Today is my birthday, and I'm feeling reflective. Turning 30 last year rocked my world, as I looked back at my 20s and realized how perfect and beautiful and hard and unknown it all was. This year, I'm ready to share a bit of that reflection with you, to encourage you that really, you never know.
You don't know what hobby you pick up today that will change your life in 2 or 5 or 10 years. You don't know what move you'll later write a book about. You don't know what the first step will be, so you just take the next step in front of you.
Here are some of my own steps:
Last year I shared my secret of success.
Two years ago, I explained why I was giving it all away and opened the Starship. The following year I got a book deal, wrote my book, and gave my first live speech. It was a sparkly year, full of firsts + traveling + feeling like a rock star.
Three years ago, I welcomed you to this site. The following year I moved from individual classes to building a community for makers, and got my first “big” client. My house was broken into (multiple times) and we moved suddenly into a 10×10 room, with all our stuff in storage, for 3 months. It was a rough year, but by my birthday I was feeling brave.
Four years ago, I was at the beach, about to quit my dayjob. That year I became self-employed, and opened a yarn shop (and quickly closed it, when I recognized that I wasn't having fun). It was a year of boldly following my enthusiasm through fear.
Five years ago, I was working full-time in an office, making yarn at nights and weekends, growing my business.
Six years ago, I was teaching and dyeing custom colors for a local yarn store.
Seven years ago, I was managing a paint-your-own-pottery studio, beginning to dye yarn, but hadn't even dreamed of starting a yarn company.
In this last year, I've gotten (mostly) over my fear of public speaking and have given more in-person workshops. I've celebrated my first book royalties + held a read-along. I focused on connection. I visited the redwoods, the Oregon Coast, a Dalek, and the sunrise over the Atlantic (just last week!).
I discovered Dr. Who. I collected Starship-stories and doubled enrollment. I experimented. I said goodbye to a grandpa. I celebrated commitment. I finished two quilts, printed pictures, and explored my enthusiasm. I (finally!) invested in my website. I trained for (and ran!) a 5k (I lost 15 lbs). I hugged baby sheep. I got honest about the awsesome. I just (this week) started painting.
I also cried, freaked out, and got a big IRS bill (all unphotographed). I ate great meals, and I burnt or mis-spiced at least 20 dinners. I got overwhelmed + took Introvert Recovery Days. I lost my temper + apologized. I shipped orders late. I gave up without trying hard enough. I completely lost it at the doctor's office. I didn't call my family enough. I let myself compare my work (and my family) too often.
As I look over this list (and the collection of photographic evidence of it all), I am overwhelmingly…grateful.
To you, my readers and fellow explorers, supporters + encouragers, question-askers + email-buddies. Also to my publisher, co-teachers, students, and book-buyers. And of course my sweet family + far-off friends. And…and I'm grateful for the my own courage and daring, for going on these adventures, for facing my fears, for connecting, for reading, for taking the time, for taking the photos, for forgiving myself and others.
Thank you for being here, for reading, commenting, buying.
Thank you for sharing your own adventures on your blogs, social media and Instagram. Thank you for writing and photographing and boldly going.
Thank you for your bravery, and for witnessing mine.