if you ever read this blog, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been absent for like, a year. The reason being is that my entire life has been upside down over the past year. So much has changed. I’ve evolved as a person. My little darling girl, Emmaline, is no longer a blob-baby but growing into a little person, exploring the world and learning with zeal and pleasure.
About a year ago, I was starting to feel the weight of being at a crossroads: I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had a kind of crisis moment: for the seven years previous, I had been so sure of everything. I wanted to create. I wanted to work for myself. I wanted and needed to be a free spirit.
And then, I had a little girl. And everything– and I do mean everything– changed.
I no longer wanted to spend every minute of every day working– of being tied to social media and my email and my phone. I didn’t want to feel fractured by being pulled in so many directions. The older she got, the quicker time flew, and I realized that if I did not slow down I would miss everything. She would grow up and I would be so busy working that I’d missed all the important moments of my daughter’s life while I was busy on email or pinning my work to Pinterest.
I started thinking about what would I like to do that would not involve being 100% devoted to my own business. I realized that in working for myself, it required all of myself– I didn’t know how to balance. I DON’T know how to balance home and work life. The fact of the matter is that I pour ALL of myself into my business, and I knew that I wasn’t going to stop doing that. I realized that other than flowers and designing, which unlocks so much of my creative soul– the other passion I’ve always had was teaching, and learning, and the written and spoken word. I had always planned to go back and get my PhD, and now seemed like the right time to start working on my application and preparing the way for taking a step in a different direction.
Applying is such a process— I worked on updating my CV and looking over what I had accomplished leading up to and immediately following my Master’s Degree. So much had changed in the seven years I’d been gone, both in myself and in academia. I realized with each passing day, as I prepared, polished, and concentrated on creating a different path for my future– I knew more and more that this was the right path, and that I had been led to making this decision.
With heavy heart and after much deliberation, I started to make a plan for the exit strategy for my busy business. I set an end date, sent in my applications for school, and went about trying to figure out how to achieve more of that work/life balance (truth: I have not figured it out, and I’m not sure I will). The fall passed in a busy blur. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty for working when my daughter was really starting to become her own person. I would be gone from morning until late afternoon, and then would still have things I had to do, emails to send, proposals to complete, estimates to fabricate— the day in fall when I got my acceptance letter to school was a life changing moment for me. I knew it was right. I knew I was making the best decision for my family, and for myself.
There’s much more to this story and much I probably will want to share when I get the distance and perspective to do so, and since I do have the heart of a teacher– there’s a lot that I want to share about what I have learned about what it means to put a close to a business that was so much of your life. In many ways, my business was my first child. From incubation to birth to toddlerhood, I watched a seed of my imagination grow into something real and both heartbreaking and beautifully fulfilling at the same time. I want to talk about that, and I will talk about it, but now is not the time.
Today, I start classes in my PhD program. I am excited to see what the future holds (along with a good bit of trepidation). I’m returning to school after a seven year hiatus and I admit it, I’m scared. But it’s the most delicious fear, for I know that what comes with it is the chance to tell my daughter a story, about how life is not limited to just one dream, one opportunity– we can be good at many things, have endless skills, that life is always one big adventure. That it’s important to know that sometimes you have to let something you love go in order to thrive and unlock a new kind of happiness. That family is important– it’s the most important thing– and that her momma was brave enough to tackle a new career at 35. I hope she’s proud of what I’m about to embark on and what I hope to accomplish, and I hope that the coming months see more hours devoted to time just watching her grow, sharing in her discoveries, and being a mom.
More from me soon!