Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents dragged you to every extracurricular activity they could manage to fit into their busy day? Some of us got dancing lessons or some kind of sport. So many times over as impatient kids we would fail to follow through or stick to the task. You remember arguing over going to a class right? I know I sometimes did. There are those rare children that found a way to stick it out and apply the lesson through childhood to adulthood career, but they are far and few between.
I was no different. I was involved in a lot of arts, classes and activities inside or outside of school. I was a bit fickle with some of the items but others just started to stick. I found that my artsy fartsy side was winning as time went on. Of course, my parents noticed this too and contributed to that journey of artistic expression in one form or another.
Of course, life takes us on a roller coaster ride. Sometimes we think we know where we’re going and end up somewhere else completely. For a while, I spent my time away from home, in a life that was filled with difficulty and a lackluster of passion. For nearly ten years I floated through life, making money and doing little with the art or skill I had. I have done well the past few years since my decision to move on, settle down and begin a life where I allowed myself enjoyment to dive back into a lot of my old hobbies. I picked up my sketchbook again, started to write again and even opened myself up to socialize with other artists.
One of the hobbies that took me a lot longer to find the passion to take back up was my love of creating jewelry. I had, in my past, taken silversmith classes and was introduced to the art of beading by my mother’s insistence that we take a class at a local store. My interest went so far as to work for a bead shop as their teacher and night manager.
Over the years I began to acquire a pile of stones, crystal and beads that I thought that one day would create magnificent pieces that everyone would want to wear. Unfortunately, they ended up sitting in boxes gathering dust. Even when my life was beginning to blossom again, I still looked at those boxes with apprehension. The gnawing pit of fear in my stomach that someone would come out and scream the words that had been beaten into my mind by others no longer in my life. It was a waste of time and money. I was a common wife with no talent. Those words and others grated at me subconsiously. In my heart, I must have kept a flame burning as I never did throw away those boxes of supplies. I simply carried them with me, hoping that one day something would push me out of this self-deprecating cycle of doubt.
It was when the request from my sister in law came that I began to rethink my devotion to the hobby I had left behind. Her daughter had just been born, (the cutest niece in the world dang it!) and she wanted to have a baby bracelet made for my niece to wear at her baby blessing in September. The problem she kept running into is that every bracelet she found was either too gaudy, too childish or just not her style. She then recalled that I had a pretty good grasp on how to make jewelry in the past and reached out to me.
I am not going to lie and say that I was thrilled by the request. To be honest it scared me stiff. I had spent years simply stewing in my own muck of self-hate so much so that I was nearly tempted to say no. But how do I deny my sister in law and my cute little niece something like this? It was just the push I needed. I was put in a position where I felt as if no was not an option. Not by any demand of others, but by my love and care for the family I had returned to. How could I not make her a cute bracelet for the blessing? So we sat down, talked about design, sorted out how she wanted it to look and I got it done in time for the blessing. It took some time, but as you can see from below, I pulled it off!
After the effort I had put into finding what she wanted, digging up my old supply and tools I began to fall into this whirlwind of creation. I cranked out a few necklaces, a couple bracelets. Went through and organized my inventory. Started to take note of the current trends and just overall begin to fall in love with jewelry making again.
While that fear is not completely gone, I am finding myself more and more confident. Confident enough that this weekend I took the dive and decided to set up a small display of my items next to my father’s booth at a local convention. While I did not make a lot of money, I was still happy to interact with people who couldn’t help but stop and compliment the beautiful pieces I had taken time to make and bring with me.
I intend to continue on with my creations, making what I believe is beautiful and offering it to others to buy. Who knows, maybe I found another great passion alongside my writing that will fill my days with joy and make someone else happy when they wear the one of a kind piece I put my blood sweat and tears into.
I guess sometimes you need a kick in the pants. But from me to you, take a moment and look back at all of the things you once tried and perhaps give them another go. Who knows, you might find yourself a new hobby or career.