I Didn’t Know I Could Do It Until I Did It

People often drag out the time honoured homily that if you leap a net will appear.

My experience is that I leap, splash into the very deepest end of the pool, flail around until I finally figure out how not to drown, or eventually grab onto the edge and haul my sorry ass out of whatever mess I’ve gotten myself into.

At my age (officially a ‘senior’) I have lived precariously in terms of finances. As a ‘starving artist’ I have tried pretty much everything. I have designed my own products and manufactured them for sale. I have ‘ghost’ woven other designer’s textiles. I have taught, written, imported yarn and dyed it for sale.

I didn’t know I could do any of that until I did it.

Some of those things worked better than others. Some of them simply became too difficult for the time and effort required. Some of them I still do, partly because of the money, partly because the weaving community is, well, a community. I have grown fond of many individuals that I have come to know because I have been a part of it.

While many people may not understand my love of textiles, certainly have no clue about how hard it is to earn an income, are puzzled about my lifestyle (I am writing this at SeaTac, waiting for a flight) I have done things I had no way I could anticipate, growing up in a small, largely blue collar town, 500 miles from anywhere.

I had no way of knowing that I could achieve some kind of reputation, travel all over North America, meet fascinating people, see amazing textiles…until I did it.

Yes, I have ‘failed’. Yes, I have hauled my sorry ass out of the pool at times. Yes, I have tried something else, once again not knowing if I could do it. Until I did it.

Success takes many forms. Mine has little to do with how much money I have in the bank and a lot more to do with how much I have grown, personally and professionally, how many friends I have made in my community. And I didn’t know I could do any of it until I took that leap and flailed around until it worked.