Where Did She Come From, Where Did She Go?
You may have seen a post about a month ago stating that I was taking a break from making + from THH...and then you also may have seen me making some earrings this week, which basically directly conflicts that whole break thing 🥴
A few of you have asked and, well, I dont have a super concise answer so Im going to write some thoughts here.
Im not one for New Year's Eve resolutions. This year I decided to try it on for size, but I wanted make one that I felt really good about and something that would holistically incorporate lots of elements of growth within it. So I made one, I think it's a good one, and one I still fully intend upon sticking to - for this year and beyond. I said that this year I was going to be "unabashedly myself" - the most ME version of me. And, for the most part, I think I've done it. It's not pretty a lot of the time but that was all part of it for me. Do the things. Wear the things. Feel the things. Try the things. Say the things. Leave the things behind. Take chances - growth isn't often comfortable and it's certainly not linear most of the time, but with all the aforementioned things, I feel like I've pushed myself into a lot of growth this year. For me this year was a really brutal one, but also a beautiful one. I took a lot of chances, I fucked it up a little, I went through some truly debilitating depressive spells (that's new to me, not a fan), and I let a lot go of a lot of things...I also nurtured some really incredible experiences and relationships - beginning with the one with myself.
I wont get too far into all the reasons that i decided to pause on creating and on These Hollow Hills because I've already said a lot of it publicly and it's pretty long, but I will talk about what I've learned since making that choice and why I have a few toes dipped back in to creating.
Ultimately, Im a creative. I like being busy, I like trying things out, I like curiosity. I'd fully lost all curiosity the last few months of THH. I felt like I was making out of obligation to post on Instagram, to show people "i still had it", pay for my studio, or just out of muscle memory, I felt like a shell of myself and I couldn't seem to pull any of it together in a way that felt good to me. When I stopped making I allowed myself a lot of space to chill, to enjoy, to get artistic with my home, fashion, to nurture those relationships with people that I'd let stagnate due to my obsessiveness to THH over the past few years (oh, and that whole pandemic thing), I allowed myself experiences without guilt and a lot of that sparked that curiosity again. Without the pressure of it selling, or feeling like I had to make reels or post every day to be seen, i felt like I could make it for fun...make it for me. The imposter syndrome wasn't creeping up as much as I was sketching fruits to cut with my laser, something that if I had done 6 months ago I would have been consumed by the fact that other people were already making fruit earrings, I would have told myself that theirs were "better than mine" (and maybe they are, and that's ok too!), and that I can't really draw well so these were too simple, they weren't good enough, fruit was silly and so not original, and so on. But now, because I did them for me, I think they're quirky, and funky, and cute - and I know that none of it ultimately defines me as a maker, as a business, or, most importantly, as a human. These particular earrings, along with this business as a whole are just one tiny little drop in the pool that is me as a creative, as a human. And honestly and simply put - I like them, I like making them, I like wearing them, and man that feels good.
As I began to make the fruit earrings I felt the spark. You know it, you've felt it. It's magic in a bottle and you cant recreate with all the caffeine in the world (i've tried), so I said hell with it, Im gonna follow the spark and have a little fun. Even though I went into making this batch of earrings for me, for fun, I decided to sell them. SO I guess here comes the question of "Are you back?" and I feel super comfortable saying "Yes. No. Maybe. Not really, at least not in the way that I was" but yes, these earrings are for sale, and here's why. Firstly, because I WANNA and secondly because I like them, you like them, so why not? And then a less simple and much less sexy (at a first glance) answer which is: DOLLAS. Yep, I said it. It's all about the benji's, baby.
Yes, yes, I recognize that reason is a little less sweet sounding, but it's equally as true as any other answer I could give you and ultimately it feeds back into the whole resolution and growth thing. Over the course of the 3+ years I was actively selling my work at THH I never really paid myself. Duh, I know (rolls eyes and shakes finger at herself). When I was consistently selling out drops I was in the "grow + invest" phase, but then as I started growing because of those investments, I had a hard time figuring out how to pay myself. Not so much logistically, but I couldn't really figure out how to quantify what I was worth to my business and worth to myself. What a weird thing to figure out?! Maybe for some people it's innate, for me it is not. I think after a lot of reflection of my business, my personal growth, and where else I wanted grow...I landed on that while Im proud as fuck of what I created over the past 3 years, I needed to value myself.
I needed to pay me.
Creating and selling these new earrings would take just as much time, work, supplies, marketing, and effort as it had taken when I was in business mode, but rather than find a way to reinvest in supplies, I was going to invest in the time, in the ideas, in the heart. It sounds cheese, but at the end of the day, it was a business that I worked my ass off on and I feel pretty ok about owning the fact that I desire some funds to pay me.
Lastly, and most simply, I missed it. I dont want to girl boss like I used to girlboss, i just want to allow myself an outlet. Before my break I was punishing myself for every day off I had, every day I was out of ideas, etc. This year was super hard for me and I found so much reprieve in allowing myself to live. I allowed myself nights out with friends, spontaneity, relaxation without the guilt of "I should be making...posting...", and I decided I couldn't let that go. And I think the thing that's come back after a few months of being away was the enjoyment of creating. I dont want to go down the path that I was on but I also dont want to deny myself the right to create, so, here we are, in some beautiful purgatory.
I feel really OK (not good yet, but getting there) about the choices and the steps that I've taken over the past year and about the path ahead. I've taken the space from creating to try and lay out a future for myself and that feels good. But I dont think I have to make some black and white choice, I can go where the road takes me.
So, thanks for giving me space, thanks for supporting me and cheering me on when you saw me pop back into your feed, thanks for understanding why I wont be there as often as the algorithm gods would like me to be, and just thanks for being here, however you are. I know it all seems like some fickle, creative whiplash, but...I'm just doing my best while also trying to honor all the parts of me.