On the Search for Failure

I’ve determined, after seven years, that I’m on the search for failure.

I’m also on the search for success. Grand success. Maybe not the kind of success that allows me fancy cars and houses across the globe, but success that allows me the items I desire: helping others; living comfortably, without worrying about paying bills, or deciding if buying underwear is more of a priority than groceries, as an example; being able to help my family reach that same level of comfortable; traveling when I want and to where ever I want; less stress and more health.

No where in there am I striving to amass a great wealth. I do want to be secure for my future, should I be fortunate to live to my 99th birthday, but again, I want the security in the points above.

For around a month or so, I’ve mentioned closing the custom & wedding side of S2 Stationery and Design. And I have. October 1st, closed that door. And I’m glad it has been closed. It’s left me with time to really focus on the things I want to focus on and most importantly plan for the ways I want to grow S2.

I’m no where near complete on my goals. They’re evolving and every time I write one down, another comes to me later. Not to mention, I have other things that pop up and show up and steer my path a different way, which I know shifts my goals a bit more.

This past weekend, I found myself discussing with very good friends my goals for both my business and personal life. We discussed pregnancy and relationships. We discussed it all honestly. What sticks from the two conversations was the statement I said several times in both:

I’m never going to be happy until I actually fail. Until, I can say, I did the best I could with the stationery and I failed and it’s time for me to be an adult and stop following this dream.

Chances are, I’m not going to fail. I know in my heart that what I’m doing is what I’m suppose to be doing. I know it’s hard to explain and for those who aren’t like-minded to understand or even begin to fathom, but I’m not going to fail. Mostly because I don’t see failing as a bad thing. I think even in the things that don’t go right, or that crash and burn, or realize that something I felt so strongly about doesn’t work any more and needs to be revamped or cancelled or changed, there is opportunity. There is growth. This is the natural flow of life.

I’m sure I will fail in little ways as this dream continues, but I wouldn’t quite say that this journey has been a failure thus far.

It is this reason that I struggle now. That I’ve been struggling for the past three years since returning from Japan. It is why, I’ve allowed myself to fall into this abyss of uncertainty and comfortable, yet uncomfortable, discomfort while working a job I don’t like and going through the motions of living a life that isn’t doing anything for me or my goals.

I have good friends at my job, I have made great connections and I’ve allowed myself to believe that I need this backup because at one time, I did. And I’m sure I need this backup a little bit longer, too, but the reality is that until I let go of the backup, I’m never really going to fail and because I’ve yet to really “fail,” I’m going to continue to stay annoyed and in this uncertain abyss because this doesn’t make me happy. This doesn’t make me motivated to grow or change or fail.

And so, all of this has led me back to the point of origin for S2 Stationery & Design. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to get back to the root – to the dream that launched this business idea and company seven years ago. Once that’s in order, I’m adding the passion project that I believe will be my legacy.

Once these things are ironed out, I’m sure my future will look bright, my pockets will be as well, and I’ll be living a life where failure isn’t something I’m seeking, it’s something I’m staring at and saying, “hello, where are you taking me next?”

I can’t wait to share all of this with you!

 

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“When I get married, I’m totally having you do my invites.” – Why I’m Changing the Business Offerings of S2 Stationery & Design + When

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An advertisement I snapped a picture of just before leaving Japan in January, 2013. That was 3.5 years ago and this sign seems more relevant now than it did the day I took the photo.

I’ve been running S2 Stationery & Design for over seven years now.

Yep, you read that correct, SEVEN YEARS!!

And it’s time for a change.

You already know the story, the idea for S2 came to me while traveling around Italy a month after my father’s death in 2009. It was a series of signs that came to me and then a dream that resulted in this dance I’ve been doing since. A dance that has turned into a full-fledged and non-stop Merengue (the kind where you’re left gasping and wondering when the damn song is going to end) in 2012.

