I know that people don’t read long blog posts but there is something on my mind.
So, there is a lot of exciting stuff going on–with my fabric and new patterns and upcoming photo shoot and a really nice interview over on the Windham blog about my inspirations here. Yes. And as a business owner and my own little ringmaster of marketing, social media, and all things buzz, it is my job to tell you all about it.
But I also want to give nod to what that feels like. I am comfortable with who I am. I like myself. But, I don’t want my life to look anything like this: ME, me, ME, I did this, I made this, here is another thing I did, look at me, yay! Woohoo, more Facebook likes, yay!
Often, when I wear my social media/marketing hat, I feel like that. If you are a designer/blogger you probably know exactly what I am talking about. It feels completely narcissistic. I need/want to share the story of my brand and my process, but isn’t there a way to make it not so much me? Seriously, who cares? It can feel really yucky and uncomfortable to me (when its isn’t feeling fun and exciting). So, the small craft business owner has quite a tightrope to walk and I am struggling a bit today with what feels like a big, giant, glossy photograph. You see, I am in recovery from glossy photograph. I used to live that way. Many of us do. It looked something like this: I am good, see? See how pretty it all is? See that I am enough? See that I do things well? See that I am perfect? See how my knuckles have turned white trying to make this perfect? See how effing perfect this all is??!? But that was exhausting. Being in control is exhausting because it is impossible and it is an illusion. But surrendering feels like liberation. And I am glad I let it all go years ago, even though that change came in a painful cracking open that didn’t feel very welcome at the time.
I am so grateful I let go of white-knuckling my self-worth and value. Owning my imperfections and the messy parts of life makes it more beautiful, connected, honest and gives it a luxurious depth. I am more able to understand others and myself. Now I know I am enough, even if I need reminders. I know I talk about Brené Brown every five seconds on this blog, but if you haven’t heard her TedX talk on vulnerability, go watch it here. And she was just on Oprah last week here.
So, I thought it worth mentioning that I sometimes yell at my kids, I go sideways with my husband, I roll my eyes (inside my head) at the woman loudly moaning next to me in yoga, I get short with the administrative lady who is just trying to help me, even if she isn’t be kind at all. I do all that. And I am not proud of it, but I am human and I accept my mistakes. And I work to become the best version of myself I can be.
The idea that branding excludes the messiness of life, feels kind of glossy photograph to me. What is branding if not storytelling? We are trying to tell a very appealing story so that people will want to hear more of the story, by purchasing our stuff–so that people will relate, and so that the brand will be a reflection of who they are and what they like. But I have tried all along to be real and genuine about it. It just really bugs me that from the outside it could all look impossibly pretty. For example, you don’t know that I haven’t exactly written myself a paycheck in two years since I started this brand. But there it is. So much for glossy photograph. Phew, that felt good to say. I haven’t repaid my investors. Kerplunk. Truth on the table. There it is.
I am an abstract painter and designer. I am doing my best. I am having fun. It is hard work. And mainly, I thank you for reading and for caring and for supporting this process. I love connecting with people through design, craft, and art–because the craft is just an excuse for connection. Our hands get busy, our hearts get full of conversation and connection. It feels so good. I have no idea where it is going. But we shall see.
So, I reach for the best and highest version of who I am, and forgive myself my faults and flaws, and accept myself exactly as I am. I want to shine my light, but not if it extinguishes any other lights. I want to be who I am, but only if that serves the highest love in my heart, and in the best possible way, and if I can still be fully present with my family in the process.
OK, go watch Brené Brown’s talk. And follow your truth, And be who you are. And I promise to keep my tiny brand as real as it can possibly be.