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The Life Pursuit

November 23, 2011

When I first started this blog, I was determined that it would be solely devoted to my sewing pursuits. Nothing too personal. The craft of making. I announced my blog to friends and family, then immediately stumbled. I wasn’t producing much, and with my personal no-personal-posting rule, there wasn’t much to say. Well, I’ve opened up a bit. Been sewing more. And while this blog is still primarily a tale of triumphs and defeats at my sewing machine, it’s also written by me. A person. So, we’re about to get personal for a moment here. If you’d rather not read this post, stop now. I understand if readers only want to see projects, and I’ll never be the wiser if you click away. For the curious, here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Loss informed my life from a very young age onward. Although I don’t know the person I’d be without it, looking back I could say that it led to a sense of spontaneity. Of adventure. A why-not-life-is-short mentality. Maybe a bit of a wild streak. Eager, yes. Career-focused, no. In fact, I switched majors half way through college, from the slightly more practical photojournalism path to fine art photography. And then I left the country for a year. Because, why not. And then the student loans set in, the price tag of the American education system a topic I’d rather not get into. I don’t regret my art degree one bit, and am loath to call it useless. I use it every day, from the way I view the world to the deep relationships I have with my friends. Furthermore, I was fine working a day job in order to pay for my “silver habit”, as certain professors used to muse. (Would they call it a pixel habit these days? And presently, a fabric habit?) Note the past tense. Was fine.

Last year, Christmas morning, my family was hit hard with loss again. My siblings’ dad, and father figure to me, passed away from a brief, surprise battle with cancer. My daddy is living in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Life is short. I’ve paid off my debt and it’s time to focus again on what is important in my life. Today was my last day at my office. I’ll miss my coworkers. We’re a motley family of sorts, and it was a really fun group to be around. The work, not one bit. To say I haven’t learned anything there would be a lie, and I’m certain many of the daily responsibilities I had will be very useful in the future.

There are still bills to pay, of course. And loafing around the house in a flimsy gown, powder puff heels, stuffing bon-bons in my face isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. Wait a minute…

I know it won’t be easy. I’m not deluded by the false promise of the American Dream. Most people in the world work jobs they aren’t passionate about, and I don’t think I’m some grand exception. My posts have been disjointed of late, the projects started and put aside. Obviously I’ve had a lot on my mind as I’ve been coming to terms with my own decision, training my replacement, eyeing the unused Ott lamp at work, thinking how fabulous of a parting gift it would make. I should start writing passive aggressive notes to hang in the bathroom, so the apartment truly does feel like a work zone.

And listen to a favorite RadioLab episode a few more times. I especially love the You v. You section of that episode. I also made a little quitting mixtape, to pump myself up. A bit tongue in cheek, but I couldn’t resist. (You can see the tracks below if you’re not a Spotify member)

To borrow from Townes, here’s to shaking the dust off and hoping I don’t dig too many holes.

My coworker's wife & friend baked me a cake based on this Dia de los Muertos embroidery I made her last year. Sublime Stitching pattern, of course.

A fine example of our graphics department. I can feel the love. Good thing this butterball has a sense of humor ;)

  • Smog – Hit The Ground Running
  • Merle Haggard – Big City
  • Modest Mouse – Interstate 8
  • Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
  • Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job And Shove It
  • The Replacements – Unsatisfied
  • Andrew Bird – Plasticities
  • Queen – I Want To Break Free
  • Nada Surf – Whose Authority
  • Thin Lizzy – Do Anything You Want To
  • David Bowie – Changes
  • Queen – I Want It All
  • Yo La Tengo – Blue Line Swinger
  • Townes Van Zandt – To Live Is To Fly
15 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2011 5:01 pm

    I’ll make this short: Good for you! Life is too short too spend all your time at an office job you don’t enjoy. When one door closes, others always open.

  2. November 23, 2011 5:29 pm

    Just wanted to say good luck with whatever you do next – you definitely don’t need to be stuck in a soul-crushing job at the moment. Now I’m off to listen to your mixtape, I can already see some old favourites on there!

  3. November 23, 2011 6:35 pm

    Go for it Lavender, I wish you all the best & happiness in your new endeavours :-)

  4. November 23, 2011 10:36 pm

    Good for you! The only way I’ve gotten through stressful or hard times is to make a change, even when it’s a small change like rearranging the apartment it has helped me.

  5. November 23, 2011 11:52 pm

    It will be okay…jump with arms and eyes wide open.

  6. November 24, 2011 12:06 am

    A have a few things to tell you. You are such a beautiful, intelligent young woman and you have a path.. that you are trailblazing.. Good For You!!! I really believe that your sewing life is formed from your personal trials. Obviously when things aren’t going so well in my life it is very hard to find the creative juice to feel inspired… letting a job go that is pulling you down is surely going to help you creatively! I am so sorry to hear about all your loss and also about your dad. That has to be soooo hard. I hope you and your have a wonderful Thanksgiving… sorry if I am rambling,,,, I had a biopsy today and I am a little drugged up-
    looking forward to your next post- whether it is personal or creative or both!!!

  7. November 24, 2011 2:43 am

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us, Lavender. I find it refreshing to learn a bit about the people who’s blogs I read. I’m probably not as good about it myself as I’d like to be, but I’m baby stepping in that direction. Thanks for being an inspiration, and good luck to you. You have a lot of support! Reach for the stars, and be willing to put in the work to yank yourself up to meet them!

  8. November 24, 2011 2:50 am

    Sounds like you are really at a crossroads and I know it’s going to be great! Good on you for making changes and best of luck in your next endeavors!!! We are all rooting for you! xoxoxo

  9. November 24, 2011 5:18 pm

    Thanks for giving us a little glimpse into your life. :) Good luck with your new path! Keep your chin up and have fun all the way!

  10. Sheila D. permalink
    November 25, 2011 1:58 pm

    Oh, my goodness!!!!

    Does this mean you’re free for babysitting? XD

  11. November 25, 2011 5:12 pm

    Life is short to be dreary. As much as no job is perfect, I think we spend too much of our life working to do something that isn’t at some level satisfying. Satisfaction is unique to the individual, I am not motivated by climbing a corporate ladder either, promotions don’t equate to satisfaction to me. I do hope you find it in this next big step.

    And I am sorry to hear about your father. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. It is such a hard disease for the individual, but I think in a lot of ways it is harder on the family once they get past the point of knowing what they don’t know.

    Good luck (and awesome play list!).

  12. November 27, 2011 11:29 am

    I loved this post. go forth and conquer, lavender.

  13. November 29, 2011 3:46 pm

    I must admit that I expect to see you pretty much every Wednesday. Early, even.

  14. December 1, 2011 2:14 pm

    I love that you’re taking the plunge from a job you don’t love into…wherever your passion, true passion, is going to take you! I made a similar decision about a year and half ago, and it was the best thing I ever did for myself (besides marrying a really awesome man:)). I look forward to reading about your next steps:) And the hankie and cake are awesome!

  15. Jennifer Marsh-Crowe permalink
    December 1, 2011 7:50 pm

    Good for you Lavender – I am so proud of you! I have made changes in the past based on the “life-is-short” moto too. You are so intelligent and talented that wherever this change leads you, you will be a great success! I love you and will keep you in my prayers while you travel this journey.

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