There are moments where I honestly believe that I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point. Then, there are moments where I don’t believe I’ve worked my ass off to get this point. Those moments are the most difficult. Those are the days and nights where I struggle to sleep because I don’t have enough money to pay this bill or do that thing with my friends, or to pay back someone I borrowed money from a few weeks prior. It is exhausting and I wonder if I should at that point pack it in and be an adult – find a 9-to-5 job that pays me well enough to stop the stress. Those are the nights that have and continue to leave me feeling stuck.

People like me love to talk about following their passions. As they should. We are following our passions that come across as outrageous and/or out-of-the-box, and that anyone who is looking for stability wouldn’t understand. What I’m doing is not for the faint of heart, but nothing about following your passion is glamorous or inspiring for that matter. That last point often gets glossed over when people choose to deal with the awe of tossing common sense for a passion.

Following my passion, has required me to become comfortable with asking for help (which I rarely did before), saying no (even to people I love the most), feeling lonely (I barely go out any more), gaining weight (stress beats the shit out of your body), and living in a space of doubt, so much doubt, that I’m continuously uncertain of my accomplishments.

Something that people who talk about following their passions never really discuss is the sticky space of what happens when, like me, you don’t have thousands of dollars saved up and have to work a job to help bring in money so that you can survive and afford the basic necessities. There are so many people, gurus of this “follow your passion” movement, who have taken office jobs to save money and then quit. They talk about this as though it’s a temporary solution that is magical. And it may have been for them, but as someone who has sat in this space for a while now, it’s killing me.

I found my current 9-to-6 job at a point where what I was doing was not working. Where I was bouncing from lots of part-time jobs that kept me from focusing on S2 Stationery and had me resent my decision to quit my job. Let me be a bit more clear -I was resenting the loss of the steady income I no longer had, not the job itself. Working for the last company I worked for was not all that pleasant and I know I made the right decision by leaving.

I know this sounds dramatic, but I feel the same way I felt a few years ago when I was working for a big corporation in NYC. While I haven’t reached the point of crying for the 30-minute duration of my commute, the unhappiness has resulted in overeating, not exercising, not wanting to get up in the morning early enough to do work I need to get done for S2, etc. And I’m fed up with it. Honestly, I’ve been daydreaming about quitting and all the ways it can happen.

Now, the part of me that wants to maintain my car and apartment, fight this and that’s why I do eventually get up and get dressed and go to work. And that part reminds me that I need to motivate myself and do the work that I need to do. And this same part reminds me that it’s time to create goal deadlines to get out of this situation.

All of this leads me to changes…and you may be thinking that you’ve gotten to this point and still don’t understand the quoted bit in the post’s title, “When I get married, I’m totally having you do my invites.”  Let me explain…

When I started S2, I was a diehard fan of creating wedding invites. I wanted to spend a ton of my time working with brides and catering to their needs and whims in a design capacity. I have been told so many times, I’ve lost count, the quote above, and finally after seven years, I’ve decided that I don’t want to hear it any more. Primarily because it’s not true. Every single person who has made that statement has in fact, not used my design for their wedding, nor have they even reached out.

Now, before you accuse me of sounding bitter, note that I’m not. I’m actually quite gleeful that I’m shutting down the wedding invitation design side of S2 Stationery & Design. In fact, I’m shutting down a lot of the custom design business. And I’m quite glad.

It’s been seven years since I started this journey and while I’ve enjoyed every single customer I’ve worked for and every single project I’ve commissioned, as I take stock of both myself personally and my business professionally, I’m letting go of the things that are not worth my time. I’m saying, “NO!” to the stuff that isn’t fulfilling me anymore. I’m saying no to even the thought of a promise that isn’t there.

