I Took Myself Out to Breakfast
I took myself out to breakfast this morning (whole wheat and peach scone, decaf Americano with a dash of cream).
This isn’t something I do - venture out by myself to dine on delicious treats when I’ve got a perfectly good breakfast ready and waiting at home. Usually I tell myself it’s not practical, it’s not worth the time or money or effort. Or whatever. But sometimes, it is absolutely critical to shake up the Known and the Safe.
I’ve been terribly, terribly stuck this week - even though I’ve had so many ideas filling my head, ready to spill over. It just seemed like the moment an idea was ready to come out, to set my hands flying, I would clam up. Lose my voice. Find myself holding back the flood even though doing so left me stumbling and lost, unsure of how to move forward.
On Thursday, in an attempt to jump-start my creativity, I cleaned the whole house. I threw open the windows and walked through every room slowly, trying to consciously release any and all negativity that might be lurking in the dusty corners in an effort to revitalize myself and break down some of the dams my mind was hastily and clumsily constructing. And for the rest of the day, it seemed to be working. I was able to sit still, to paint and sing along with music in the studio.
But then, by nightfall, I was back in the swamp.
I like to play it all off like these stretches aren’t a big deal. I pick through past photos to share on Instagram or focus my energies on projects that are already in progress, latching onto anything bright or shiny that’s happened throughout the day to keep myself moving. I walk around telling myself that if I can keep anyone from knowing I’m blue then I’ll cease to be so. But it’s a slog.
Thankfully, on Friday, I received what I call a “Gift from the Universe” - one of those lovely and amazing coincidences that arrives just when I need it most. The gift? An email from my mom containing a link to a podcast featuring Brené Brown.
Listening to that podcast led to me watching her new special on Netflix which led me to listing to her TED talks on Youtube. I read one of her books last year, but honestly, in that moment, it didn’t fully resonate or take root. But now - this week - I heard her words (really HEARD them) and just kept thinking, yes, Yes, YES! I understand.
And as soon as I let them in, those words on vulnerability and courage and bravery, I let out the biggest sigh. It’s always funny - that moment I realize I’ve been holding my breath without even realizing. All this tension I’ve been feeling? That inability to move forward? I think it was all tied to some baggage that I needed to finally set down.
So I allowed myself to feel so very disappointed that my last restock was not wildly successful.
I let go of the sadness I’ve carried from the fact that I’ve had more returns in the past six months than in the previous two and half years - returns that were made not due to a lack of quality or craftsmanship, but because pieces didn’t fit or didn’t connect with the souls who claimed them. I reminded myself once again that it’s not worth it to me if the new owner is not in love.
I also sat with (and then made space for) the fear that, because of slow sales and returns, I won’t have the funds I need to buy supplies for the next restock and, moreover, that the next restock will also be slow, sinking me and this business in one fell swoop.
It’s so, so hard to voice these feelings. To air them in the light of day. Such a big part of me wants to keep holding it all in because despite any struggles I encounter, my life really is beautiful - and I have enough. By budgeting like crazy, we were able to take our honeymoon/anniversary trip to Hawaii and right now we’re getting to build my dream garden space. I am thankful for an uncountable number of things - so unbelievable lucky that sometimes I cannot believe it.
I don’t want to complain.
But I want this - oh I want this so badly! To be able to make work that connects with people and makes their hearts sing. To feel like I’m growing my business by leaps and bounds instead of just barely clawing my way forwards. I guess it’s hitting me that the more I hold onto the hurt, the more it will weigh me down. The more fiercely I try to protect myself from criticism or dissapointment, the harder it will be to someday realize these dreams.
So back to the teachings of Brené.
I’ve been so scared of losing this life of making, so scared of failure and of embarrassing myself that I’ve continued to keep myself from showing all that’s in my heart. I’ve said this before, I’ve KNOWN this before. But I really do want to change. And now feels like the moment because I finally have a new language with which to approach the corners of myself that want to dwell in darkness.
So today, at least for today, I choose bravery. I will find my courage, uncomfortable though it may be, and I will leap.
Which brings me back to this morning, when I got in the car and drove to my favorite bakery. Even though it costs more money than eating at home. Even though I’m trying to avoid sweet and sugary foods. Even though my introvert self said I needed a buddy to accompany me. Even though I had to really push myself to openly take self portraits in a public space.
I took myself out to breakfast.