Black, White, and Gray Mistakes

This post is going to take on quite a personal flair. It’s going to be as personal as say one of my old school posts from the days when I first started blogging. You may wonder why I’m sharing such personal information on my business blog, but well, I’ve learned that I am the type of person who has no line between personal and professional. I have always stayed true to my core in my dealings and whether you agree or disagree with me and my handling of experiences and life lessons, the obvious is that those decisions and actions directly impact our entire being and how we handle things in the future.

I have for the longest time been a black-or-white person. I don’t mean this in the race/Michael Jackson way, I mean it in the things are either one way or the other way.  This philosophy of mine has caused my therapist countless headaches, I’m sure. As much as I staunchly remain this way, she calmly tries to get me to acknowledge and appreciate the gray area of life.

Funnily enough, I learned my lesson last week with a situation that neither involved a therapy session, my 9-to-5 job, or my dad’s death. No, it involved a boy and my anger and rash reaction – my need for things to be one way or the other.

I’ll get back to emotional in a minute. I want to quickly mention how this lesson both hindered and provided opportunities for my business.  I’ve spent every minute since the moment I opened my mouth and voiced my feelings feeling sick.  I know, that’s personal, but not really. See feeling sick has made me appreciate the gray, or more correctly, the moment.  Friday night, instead of working, I went to spend time with my aunt and cousins and ended up being entertained by my cousins for a good three or four hours.  Saturday, I was a panelist in a workshop about using social media to communicate with members and farmers in a CSA for the Just Food Conference. While that most definitely was work on a volunteer basis and it meant that I was occupied, I was in fact, not really working. Then that evening, I went to my friend’s apartment and we watched movies, ate dinner, gossiped, talked about my feelings, and I did some knitting. When I got home, it was late and I went to bed. Another day, another dollar not made.  Although, I will say I made connections and talked to new people at the event and so that was worth the non-work.

And then yesterday came. Yesterday, Sunday, was quite a day. I couldn’t sleep past 6:30 am and so I woke up, did some reading, baked buttermilk biscuits from scratch, went back to sleep, woke up at noon, showered, worked on my taxes, did some more reading, worked on some business projects, did some more reading, created new listings for my Etsy shop, went outside and took photos to use in my new listings, did some more reading, ate, and then read some more. Busy, day no? Not the most crazy productive day either, but for the first time, I wallowed in the gray and because I found myself just letting the gray flow and lead me, I was productive. If I had not appreciated the gray, I might not have done anything at all;  instead I might have chosen to ignore it and burn out on trying to cover up my emotions by doing work.  I’ll never know, but what I do know is that yesterday proved to be both an incredible relaxing and motivating day and it was worth ever minute of emotional chaos and business development.

The communications woman was pondering how to communicate my feelings. I never quite figured it out as I sat on my bed reading about Emma Bovary, possibly one of the  worst female characters ever written about (Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert), but I did figure out that I have to follow my heart and listen to my heart and move as my heart wants me to. In other words, I need to take the courage that is in my heart and move forward. That’s it.

And that my friends is something, the golden nugget, to take into my business-always follow your heart, regardless of what friends and loved ones say, I see in examples of other successful or failed individuals, or even read.

I have always been adamant about sticking to my heart as I create and develop this business, but I haven’t always done that personally. As a matter of fact, I realized in my shady gray corner this weekend that I allowed myself to get caught up in my rigid mindset of this way or that (black or white); I allowed myself to get this mess and now, well, have to move forward, in a positive light, but that addresses my aching heart and gut feeling that keeps screaming, “THIS IS WRONG!!!”

Last Wednesday, before everything went to mush, I was already feeling angst. I tried to prepare myself for what I knew was going to happen, and I felt fairly confident with my decision, but then after it all happened on Thursday, I didn’t feel well. My hunger has been mixed since that day, my heart has these moments where it both hurts and then beats so fast, I don’t know how to stop it, I wake up from sleep more than I’d like, my mind can not stop thinking about it and how the other person may, or may not feel (I don’t know because he won’t respond), and lastly, my gut keeps screaming “THIS IS WRONG!”.

So what is a girl to do?

Some would say, leave it be, or, If he isn’t fighting for you than don’t fight back.

But as I learned, it is gray. It’s gray because the black side says, walk away, the white side says, don’t walk away, and the gray part says let’s get all crazy here and my heart and my mind agree, even though my mind sometimes stops and ponders whether I’m being rational or logical, but my heart overrides those thoughts, so I’m left with following my heart.

Just as I would get all crazy with my business, I am known for this after all with some of my custom designs, I’m about to get all crazy following my heart on the personal side. This could be bad. This could be good. But more importantly, it shows courage and if I have courage to put my art out there for all to see and buy and appreciate, I can do the same with my heart. We’ll see how this goes.

Should it not go as I want it, at least I had courage and made the necessary steps to free myself from my black or white limiting mindset.  I think my therapist will be proud;  I know I’m proud.



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S2 Stationery & Design

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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