The next stage of S2 is taking shape and has been vaguely discussed in other posts that I haven’t followed up on, and is being ironed out now, but there is still a ways to go. I’m sure I’ll do some commissioned work and maybe even the occasional wedding invite during this time (I’ve had a few people say, “crap, but I really did plan on using you when the day came!), especially if it is aligned with the work I’m transitioning to, but I’m no longer holding out on promises and work that does not nourish me or my creative pursuits.  This isn’t about the money, or lack there of, either. No, this is about the nourishment. Finally! Right now, the nourishment is found elsewhere and I’m excited for this change.

I’m finalizing some creative projects now, but in Quarter 4, starting October 1st, S2 is moving away from the custom work you’ve known. I’ll still be making stationery sets and individual greeting cards. I’ll still have these wares at markets, but the real work – the work my soul has been longing for the past two years begins. I’ll do my best to keep you up-to-date in a more consistent fashion as things change over.

More soon!

S2 Eats + Awareness Project: Entering New Waters

In the next coming months, I’m going to launch a HUGE project. And I mean HUGE. And it involves food. If you know me, or have gotten to know me, then you shouldn’t be surprised by this at all.

This past Saturday, I found myself in a magical place. It felt like a home actually. It is a shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, named Archestratus, that is part cookbook and cooking related books book shop and also a cafe/restaurant. They host Blue Plate Dinners every Thursday night and a monthly Cookbook of the Month Club. The owner, Paige, is incredible and so nice. We got to meet her yesterday and talk to her and well, can we say “friends?!” all together?

I told her quickly about this project I’ve been working on and said to her pretty confidently as we continued talking, “when my project is ready, I’m calling you.” She was completely for it. And I now know where most, if not every event I host in NYC for “CIC” will be located.

I should also mention that I was with a friend of mine and a teammate for a project I’ve been working on as part of a program called Do Tank in NYC. Sana is her name and she is a fellow food lover. We talked and walked around the books and carried a ton to a table and shared food while talking to Paige. Sana is going to end up being a much larger part of this project than even I am aware of right now. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know yet what her role will be, but she will have a role. It may even be in the form of representing Pakistan.

Anyhow, this idea that I’m vaguely sharing with you now has a ton of moving pieces and a few people, all whom I trust with my life involved. I have a cousin helping with logo and branding design, my brother and his best friend involved in videography, another friend and past roommate willing to help with web design, my mentor as a board and planning member, and my Mom, too – she’s cooking. I’m sure I will bring on many, many more people, both trusted and untrusted. That is how you bring about change, after all.

This project has been in the works since the summer of 2014. That is the summer that Israel and Palestine were at war and the summer of the massive influx of migrants traveling from Central America to the US to get away from heavy gang violence and crime. Those migrants were children, many of them traveling alone, whose parents probably took loans out that they still cannot afford to get their child(ren) across the border to saftey. With both of these instances, for the first time in a long time I looked at the world and thought, “what the fuck is going on?” It may also have been the first time that I truly felt as though I needed to get involved. That my voice needed to be heard in a constructive manner. It was also a point when I realized that no matter what I do in life, my life has to be used to help stop the injustice of others.

Now, I’m not promising to change the world completely. No, that requires collective force. I am, however, proposing to use my stationery company, design skills, and extensive communication background to help shift and shape appreciation, acceptance, and change. This is daunting. It cannot be neatly designed. I am bound to offend many. I hope to impact many more.

To get this started, I’m sharing a collection of photos of foods that I’ve recently created over the past few weeks and months of putting “CIC” together. I have a long road to go, but food is the of the main focal points of this project. From this post onward, one a week will be dedicated to a recipe – some food(s) I’m devouring religiously, experimenting with as I develop and perfect, and/or am inspired by – I cannot promise that these recipes will coincide with exactly what I’m working on, but they will help build connection for when it is ready to be released into the world.  (SOON!)

Saturday night, as I walked around Archestratus, I thought about my life and the wild ride it’s been thus far. I thought about how food has always been a focal point in my life. I carry a lot of weight because of my relationship to food, both good and bad, but this project isn’t about that. No this project is about the nourishment food brings us all, across cultures and countries and religions. My unofficial slogan for this project is: “Even the most immigrant hating Texan eats tacos.” This project is about that element that brings us together even in our fear, differences and hate.

