In Search Of Personal Authenticity

For twelve years I was the face of Yarntopia in Katy, Texas. Although I had a business partner for eight of those years, she preferred a more behind the scenes role. But even that was not enough of an identity for me. My ego began to outgrow my heart.

On our first trip to our industry trade show I met some folks that led to me getting a pattern published in Interweave Crochet.

Le Mer, a Tunisian crochet scarf was the first of several patterns accepted by that magazine.

Then Came The Books

Next came a book deal with Leisure Arts. In three months I cranked out both of these books. There is some good stuff in there, but without guidance from the publisher I had no idea what I was doing. Maybe I’m overly critical, but I was disappointed in the final outcome. But it was a valuable lesson and I can honestly say that no matter what else happens in my life, I have seen my name in print and it is registered in the Library of Congress.

Suddenly I was “somebody.” I signed books, and was a minor celebrity in the suburbs of Houston Texas. And, in hindsight, it went to my head.

Life After “Fame”

This twist of fate ended up becoming a distraction from our original mission of owning a yarn shop so that people – all genders, colors, religions, or whatever – could come and feel welcomed. We would be their safe place to fall. We believed God had brought us together gave us this opportunity for a higher purpose. And when boots hit the ground, egos and self importance took priority, the dream began to fall apart. There were other factors such as the economic nose dive of 2008 and the fact that we live in area heavily dependent on the oil industry. Loosing our lease should have been a sign to get out, but we didn’t. Rather we embarked on a huge upgrade to a larger space. And the list of factors goes on and on. But that doesn’t make us blameless. I hold myself fully accountable for my role in the debacle. The fact remained, without Yarntopia, who was I?

I left my nursing career behind, so I’m not a nurse. I never gave birth, so I’m not a mother; therefore, my “grandchildren” are not biologically grandchildren. I was in an existential crisis that manifested itself in much couch sitting and television watching.

Shockingly, nothing on television answered my basic question which was, “Who am I and what am I supposed to be doing with my life?” “In the grand cosmic scheme…why am I here?” These were the questions I asked myself during commercial breaks.

All I could come up with are:

  1. I am married, thus I am a wife
  2. I am a daughter
  3. I am a sister
  4. I am an aunt
  5. I am a stepmom
  6. I am a stepmom-in-law
  7. I am Mimi

But those are roles, not identities. Those things do not define who I am. So who or what does define me? The search continued.

Creating An Identity

I sat at home for several months unable to do much more than menial housework, cooking, laundry, etc. There was a time when I longed to be a housewife – after all this was my childhood goal – but I wasn’t enjoying it this time around. Life felt empty. I felt useless to the world.

I had always felt like I have natural artistic talent. So, I’ll combine my love for fiber with this skill and be a fiber artist. And, I admit, I can be really good at this too.

Well, never being one to just let things happen, I decided I would once again create an identity. I’d done it before and I could do it again. And that is where all those logos and “business” ideas came from. With Instagram as my motivation, I got to work. Then a funny thing happened. One by one I lost interest in an identity because something new caught my fancy. “Oh, I can do that…” I would tell myself. Other creative people like me were successful (on Instagram) doing that, why not me? Do you see the problem here?

I can dye pretty yarn.

Make creative accessories.

Or interesting wall art with a message.

Crochet an abstract landscape in the shape of a heart.

Spin yarn then make stuff.

Crochet a pop-modern granny square and mount it on canvas.

Or dye wool for spinning and take pretty pictures hoping someone would buy it.

Except so few did that I decided I must be on the wrong track.

Well, never being one to just let things happen, I decided I would once again create an identity. I’d done it before and I could do it again. And that is where all those logos and “business” ideas came from. With Instagram as my motivation, I got to work. Then a funny thing happened. One by one I lost interest in an identity because something new caught my fancy. “Oh, I can do that…” I would tell myself. Other creative people like me were successful (on Instagram) doing that, why not me? Do you see the problem here?

I was so busy running around trying to BE something, I wasn’t just being me.

So, Who Am I?

Some people figure this out early in life…bless them. I am a late bloomer. Always have been. My brain is constantly window shopping. My thoughts can flit from subject to subject faster than a hummingbirds wings work to keep them hovering. Zooom…there I go again. I tell people, and I really mean it, it is exhausting being me.

Through the grace of God and lots of loving friends and family members I have finally begun to relax into the person I was created to be. I’m not fighting anymore. I’m not searching. I work to minimize the whining of “what could have been if I had only figured this out earlier.” I am resting, listening and doing. You know, suddenly I’m not so tired anymore. Hmmmm, food for thought for another day.

I’ll be back on Monday. Until then keep looking up, embrace today, and go find some fun.

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