My two weeks with family on the East Coast which started in Pennsylvania and ended up in The Outer Banks of North Carolina came to a close yesterday. If you don’t know, I have 12 siblings, 4 siblings in law, and 2 nephews and 1 niece. My family is scattered about between Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia /Washington DC, Arizona, Texas (That’s me!), England, and Germany. Within these couple weeks I’ve gotten to see most of them. I wasn’t expecting to get to visit the East Coast so soon after moving to Texas (it’s been 3 months), but when I heard my family from Europe and family from Arizona would be there, I knew I had to make the trip.
My prayers and goals for this trip were to make a decision on what my focus will be for the end of this year, build a budget to stick to when I get back, (trips are expensive!) and of course, to enjoy time with family. To be a blessing and an example, to keep calm in conflict, to listen, and to help but know when to step back.
It’s been a long couple weeks, but it’s also given me perspective. You’ll remember from my last blog that I’ve learned that I need to focus, to give a project the full attention it deserves, vs half haphazardly focusing on a myriad of different projects. I stated too, that I’d have a decision by the time the trip is over, that I’d be ready to commit to something. I was leaning towards a new project, or rather, breathing life into an old project, by rewriting an old manuscript I have, vs focusing on my Etsy shop and trying to get that off the ground.
The truth is, I was already pretty set on that from the start of this trip, but my tune changed. I’ve been praying about it daily, seeking counsel from my family, (and boy! Did they have a lot to say!), and looking at the pros and cons of both of my main options.
I created my Etsy shop as a constant- something that once going could be a way for me to share/utilize my art and provide a bit of a residual income for me when the next hot idea strikes me… It was meant to be a little bit of financial stability when I’m off to live in Columbia for a few months, get my real estate license, ready to flip a house, start a YouTube channel, or want to finish and publish one of my book ideas. Yes that last one has been my current daydream, so you could say I started my Etsy Shop for a time such as this.
People won’t stop me, because I get so passionate and it’s hard to step between me and a dream. Which CAN be good. I’m finally going for my dreams and taking risks… Like moving to Texas! I did the research into different places to move, looked into how I could make it happen, turned the thought into action and before I knew it, I was unpacking my stuff 1400 miles from my former home. I see the world as endless opportunities and I want to take every opportunity to grow and learn. That’s a skill I’ve cultivated through pushing myself out of my comfort zone over the years… but it’s getting to the point where I’m thriving with starting new things, or rejuvenating old things, but when it comes to maintaining things I’m falling short. You may have heard me mention my greatest weakness: having a hard time knowing what to focus on because I’m passionate about so many things!
Well here I am, when my mind has started to wander from my Etsy shop… I see that pattern, of going where the wind blows – where the passion is, but not necessarily seeing it through because I see another project I could do the same thing with. I can just see it now- the writing process the editing, the cover art, the marketing… I can see a book going from start to finish… and I feel like a kid in a candy store. I CAN ALMOST TASTE IT! But I know as great as that dream is – truly wonderful, to share a story like I do on this blog. If I lose sight of my Etsy shop dream; because it’s not at a place where it can stand on its own two feet, it’ll collapse! It’ll collapse and I’ll wish I had waited. Knowing me, there will be another dream – perhaps the same dream that’s distracting me now (writing a book) that will be there for me when my Etsy shop can stand on it’s own. For now though, that needs to be my #1 focus. So I’ve chosen to commit to my Etsy shop and blog for the next 3 months. I’m looking for a waitress/bartender job to do so that I have a steady income again. And we’ll see where my shop is come New Years, and what I should focus on then. For now though, I haven’t fully focused on that, and I need to respect each dream enough to give it the attention it deserves.
I need to savor the proverbial candy in my hand before I reach for another. Or I’ll be left with a bunch of half finished candies and a tummy ache ‘to boot! I LOVE this blog, and sharing my story with ya’ll (yes Texas is getting to me, and saying ya’ll makes more sense than ‘you guys’!) and I’m so excited about what I’ve done so far with my Etsy shop, and I’m excited to build it further, and I can be excited to work on the nitty gritty maintenance things like marketing if I keep my goal in my mind. I’m excited to make this dream something real, to stick with it, enjoy it, build it, and if it fails, I don’t want it to be for lack of effort on my part.
I guess sometimes God does say ‘wait’, and ‘stay where you are’. It makes me laugh to think about it…! Considering the post I wrote last year called Waiting on God, thee Ultimate Excuse. The premise of that blog post, that you should be looking for and taking opportunities, and God helps those who help themselves – that still rings true for me. But as I mentioned in that post, there are sometimes things that build upon each other, seasons of time where you have to wait. That’s what this is for me… and It’s a bitter pill for me to swallow, because I don’t want to think of myself as a lazy person who’s not gonna take a great opportunity. Fact is, I just don’t have enough bandwidth, and the skills I need to learn and develop for my Etsy shop deserve more attention than what I’ve given it thus far. I’m learning to give myself grace, and say it’s okay to put off something. Because giving 5 projects each 20% of my attention doesn’t equal 100% in anything.
So this spontaneous person is grounding herself, if only for 3 months, It does mean getting a not so fancy job like waitressing or bartending to pay the bills, but I’ll be respecting my dreams. I won’t be going wherever the wind blows, I’ll be focusing on the projects I’ve already started, and trusting that when the time is right, the passion and opportunity for the next big thing will be there, and then you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll take it.