Walking around Archestratus allowed me to remember my abuela Herminia, who was a strong and rebellious female who created change in her own way. I thought about being a three and four year old helping make Honduran tamales with her and my mom. By helping, I really ate most of the ingredients and would annoy her, but my abuelo always had extra as backup. I still help my Mom make tamales every Christmas and the legacy continues. If I ever have children, they will learn and my soon-to-be three year old niece, will learn soon.

This is what life is all about. It is about the changes we make individually as well as collectively. It is about passing down our histories, cultures and family stories. It is about connecting over the pieces that make us all human. I hope you’ll join me for this journey. I hope you’ll help me share these stories and cultures and histories. I hope you’ll help shift your conscious as well as the greater conscious. Most importantly, I hope you’ll enjoy this.

To learn more and stay up to date, you are invited to sign up for our the newsletter on the Awareness page of the S2 Stationery website. (Scroll to the bottom!) You’ll get the good, juicy bits when you do…think of it as the fond at the bottom of a pan of caramelizing onions, or from a roasted chicken. Yum!

Until next week, keep your stomachs a bit empty, your hearts full, and your mind open to expansion and food. And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!!

 

 

 

Launching “S2 Awareness Projects” – Stationery for Social Change

When I started S2 Stationery & Design six years ago, I wanted to work with paper and share that love of paper with the World! I wanted to also share my love of writing and importance of letters, words and sincere sentiment. I didn’t realize how quite difficult that would be.

See, there are people like me, the kind who love, absolutely love everything about paper. They love cards of all kinds – witty, snarky, funny, emotional, handmade, etc. They also love beautiful things – design, paper, quality – and don’t mind paying a higher price for that experience and they want to share that experience with their loved ones. Then there are the other people – the kind that may love paper, but they definitely don’t like paying over $2.00 for a card. They also don’t care about the design details – the elements that make them stand out. These are the people that may shop at Target and CVS for their cards. They may not be writers, but they on occasion like to send out a card to a loved one. This group also likes to send out photograph cards at the Holidays that they order online and spend maybe less than a dollar per card.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve mailed out Holiday photo cards before, especially after a big international trip. They’re fun. But they’re also impersonal. That being said, one of the similarities I find between the two groups of people above is that they both suffer from not having enough time and/or good enough reason to write. Everyone loves getting handwritten cards and notes in the mail, regardless of the paper quality, but nobody has the time to write said cards and notes. So we end up with a group of people that are both admirers to a degree, but have no way of connecting, nor motivation to connect outside of modern technology – email, text, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and whatever new app has appeared.

In the end, people want to connect. They are dying to connect. Many people are hurting because they cannot connect. They feel too stressed, endlessly busy, pressured to conform, and an entire host of other ailments and they connect in a not-so-connected way. I wanted to fix that. I wanted to swirl into the Stationery Town like the Tazmanian Devil (I admit, I’m kind of that way) and shake the Town down to it’s core with my fine papers and envelopes and stationery sets. I wanted to help connect people and make a living doing that and then proudly wave the banner of success to everyone. To some degree I have, but to many degrees I have not.

Six years that have included a trip to Japan to learn paper making, quitting more than a few jobs, almost losing my apartment and car one too many times to count, asking friends for way more help than I’ve done ever, learning to appreciate all that I have and not focus on all that I don’t, losing some friends in the process, becoming more comfortable with me time and saying no, working from more Starbucks than I’d like because of free wifi, constantly being on the yo-yo of doubting myself for these decisions and then loving them, sleeping way too much than I should, gaining more weight than I’m comfortable with, taking a month to care for my almost-two-year-old niece, constantly being inspired and creating new products, and I’m sure quite a few more things that I’m forgetting to mention, I’m taking a detour on this Stationery train ride and I’m taking a long stop in an area that I’d equate to the Mid-west of America. Which is quite appropriate given that as an 11 year old, my family moved from NYC to Ohio to allow my brother and I a chance at a normal childhood that was safe. (It makes sense to me and will to you as this rolls out.)

