressure and rediscover the delight I used to find in it. You can even call it a sort of sabbatical. Some may look at me a little crazy-like because I’m in a pretty good place with designing. Except, I haven’t been! My work has felt forced, uninspired, and “wanting,” so this deliberate brake-setting will give me time to open the creative side back up.
I’m certainly not going anywhere, though, so don’t freak out on me! Rather, I’ve decided to take on fewer, but bigger (and quite exciting) projects (of which I can’t wait to tell you about, like a book I’m finishing up, a yarn company partnership, wink, wink). A break from the smaller, individual projects like independent designs, teaching, and magazine/yarn company deadlines lets me shed the constant feeling of urgency and return to where my heart is: the knitting itself. And it enables to me to re-discover the joy I find in other, slightly abandoned artistic venues like writing and photography (because I’ll still be doing a LOT of that with my gig as Contributing Editor and Online Editor for Creative Knitting magazine). It is terrifying, honestly, to put this “out there,” because I am proud of what I have accomplished, humbled by the support I have received, and honored by the friends and associates I’ve made in this field. That fear, though, prevents us all from moving forward.
Suffice to say that I feel confident, unburdened, and excited about the opportunities in front of me. The idea of knitting sweaters … just for ME … has me practically giddy. The idea of just exploring yarn, without commitment, of savoring the steadiness of it, learning about other’s passion in it, and following where the yarn trail leads makes me feel inspired and creative again. You could even say that areas of my life are suddenly blooming in the open warmth… And I am so, SO eager to explore this new simple, heartfelt path of knitting with you, delving deep into the joys that fiber brings by celebrating the fun stuff like books, tutorials, writing, yarn, and stitches. There will be more patterns again, more designs, but for now, its about slowing it down and remembering the restorative, happy place that fiber leads us to … Will you join me?