Sunday, October 12, 2008

going somewhere, slowly

thank-you, my friend maryam for asking me to "please blog". your request was the much needed dash of cold water to the face that reminded me i'm not in a bubble. there are people out there, you are out there, reading this blog and wondering about me. i had gotten so caught up in my "stuff" lately and so overwhelmed, i couldn't even write. thanks for reminding me that my friends care about me and that my silence is worrisome.

i haven't spent much time in blogland even reading blogs the past couple of weeks. except maryam's blog, my marrakesh. she's recently traveled to rwanda and has shared the story of who she meet and what conditions are like there. please, do go read about it yourself. begin the story on october 1st. i am so thankful for maryam, the work she does and her willingness to share. those posts have touched me, shook me up and the resulting feeling i have is that my problems are small potatoes. not worth writing volumes about and i've been feeling something between self-conscious and ashamed. there is so much suffering in the world and the horrors that maryam writes so eloquently about makes me just want to keep my individual worries to myself.

so this blog has had her head in the sand for a while. i'm back.

meanwhile, this blogger has been both busy and idle. one moment hopeful and feeling free, the next wanting to fall asleep and never wake up. only one word gets at how the past two weeks have been: intense. i've melted down and pulled myself back up. there have been many tears. the group therapy sessions on tuesdays leave me feeling very wobbly. i've been revisiting my breast reconstruction choices and quite frankly, freaking out for days and days on end.

i have been questioning the very deepest parts of me and my life. soul searching, life-path searching, career searching. all i've been doing is searching, researching, thinking, writing - trying to answer for myself those big, big life questions. then sitting down and meditating, hoping the answers will plop right down into my lap. yeah, right.

who am i, really?
what path should i choose?
where do my gifts best intersect with the needs of others in this crazy world?

an initial decision has been made. i will seek and secure a job. my business will take a back seat, perhaps be dismantled altogether. what i am doing is not sustainable, i am gathering debt nearly every month and i am so, so tired. being part of a team sounds comforting, after all this time as lone wolf in my studio. i am not romanticizing any job, i know the reality of both sides. my friends, i need a break and i need to stabilize.

and i do feel i have succeeded, i made my grand experiment. that was my goal, five years ago, to take a life-long dream and try making it into a business. and try i certainly did. could i go farther? yes, of course. do i want to? no, i don't. production is hard on the body and creative spirit. i am looking forward to making art for its' own sake again. this is the time for damage control and to regain some security. the health insurance issues and costs have been the straw that broke this little camel's back. cancer has changed the playing field forever.

so now i am writing my resume, putting out my feelers and setting my intention. somehow, even in the fierce job market of portland - i will land a position with benefits that is interesting, at a company or non-profit that shares my values. i know i bring a extraordinary package to the table and i am excited to see where i can contribute. this is my short-term goal.

the longer-term goal is going back to school. i am looking at grad school and pondering my options. who knows what type of business i might launch later on, or what kind of fulfilling career path i might embark upon?

i've also boiled down the parts of my Honey & Milk business plan that i was the most excited about and found something i didn't expect. the pieces about making a positive difference in the world, working on sustainability and fair-trade, eradicating poverty, traveling internationally, teaching diverse groups of people -those things really make my eyes sparkle. turns out, the parts about focusing on my jewelry and designs, the high fashion world and marketing - those pieces aren't the heart of the plan. the service to others part is the most compelling piece. that has helped me start in a job search direction.

i guess you could call this a mid-life crisis. trying to answer that question: what was i put on this earth to do? and cancer heated up the urgency. what am i waiting for?

blessed. wealthy. fortunate. i know that these words do apply to me. i have the luxury of being able to work on all of these issues. i am not fighting for survival as the people of rwanda have and still do. as hurting people all over the world do. even with all my issues and health crap and past traumas, even with our failing economy and high cost of living and shitty american health plan - i can make big plans and dream even bigger dreams.

for a fresh perspective on wealth, check this out.


Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Darling Tay,
Rwanda, too, has given me tremendous perspective and I am thankful to have gone. We just lost a tremendous amount on the stock market, so much so that we are putting off opening Peacock Pavilions indefinitely -- we just don't have money to continue. My husband is in a panic but I looked at him and said: we have each other, we have our children, we have our health, we have a house over our heads and food to eat and no one is trying to hurt us, maim us, kill us. We can say what we wish without retribution.

After all, money is just No more. No less.

It sounds to me like you are making the right decisions. I can completely see you going into international development of the creative sort, esp micro-finance. You would be perfect. You have so much to give.

With love,
PS Thank you for giving to Team Vestine. I know it will come back to you tenfold.

Tay said...

Tears just rolled down my face reading your response to Chris. I've thought of you so much these past two weeks~ and now that the amazing Moroccan wedding blanket is hanging in my dining area, I am reminded of the blessing of your friendship with every meal.

I am so glad you and yours are safe, healthy and have each other. Somehow, the money part must work out and the dreams you've nurtured will come to be.

Thanks for your encouragement of my path, your opinion means the world to me.


Anonymous said...

It's good to see you're back Tay - I've been missing your blog. And thank you for the links to Maryam's blog, which I plan to read this evening, and to the Global Rich List, which frankly made my jaw drop, made me feel incredibly ashamed, and determined to donate far more to charity.

With regards to your situation, I wish you success with your search for a job that can provide security and health insurance. I lived in Portland for 2 years and found the whole health insurance issue quite unnerving.....

I hope you will soon be living your dreams. Kind wishes,

Angela Jupp - England.

Sondra said...

So good to hear your voice. I was going to give you a nudge if I didn't hear you today.
Thank you to Maryam for hers.
You're doing the hard work now. Emotional work is the hardest, I think. Dig deep, you WILL find your source.
Love and Light,

modish said...

Wow Tay,
Those are some huge changes of direction! I understand though, of course, and I hope you can find a job where your talents and creativity will be appreciated and encouraged, and one with a great health ins. plan! :) And going back to school sounds like a good plan too, especially in preparation for the career that you had envisioned with Honey & Milk (which I hope you're not abandoning all together!) Good luck with whatever changes your life is about to take. I hope they are more fulfilling and sustainable for you. Talk to you soon,

Miss Marie said...

great post, welcome back!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Dearest Tay,
Do give another little peep here if you have time.

PS eeek, I am tickled at the thought of the wedding blanket in your dining area. I hope there is some natural light there bouncing off the sequins both literally and figuratively.