Where I’m headed project wise is NOT safe. And I’ll never be my 11-year-old-self again, but I’m slowing down all the engines to focus on one project and making sure that it works well and that it does what I think the world needs, connect us to those we love most and even those we don’t love, but who we could stand to love and appreciate more.

S2 Stationery is my heart. It will always be in the picture. (It is not going anywhere – the Etsy shop with the handmade papers and stationery sets will remain during this break – it just will not be the main focus.) This business courses through my veins. It makes me happy and sad; frustrated and joyful. If I ever had a life purpose this is it. However, as with all things, sometimes you need a break – you need to step away from things, see the big picture and move forward, even if that is a leap and it is scary. The things that matter the most do inspire fear, but they also create great things.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you all to S2 Awareness Projects!

S2 Awareness Projects combines stationery, politics (to a degree) and social justice.  S2 Awareness Projects share the topics and conflicts that makes S2, aka Sara Stroman, tick to make changes. These are the things that others care about, but often aren’t sure how to go about them. S2 Awareness Projects help you share your feelings, thoughts, and inspire you into written action. (We hope!) S2 Awareness Projects are transparent and will 100% of the time will raise money to donate to the cause inspiring the project and make donations on your behalf. S2 Awareness Projects is a way to make a difference, connect us and our differences and raise our voices without raising our pitchforks and/or guns.

Some, if not many, will not always agree with me or my values, but I’m willing to risk that for this project. In the end, my values and your values don’t have to be the same and if they’re not, you’re welcome to go elsewhere, however, that is not the point of this project – I want to bring people together, not tear them apart. If you’re not willing to be open-minded or hearted, this project is not for you. As much as this is a risk for me, it is a risk for you – you may grow from this project and that is always risky business.

The official slogan of S2 Awareness Projects is: “Often times, we think our differences are larger than they really are. I’m interested in finding that space and opening your heart to the similarities. By all means, your story IS your story, but that doesn’t mean you’re all that much different than me, or the person next to you. Let’s find those spaces and talk about them and make a difference, together.”

Tomorrow in this space and on Etsy and social media outlets (facebook, instagram and twitter), I’ll be announcing the first S2 Awareness Project.  Hopefully, you’ll be excited about this as much as I am.

Until, Tomorrow!

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A Customer Leaves Me Breathless + An Update

Happy New Year friends! It has been quite a while since I last wrote on this blog. I got lost. I’m not apologizing, per se, but I am letting you know why the hiatus.

The good news is that the hiatus is over!

The blog is going to undergo a bit of a revamp. Actually, S2 is going to undergo a bit of a revamp. We’ll see how it all plays out, but not only will this blog still tell the personal bits (I’m willing to share), it will also tell the business story as it spreads it’s message on writing, love, and inspiration.

There’s a lot of talk about actions being louder than words in this World. Yes. There is truth to that. But words, words can mean the World.

A simple hello could start a friendship/relationship between two people. A bad word can start a fight. Words in a book can start wars and create tensions that might not exist. They can also cause so much emotion that they’re banned. Go figure. They’re just words, right? Wrong.

S2 is going to focus on words moving forward and how we use them to express ourselves passionately, with vulnerability, and even in fear, along with everything else that comes in between that.  So yeah, stay tuned. There’s a lot headed your way if you’re patient and willing to explore with me.

Until then, you can read today’s post, which I’ve been dying to share with you since Thanksgiving…

it’s about a new friend and member of the S2 family, someone who shares a love for words, or vulnerable expression. Erin won a set of S2 “My Thankful Space” paper placemats on the Etsy NY Team blog* back in October of 2014 and here is her story through pictures of her family’s Thanksgiving table and the art created by the small and not-so-small family members on their place mats.

