stuff that bugs me (+ stuff that doesn't)
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Making Things Happen: Before

Well, it’s 6:30 am, and I’ve given up on sleep. I’m sure I got a couple of hours of sleep over the course of the night, but it’s obvious to me that I’m so nervous there’s no way I’m falling asleep again before my alarm goes off. My mind is racing, I’ve got a splitting headache, my stomach hurts a little. JR has been telling me for days now that it’s no big deal, nothing to be nervous about – I’m going to go, and learn some tips for success, and it’ll be great. I’ve tried to explain that MTH is so much more, that it’s life-changing. From the blog posts I’ve read and videos I’ve watched from past participants, that I’m going to be different by 6pm today. But I fumble for the words, and I can’t explain what I’m expecting. It’s not often that I’m without words, you know.

I ran into that with the pre-workshop questionnaire, too. 1-2 sentences about what I want to make happen? Dur… My mind panics. Was this a bad idea? I can’t even decide if I’m crafting wedding heirlooms or screenprinting t-shirts. And what about my pottery? How does that fit in? And writing? I don’t want to face all the things I keep in the “Things I’m Going To Be When I Grow Up” part of my brain, because what if I put them into words and I FAIL? My brain tells me that it’s better not to know. If you don’t tell people you want to write a novel, then no one, especially me, knows I’m a failure when I can’t do it. Argh, it hurts my soul just to type that. I feel like my problem is thinking (egotistically?) that I could be great at too many things, and that the possibilities are better than finding out the reality. I mean, how realistic is it to think that I could be a successful blogger and novelist who screenprints t-shirts and totes and tea towels of my own design while hand-crafting fascinators and ring pillows, and oh yeah I’m also a prolific potter and photographer and interior designer and party planner and user experience designer. These are mostly *my hobbies* – how on earth do they roll into one cohesive ME? Especially with my crippling shyness and chronic procrastination tendencies? It’s all enough to give me a huge headache, which is probably why I’m great at avoiding thinking about it altogether.

This past weekend we traveled to Marfa, Texas. There’s a whole blog post on that which I will write soon, and the photos – oh, the photos! I’m pretty proud of all the details I captured with my camera. I can’t wait to go back. The photo which accompanies this post is from that trip, and it sums up how I’m feeling right now: like a million different little balloons which could all go in a million different directions, anchored by the thinnest of strings. Yeah, that’s pretty much me right now.

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7 comments

1 John Forsythe { 11.09.10 at 3:25 pm }

Will you take public votes on what you should do next!?

2 John Forsythe { 11.09.10 at 3:42 pm }

Pick the RED BALLOON! Well, as someone who has been living around all of your artistic creations for the last few years, here is my pick of what I would love MORE of (in ranked order).

1. More pottery (and photos and blogs on your pottery! leading to…)
2. More witty writing and creative posts
3. More crafty things (one-offs and kitschy shit preferred). Make a thing, and sell that one thing (and then destroy the screen!). One-off items are sometimes more sought after (and [hint-hint] more pricey).

3 Ashley { 11.09.10 at 11:10 pm }

I love that you read my blog and make the time to comment, love! Thank you. I’m 100% behind all your requests. I’ll get on all those things right away.

4 Emily { 11.10.10 at 3:01 pm }

I’m TOTALLY behind numbers 2 and 3 above….and will probably be behind #1 once I see your pottery! You are one of the wittiest writers I know….and REALLY talented photographer. Pick a direction, ride the wave, ditch the board and find a new! :) You’ll be great at whatever you put your mind to!

5 jonstovall { 11.12.10 at 2:20 pm }

Hear, hear.

That picture is so kick-ass, I want to turn it into a painting. Permission?

6 Ashley { 11.15.10 at 12:04 pm }

Emily: Thanks for the support! As soon as I can get into a class & turn around some pieces I’ll start posting photos.

Stovall: Permission granted! I can’t wait to see the painting!

7 Kate { 11.28.10 at 2:57 pm }

Hi Ashley – I found your blog on a random google search. It is kind of serendipitous because I’ve been going through a lot of these things myself – your artistic struggle really resonated with me. I do think it’s important to follow your artistic passions, but it is hard when practicalities get in the way and it feels like you just have to choose. I wish you so much luck in figuring things out. And what is MTH? Sounds like something worthwhile, but I didn’t really understand from this post what it is. Maybe I should read further . . .

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