I recently came across old pictures from the summer before my senior year in high school - my best friend that year, Shaina and I crafted hundreds of wood & ribbon Jacob's Ladders to sell at our live-in booth at the Oregon Country Fair - my first "business" and full-hippie experience and it forever changed me. It was a blast to make these children's toys together at her dinner table, calculate our potential earnings and expenses and drive down to Oregon in her old Mercedes to live it up. We even picked up smelly hitchhikers along the way. We lived behind the rickety wooden booth that Shaina's family built a decade before and fell asleep watching stars and listening to the drum circle that pounded all day and night. I loved it with my whole heart. You must experience it at least once in your life. My family grew up spending our vacation time in the woods - camping, hiking and roadtrips to different parts of the West. There is nowhere I feel freer than out in nature. I've done some solo hiking to fire lookouts in the Baker wilderness, been known to sunbathe in my birthday suit on the rocks of Deception Pass and first majored in Outdoor Recreation at Western Washington University where our finals week was a rock-climbing, camping, river rafting adventure with our class in the Methow Valley. Rough Life right? Oh my gosh that fills my soul.
Somewhere along the way that part of me got lost. Actually, I can pinpoint it. After graduating college and starting the daily grind is when it happened. This crafty outdoorsy girl put on pantyhose (ack) and sat at a desk. Believe me, I am not made for the 9-5. There were days I spent looking out my office window at the summer sunshine and I could actually feel a part of my spirit ripping away from me. It's the biggest reason I've had almost 30 jobs in my life and quit every single one. Too much of me wanted to be free, to be my own boss and to let loose the creativity that God gave me.
After years of working full-time we had children, and I love them with everything I've got, but having little kids also forced me to put "me" on hold indefinitely, until I could get out of the fog of all-nighters and the total fatigue that having young children brings. It's only just this year that I'm beginning to stitch up the parts of me that have been on the shelf for too long.
In February I got back in a crew shell and raced for the first time since college 16 years ago. I went from only being able to run 1 mile in January to a half marathon in June, and I've started my dream business. I'm coming around. And I am so proud of me. It's nice to be able to say that again. I'm learning who this new, mid-30s woman is that I've become. And that person is creative, loving, crafty, and excited to help others discover their joy.
What about you friend? Do you feel like you've been on hold? Will you join me in coming around full circle? Recapture the part of you that makes your spirit smile. Let's build a community together. Tell me what makes you shine! Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What's your dream?
Here I am. So excited on mile 12! I swear I'm still jogging.