In her words, “Thank you so much for such a wonderful Thanksgiving experience! We moved the mats before we ate and plan to add onto them next year! The kids absolutely loved it! The adult couples all shared mats and thanks. Wonderful idea, and possibly our newest (and only) family tradition! Thank you.”

When I saw Erin’s photos, I gasped with a full heart. Her photos show exactly what I had hoped for when I created these paper mats. It reminded me of the moment when I saw the paper that inspired this product; the excitement I felt when I knew the font was the right font and when I printed the top layer and cut the bottom layers and then glued them together. It was a return to that magic creative space; a space of love.

When I created these place mats a few years ago, I was excited. I thought people were going to love these place mats as much as me. I thought I’d burn through them and not be able to keep them stocked. I was wrong. They were a hard sale. It was a little depressing. But I get it, people barely use place mats any more. When they do, they use the disposable kind that you can find on cheap paper for prices that seem reasonable, but I find expensive. Sure they are cute, but they aren’t very memorable. When you add in the price for these (they are pricey, but I work with high end materials and my time is valuable!) and that they are paper – I get why they didn’t sell. Yet, they are one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve created and the idea that they aren’t desirable to customers really hurt. See, I never see my designs and products as stuff. To me, these place mats are not just place mats. They’re the item you safe in your closet and find years after that Thanksgiving. They’re the product that you might frame. They are a keepsake item. They allow you to remember a moment of love, engagement, and fondness. Erin captured that at her Thanksgiving celebration in 2014. I may never sell these place mats. I may never give another set of these place mats out again, but I at least know that one family found them, used them, and saw my vision and used it as part of their lives. I’d call this a success for S2 Stationery and Design and for little ole me.

Thank you Erin for sharing your photos with us and for allowing S2 Stationery & Design to be part of your Holiday season and life. I am so pleased to have you as part of the S2 fam.

*An FYI, I don’t participate in giveaways often.  I am incredibly selective about which events I participate in and who I am willing to collaborate with. That being said, the Etsy NY Team is a solid group and I do almost every giveaway with/through them.

 

 

 

Chicken is Just Chicken or Really Good Pricing Wisdom

I’m currently sitting at my part-time/full-time gig smiling. I’ve taken a job (because lady was not making enough money on my own) to get situated for the time being that has me working in a warehouse. I’m the office manager of sorts – I answer the phone, enter orders and other customer service like things.

Anyhow, there is this jolly fellow that I share my space with. He’s older and Scottish and a hoot, most of the time.

Today, as he was getting ready to leave, he overheard a conversation I had with a potential new customer. He asked me for the name of the customer and looked them up on line. He then turned to me and said:

“You can always tell whether a customer is a good match for our business based on the price of their chicken dishes. Anyone can have fancy dishes on their menu, but chicken is just chicken, and it doesn’t matter how they do it (roasted, fried, etc). If they’re selling that dish for $18 they’re not doing well. If they’re selling that dish for $28, they are doing well and have money to spend. Those are our customers.”

I smiled as I listened to him, and well, the wheels are turning in my head…what an interesting way to determine your target market.  I’m taking this gem with me as I fix up S2 strategy for 2015.

Falling in Love with the Fear and Excitement of Freedom

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Laser Launch blog party (part deux) is a collection of behind the scenes stories of other online business owners. Check out the other links here.

Next Friday, not this Friday, but Friday, February 28th will mark my official month of independence.  My last day working “full-time” was January 29th, so not exactly a full month (but that’s February’s fault, not mine!), but the freedom has been both fearful and exciting at the same time.

