Changing Plans

So a few weeks ago, I was plotting Sara. That’s right. Plotting and planning. Making moves and decisions left and right, such as:

No, to custom work; yes, to creating items that could be sold either wholesale or individually;
No, to signing up to my CSA;yes to saving to eat on my adventure;
No, to buying things; yes, to reusing/mending items unless absolutely necessary to save for my adventure;
No, to signing a new rent agreement; yes, to looking for a home-share situation in my new place of residence.

But then, something BIG happened. Something so big, it killed several thousand people, changed the landscape and coast line of a country and shook it, literally (it still is). And so those plans got shot down. And not because I’m afraid, although I am a bit concerned, but more because my Mom said so. Well, she didn’t say no, exactly. She said she’s glad I’m not in Japan right now and that maybe I should put it off. Then I went to visit my aunt’s family and my pseudo-grandmother (my aunt’s (by marriage) mother) gave me a whole lecture in Spanish about waiting to go to Japan. Then, of course, news came out about the radiation having leaked to the farms near the plant and the traces of radiation in the food and I decided that maybe it’s for the best to just put this dream/goal of mine on delay.

When I managed to realize that I had decided not to go to Japan, I awoke to disappointment (I know quite a range of thought and emotion in a two-week time) and needed to mourn the decision. I have been talking about this for months now. Several months. I had friends in on it and then BAM. No can do.

In that, I’ve also realized that sometimes things just happen. I can not control the planet, nor do I want to. The earthquake happened and there’s a reason, even if unknown to us. And so it left me trying to map out a Plan B. When you’re so sure about a decision and then it’s not so clear anymore, confusion ensues and can become terrifying almost distracting. Not good. In that phase, I decided to figure out what I can do and not dwell on what I can’t do. Here’s what I can do:

I can take the adhesives and calligraphy classes at the NY Center for Book Arts;
I can take letterpress classes, as well;
I can run the 2011 NYC marathon;
I can save more money for when I do make the trip of my dreams come true next year;
I can look into an internship at the Hatch Show Print Shop in Nashville;
I can rent some studio space in BK;
I can take more custom orders;
I can design more;
I can sell Christmas Cards this year!;
I can FINALLY get my line together;
I can like my full-time a bit more;
I can take some more design classes at NYU and get another certificate in design;
I can start and continue taking Japanese language lessons;
I can sell at markets and tabling events with my Etsy Team, “The {NewNew}”;
I can possibly go to Jamaica;
I can possibly go to Puerto Rico with my cousin;
I can (and will) go to LA and Cincinnati to visit friends;
I can still work at Root Hill;
I can have an amazing Summer here in NYC;
I can have more time with Alice;
I can save more money;
I can photograph Mooney some more;
I can hang out with Stephen and Mooney;
I can have more time in my apartment with my cool roommate;
I can develop more of who I want to be when this very big and very real adventure takes off.

As I thought more about it, I was reminded of the first time that I quit my very first job out of college. I was a receptionist at a great office. They had been awesome to me and I loved every one there, but I wanted to make more money and I wanted more experience than just being a receptionist. I had one really good interview and was going to accept the job when my boss counter-offered me with a new position and the same salary amount. I remember mulling over the opportunity today, as clearly as it was nine years ago, and what scared me was change and the fact that I might lose touch with all the amazing people I worked with at that job.

That my friends, was what kept me at that job and why I don’t regret the decision to stay there for another two years. When I look at my resume now, I can say that I helped launch a complete branding campaign for that company. Not many newly graduated employees can say that they did that. I’m extremely proud of that period of work and time. More importantly, I’m pleased at the extra time I had with my co-workers. Some whom I still talk to now, nine years down the road. When I left that job, I was ready and confident.

So that’s just that. I’ve decided to literally roll with the punches, while still making the best of the time and opportunity I’ve been granted. I realize and accept that I am disappointed, but I also realize that I want to go to Japan without a heavy heart. I want to go and truly love the experience rather than worry about nuclear contamination. I also want Japan to heal. I know that the person I am would not be okay arriving in Japan in July and saying, “where’s the paper?”

Everything happens for a reason, timing is everything, and sometimes you just have to take what you’re given and do something completely different. I know, I just used two overused clichés, but I think that I could have gone one of three routes here: 1. still go to Japan, 2. let this defeat me, or 3: find the best alternative while not losing any footing. I’ve gone with the third. Not from fear, but from an acceptance that while I am the captain of the Sara ship, I am also just a blip on the cycle of life, or in other words, sometimes you just have to accept things and keep on moving, even when they’re not in the direction you wanted.

Here’s to acceptance!

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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