Patience, My Darling
Sometimes, you just need a sign.
Today my sign was very conveniently located right outside a coffee shop and I connected with it on a very deep level. Who would have thought?
The months between when I quit my dream job and this moment have been a game of Ping-Pong between I AM UNSTOPPABLE and WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE. (Have you read the Active Joy origin story? It provides some background if you’re thinking I’m nuts. Spoiler: it probably confirms that.)
I got my landing page up for Active Joy and shared it with my network, to which I received much positivity from friends and family. YES I AM UNSTOPPABLE!
Followed by long periods of social media silence, because: do I have anything good to say? I’m not ready for this yet. What if I say the wrong things? WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE.
I found a brilliant pattern maker and my first samples look so beautiful, I could cry! I am getting great feedback! YES I AM UNSTOPPABLE!
But, I have no fabric. You know Murphy’s Law? Well, Murphy must be my soul mate considering how the sourcing process is going. WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE.
To give you some context about how long this has gone on, today is the day that I thought my pre-sales campaign would be wrapping up; January 1st - February 1st. You know…just in time for the natural fresh start that the New Year provides and perfect for finishing production just in time for Easter, my 30th birthday, and the start of spring. In this other version of my life, I would be drinking champagne with my friends, congratulating myself on my perfect timing.
Best laid plans, right?
Well, I think you already realize that I didn’t achieve that. It’s a crazy thing to realize how much of my sense of self is tied up in my professional success. It’s not a conscious thing, but it’s very natural for what we do for a living to be closely tied to our identity. I’m not necessarily talking about monetary success, but a sense of purpose or just the simple ability to answer the question ‘what do you do?’ with confidence.
With my old company I seamlessly changed teams regularly, getting promoted through the ranks at a normal pace. Every season was neatly tied up with a bow of lessons learned documents and sales reports. But now, no one is telling me what to do, or where to be at 9am. There’s no immediate back up plan when things go wrong, and it’s actually really hard to create my own life and my own rules from scratch.
I begin to doubt my ability. I think back and wonder- all the encouraging things that my friends said, were they just saying it to be nice? They seem so sure that I’m going to make it. They are so excited for me. But I am not as sure of my success. How will I identify myself if I fail at it? What will I do next?
When I take some time to reflect, and try to cast the feelings of self doubt aside, it is clear that I should keep at it. The delays that I am facing are mostly to do with sticking to my mission of creating value based on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. If the sustainable fabric isn’t available right away, that’s okay I’ll wait for it. If a partner isn’t quite right, that’s okay I’ll keep looking. Quality takes time and I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that this process is going to be a slow burn.
And it’s all worth it, because I left one dream to chase another bigger dream. I may be running on 60% coffee, 20% dry shampoo, and 20% hope, but damn it, I got this.
So I’m still having a celebration today.
I just have to keep telling myself, ‘Patience, my darling. It will work out in the end.’