Isn't this flying pig cute? Her name is Wanda and I created her for my initial Gillygaloofus website. For those of you who don't know, I'm also a graphic designer and my company is called Gillygaloofus, (such a cheerful name, don't you think?).
Anyway, when I started my company I was pretty down about myself. I'd been working for a company for 7 years and they suddenly let me go due to economic issues. I hadn't done anything wrong, my work was great, but I was still out of a job and feeling a bit lost. It was a huge loss to me because my job was very creative, and I was constantly having to come up with designs and ideas for all different kinds of things. It was the job of a lifetime because it offered me so much scope. I realize now that it was a blessing to be let go because I probably would have spent the rest of my career working for someone else and watching them take the credit for my creativity. Now, I'm not saying that my boss stole my work or anything, it's more like you're the invisible person in the background and the company gets the credit, not the artist. It's just the way things are in the business world.
So, when I started my own company I wanted a mascot that made me feel like I could do what seemed impossible to me at the time, be my own person. Hence Wanda was born! Pigs flying is one of those impossible things, and kind of ranks up there with "when Hell freezes over." The thought that I could run my own business and be successful seemed to me as likely as pigs flying and hell freezing.
Well, I haven't been particularly successful. I have had work off and on, but the unfortunate thing is that what I do is something people can do without, and in this economy....well, they're doing without it. However, I'm not discouraged. I realize now that what I was trying to do was replace my old job, when what I needed to do was make my own way.
I'm still working on growing the graphic design end, but the quilting end seems to be taking over. Isn't that interesting?
Now, you're probably wondering why I'm posting about all of this. It has become increasingly plain to me that my life and career are heading in a different direction. It was always a dream to make quilting my focus, but it was a pig flying dream so I never paid it much attention. Now, I'm looking at opportunities presenting themselves to me that I'd never thought I'd have.
I've spent a lot of my life devaluing who I am and what I can do. I don't blame anyone for that, I think it's a personality trait that I struggle with. I also know that there are a lot of you out there who struggle with the same thing.
Now that I've gotten older I've begun to realize that I spent way too much time worrying about what other people thought and what other people said to me and what other people thught I should do. NO MORE! I need to make my own decisions and do what I think is right for me, and if I make a mistake, hey, I'm a big girl, I can handle it.
The point I want to make to all of you out there who are struggling with feelings of inadequacy at anything you do, whether it's your cooking or your quilting, let it go! If you enjoy what you are doing and you aren't hurting anyone else, then go for it. Don't let the Quilt Meanies get you down, ignore those family members and so called friends that put you down, and surround yourself with people who are nuturing and supportive, people that you can nurture and support in return.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the state of our country and the world and it's occurred to me that there seem to be more "takers" than "givers." If you only ever take, then you're missing the other part of the equation, the giving part. That makes you only half the person you should be. Those of us who try to give and take in more equal measure live happier lives and are better adjusted. Taking without giving leaves an emptiness in the soul. And those who only give and never take also have to make an adjustment. If you never let others give to you, you deny them the pleasure of giving. It's the cycle of give-and-take that makes relationships work.
I think that's a lot of what this blog is about. I give you my experience and share my thoughts and feelings, and you do the same for me. In that way we nurture and support each other in our quest to be better quilters, and people.
Thanks for giving me so much,
Oh, and I hope to have pictures of my painted fabric sample tomorrow. I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, (that darn life keeps rearing it's ugly head!).