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!

 

Sunny Side Up, Please?

A few days ago I posted a bit about changing my really, really big plans and I briefly discussed my disappointment and mourning, but I didn’t realize the struggle I’d have, nor the larger disappointment I’d experience in having to share the news with my friends and family.

I told a ton of people about it my plan. I was so positive that I was going to make this change. Everyone that knows me, knows that when I say I’m doing something, I am actually doing it. There’s never any question.  The reason I share these things with friends and family is for support, yes, but also because I firmly believe that when we speak the words of our desire out loud, they come to fruition. There’s something very definite about speaking out loud the changes we are about to make.   Which is why I’ve spoken kind of softly about not going to Japan.  It’s also a reason why having to tell my friends and family that I’m not going has been difficult. Not only have I let myself down, but I’ve let some other people down as well.

In light of that, I’ve realized that the only way I could keep a forward disposition is to focus on the things that I can do (the list is in the last posting). The other thing I realized was that I could do things that inspire me to keep the dream moving.  For example:

Last Sunday morning, I finally met with my web designer. He’s a genius. Seriously guys if you’re looking for one, I can point you in a good direction. He’s got knowledge, talent, and great energy. The one thing I’ve learned is that energy accounts for everything. You want to work with people who you vibe with in everything.  And so, I’m excited to work with Jay. He’s great and I left our meeting Sunday morning feeling energetic and ready to kick some butt!  I’m really excited that I’m going to have my own very official website in a few weeks.  I’ll feel more like a real deal business.

Sunday, I also found myself in Brooklyn. Of course. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon with Mooney (who is turning out to be a valuable business asset) and Stephen, a new buddy of mine, who is an architect and has some great design ideas. Stephen even helped me with some business language which I really appreciate. The real great thing about seeing Stephen and Mooney was that the afternoon involved a slice of pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds (a pie shop that is just about pie), which I had been dying to try. Yummy!

Monday, found me making a Thai curry soup with mussels and red snapper. It was INVIGORATING! I felt like an artist in the kitchen. Many who know me, know that I do cook, but I’m a much better baker. So when I cook and it turns out easy, or delicious or both, I’m in heaven. There was something extremely sensual about making this soup, but I really and truly honestly just felt proud of my meal. I felt proud that I had created a curry base. I felt I suppose the way anyone feels when they’ve done something successful. It was akin to when I finish an invitation order, or create a new stationery piece that I love. It’s also akin to when I cut something out, or look at a piece of lace and know what I’m going to do with it. It’s an empowering feeling, people!

Wednesday, I learned that an organization I am on the Junior Board for would like me to donate an item to their  Spring fundraising event in April. I am still working out the details, but the thought that people will be bidding for an item created by me is well, I don’t know, EXCITING! Honestly, I never ever, ever thought that this could be possible, especially while I’ve been feeling a bit down and struggling with my decision, but viola, there was the exact pick me up that I needed.  It reminded me that opportunity is knocking at every door as long as you listen and look.

Thursday, I bought my ticket to the fundraiser for the Center for Book Arts. I figure since joining as a member and taking classes there, the least I could do was buy a ticket to their event. I’m looking forward to the event and may even have to find a Victorian era themed outfit.

All of these doings helped me in facing and responding to an email that I got yesterday morning from a friend who I love. I adore her, actually. I know that her words were not meant to be harsh, nor did I take them that way. They were words from a concerned friend and they were words that I needed to hear/read. It stated do not give up your dream, do not stay in your comfort zone, make it happen.  Those words have stuck with me and  yet words from another friend have also stuck with me, “sorry to hear about Japan but you have a great attitude about it. Although we always make plans, sometimes our plans just aren’t interested in us.”

As I responded to both of them thanking them for their support, love, and encouragement, I started to wonder how could I agree with two very different emails. To the former email, I realized in thinking and thinking about my friends words, sometimes things happen that don’t add up to what we want, but giving up on a dream is when we let the dream die, when we stop focusing on it or trying to make it happen.

Not going to Japan and finding small opportunities does not mean I’m letting go of the dream (I am going to Japan, just not as soon as I thought), it just means I’m allowing myself to go with the flow, or as my other friend accepting that right now my plan is not interested in me.  And while I wait things out, finding joy and excitement in other learnings while building up my dream.  No one person is right, but the reality is that how we handle these things is really what matters.