As I write this, I have about $17 to my name until a large payment is deposited into my business account, and another custom order is paid through my Etsy shop.  I have a car payment, rent, my cell phone bill, and student loan payments that need to be paid. And while I have had some sleepless nights wondering how and where this money is going to come from, all I can think about are the two custom stationery orders in the works, as well as the one I am finishing up in the next two weeks and the one I’m mailing out tomorrow.  I am also thinking about the referral program I launched to entice previous customers, friends, and fans to spread the word (and as a way to say thank you to those who have supported and continue to support my business growth) about the wonder of S2 Stationery & Design.

My “to do” list grows longer and longer with each passing day. Not because I am not working, but because I have custom projects I am focused on.  Additionally, I have a ton of creative ideas sitting in my head waiting to be sketched out and mocked up. I have designs I’ve researched sitting in my trusty notebook and already started in Illustrator that I just need to sit down and work on. And then, something like a blog comes up, or I need to send a newsletter, and that all falls to the side for a minute, half a day, or even a full day.

That’s when the fear hits. Can I do this? Am I up to doing this? Have I made a mistake? Am I going to be able to eat next week? How am I going to get to my part-time job? What about my rent next month?  It’s almost as though I have the devil in red on one side saying, “you are nuts and I love nuts, but this is nuts. Why do you always think you can just leap and everything will be okay? I’m here to remind you that that’s not always the case!”

Then there’s the angel. The all glorious angel, except she’s wearing hot pink, and she keeps whispering, “You’ll be fine. Listen to me, ‘You’ll be fine!'” She doesn’t throw out questions, she throws out statements of encouragement: “You are doing this!”; “Don’t listen to her, she has no guts!”; “You won’t know if you can do this if you don’t do it!”; “Not only will you be able to eat next week, the fear that you won’t be able to eat is only that, fear.”; and my favorite, “What does your gut feel? Close your eyes and breathe calm, you have this.”

In all those moments of fear and certainty lies excitement. An excitement that at times can seem risky, but when I get a email inquiring about my custom design work, I breathe in a sigh of relief and remember that the angel is hot pink is right, that I do have this. That the road to freedom is not easy, nor is it full of monetary riches, at first, and maybe that isn’t my initial goal anyway.  It requires an excitement of the unknown mixed with a dash of respect for fear.  It is the crossroads of falling in love, really.

When I think about the moments where I’ve fallen in love, it’s always with the excitement of the uncertainty that comes with not knowing what’s next and the fear of what may be lurking around the corner.  It’s knowing that both are working with you to reach your destination, but more importantly, it’s knowing that the falling, the part where you slip into love, will help you land where you should. Again, not easily, and not without a few bumps and bruises, and maybe not as you had planned, but you will land and it will be okay, even better than okay.

Speaking about my freedom, here is what I do know about experiencing day 12 of freedom:

  • My road to freedom involves only having $17 to my name right now, but having almost $6000+ floating around and headed my way.
  • My road to freedom allows me waking up at 7:30am, making coffee, sitting in my pajamas or even just a tank top while planning my day.
  • My road to freedom involves going for a walk in the middle of the day to take photos for inspiration, or to make a snow angel in the most recent snow storm that hit New Jersey.
  • My road to freedom is allowing me to offer a volunteer day worth of work at an organization that needs the assistance in exchange for attendance in programs that involve my field of paper and paper arts.
  • My road to freedom inspires me to be more creative about reaching customers and designing new products to reach said customers.
  • My road to freedom includes being able to dash to the supply store or to my printer’s office during the middle of the day should I need to.
  • My road to freedom allows me to wake up grateful for a new day that allows me to be me, even with $17 in my bank account, and the sense of feeling that this is going to work out.
  • My road to freedom leaves room for some pretty thoughtful and honest conversations with myself about desire and where I want to go with this freedom.
  • My road to freedom has me going after what I want and being willing to risk it all for that want.

That is my beauty behind freedom and falling in love.

What about you? What does your road to freedom involve? How are you falling in love with Freedom? Are you excited? Fearful? Do share in the comments and don’t forget, part of the road to freedom is loving the journey, even if you only have $17 to get you moving.