tiny little actions
career changes are terrifying
I made a career change in my twenties. I know a lot of people who want to navigate a similar shift, but I’m the first to admit: making a career change feels really scary. It’s hard admitting that something you put so much - time, energy, resources, care - into is no longer what you want. I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for so many people cheering me on, accepting me for who I am, encouraging me to follow my faint feelings of wanting something different, even when I didn’t quite know what that something different was.
I still have big dreams. Right now, they feel huge and scary and I have absolutely no clue how, or if, I am ever going to make them happen (I talk a little about them in this week’s Personal Peace Toolkit, below). And then, I think back to the dreams I had years ago. They didn’t look exactly like how I’m living my life right now, but pretty close. Once, they felt huge and confusing and scary, and now they just feel like a normal weekday. In many ways, my normal weekday looks even more incredible than I could have ever dreamt up for my future self.
Sometimes, I’ll take a moment from whatever I’m doing to look around and I’ll wonder how I ever got here. Right this moment, on a Friday morning, I look around: I’m writing in my cozy chair while my dog naps in a sunny spot on my living room couch in Brooklyn and later today I’ll go pick up my sewing machine from Hector in Sunset Park, who is fixing it so I can take a quilting class next month. I’ll stroll around Greenwood Cemetery with a dear friend for a moment of calm before diving head first into holiday markets, where I’ll sell work I made with my own hands and people will gift it for the holidays and humans I don’t even know will drink their coffee out of my mugs and arrange flowers they bought to cheer up their week in vases I pinched out of clay. Twenty-year-old me would think this is incredible, impossible! How did you make this life happen, she would ask. And then, when my holiday sales aren’t where I want them to be, and only one person shows up to an event I planned, and I never hear back from someone I really wanted to work with and, and, and … I’m going to think of my twenty-year-old self and then I’m going to go back to my list of things I need to do and I’m going to keep on doing them, little by little.
My career shift took so many people and resources and privilege, so much trust and patience and leaning into confusion and frustration (and many, many tears). But there’s no way it would’ve happened without little tiny actions followed by more little tiny actions. Biking to my studio every day, even when no one forces me to. Sitting to write my newsletter every week, even when all I want to do was take Coop for a walk in the sun. Writing my morning pages to start each day, and forgiving myself when I don’t. Spending afternoons organizing finances, even though they intimidate me. Applying to markets where I have to put my artwork in front of strangers and talk to them about it and ask them to buy it (terrifying!!). I have spent years thinking about all these things that I should be doing. I have come up with hundreds of excuses to not do these things. But finally, I got myself out of my apartment and I made them happen, tiny action after tiny action.
Little steps are controllable and safe and manageable. The trick is, you have to actually do them.
May we all write lists of things we can do today, this week, this month.
May we all check off all the things and the things that follow and on and on.
It’s December! The holidays in the city feel warm, even though it’s chilly outside. I love peeking into foggy restaurant windows seeing friends gathered, elbow to elbow, their faces glowy in the twinkle lights. And the holiday markets! I’m so grateful to share my work at so many this year, I hope to see a few of you!
The first website I made to share my work was not very cute and very clunky. I imagine one day I will look back on my current website and think the same. But today, I feel proud of the digital space I’ve built and the things I sell on it, that I made with my own hands. You can see it, and all the things, here!
And my messy studio photo this week is a sweet little mug that will shrink even more in it’s next firing. Perfect for little cups of espresso to keep us doing all the things on our lists in the new year ;)
The personal peace toolkit is your own catalog of accessible mindfulness to fold into your life in 30 seconds, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes, bringing a little more thoughtful calm to your days.
This week I share my biggest career dream that feels scary to write and I’ve only voiced to my closest family. Plus, we explore supporting loved ones (writing this out brought me to tears) and the tension we hold in our bodies.
If you’re not already a paid subscriber, I hope you consider joining and building some peace and reflection into your life with me <3
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