Saturday, August 7, 2010

we went to the beach yesterday and sat on a sandbar and bobbed around in warm salt water

If things go wrong,
don't go with them

Roger Babson

I've been struggling. but I guess you know that. Have you seen the movie Up in the Air?

The cowboy keeps reminding me of that movie and that of course it makes sense that I'm feeling sad and depressed because so much of who I believe I am, so much of why I like myself is tied to what I do for a living. And my success at that career. It's like that for most people. Over the 20 plus years that I've been a designer it's the one area of my life where I almost always feel confident. It feeds me in a way I don't know how to feed myself. Now just because I haven't had a paying job in a couple of months doesn't mean that those credentials, those talents and abilities or all those years of experience have disappeared. I know that in my logical brain (which by the way is microscopic) yet there's a place in my heart, in my soul, my emotional self that's been whispering to me - failure.

I'm in a dry spell. In the precarious at best life of the freelance anything it's like that. La feast or famine. Dry spells come and they go. Good times come, sometimes they stay awhile and then they go again. The design director of the company that I've been working with for nearly 9 years,
my main gig, retired in April. I was her go to freelance designer gal, she and I had developed a strong and symbiotic relationship. It's up to me now to find and build new relationships with new people. I'm casting my net far and wide. It's all I think about.

It was nice to go the beach for a bit yesterday afternoon. We came home and made sushi -
tuna rolls with fresh yellowfin from the fish truck that parks every Friday in the convenience store parking lot and California rolls, we had cranberry-grape popsicles for dessert and later we watched the first Sex and the City movie (me for the 3rd time, he for the 1st).

worry ducks when purpose flies overhead

C. Astrid Webe


  1. For what it's worth, I think you do very lovely work. I'm sure something will come along very soon.

  2. Have not left a comment here before, but I've been 'lurking' (via Rachel) - sorry!

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT FAILURE ON YOUR PART. This is about the economy, about everyone cutting back, in their homes, in their offices, in what is commissioned. Everybody, all the way up the chain, is watching the bottom line, and from what I read this is as true in the US and Canada as it is here in the UK.

    I worked with long-term unemployed people for many years, and with new business trying to break into the market-place. I know how hard it is. You have been unlucky in having someone leave their post and it rebounding on you, but it is nothing to do with your gift.

    A few days ago you posted about submitting your work to as many places as possible. This is exactly the right thing to do. Keep sending, again and again. It will pay off, and meantime, you are being thought about in a little spot in West Wales, UK.

  3. Thank you Linda for your kind and supportive words. I realize that some of it "is" actually beyond my control but there are always things in hindsight you wished you'd done. I wish I'd had many more secure eggs in my basket of customers, my portfolio blog is long overdue, and I've been living beyond my means for too many years here in this old brick house by the sea - my haven and sanctuary, one that I couldn't afford. Oh, my the list goes on and on ...

    Hindsight "is" 20/20 and milk that's spilled, "is spilled" I know that. Somewhere along the line in my life I learned to comfort myself with criticism, to try and push myself forward with insults and berating. This experience I'm in now is teaching me to try and undue that painful and counterproductive habit.

    I love that I have place here to voice my thought and feelings. I love hearing others opinions, comments, support and commiseration. So Thank you Linda and Mary D. I do have a remarkable drive (especially early in the morning). I don't give up easily and believe me those wheels are a churnin'. For today anyway, I'm Rockin' On.

    Don't know where I'd be without that darn cowboy. I shudder to think.

  4. Aw Susan - sorry it's feelin' rough right now. Your cowboy is right on as usual... sending love and light your way.

  5. People can't give up on spending money or commissioning good work for ever, Susan - they'll be back, beating a path to your door, once they feel a bit more confident about the recession. Meantime, think of this so-called dry spell as time to rest, refresh, regroup, remember all the other lovely things you can do with your time. Sitting on the beach is a good start!

  6. Hang in there Susan, things will turn around again. Believe me, no one can go too long without your art!! :)

    Miss you and love you tons. xo

  7. Oh my! I am playing catch up with you tonight....have been out of commission for a little while. Susan! You are so talented and do such amazing work! You will be rediscovered any minute by someone who will wind up looking like a genius because they found you again! Take heart! And we are all keeping you in our prayers! Much love!!!

  8. Goodness, I can certainly relate. Can one reasonably still be considered an interior designer when one hasn't worked in ages? That's been my question for a couple of years now. All my favourite resources have closed their doors, workrooms have disappeared. I am well on the road to reinvention, but with no little amount of trepidation. No, I don't consider it failure for either you or me, just a turn in the road we're on. And who can say just how fabulous we'll be on down that windy road??


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