Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feeling lost.

Ever since I made the declaration that beading is more of a leisure activity to me, and that my absolute dream job would be to work at Mattel designing Barbie dolls, I've felt some relief, but more than anything, I've felt lost. Like I'm floating around with no direction, no plan, no course of action.

Because the moment that crazy dream left the space in my head and went to live in the space that is this blog and the real world, I was struck with just how crazy it is. Me. With no formal training in art, design, fashion, or sewing. Me, with nothing but a love for dolls and a possible talent for designing them. Me, with a pretty poor history of following through with dreams.

And yes, I know that the purpose of declaring my dream was to honor it, and not necessarily go right out and conquer it. To put it out there as a sort of symbol of the kind of work I'm meant to do -- to come up with cool ideas and to work with other, specialized people to bring these ideas to life. But because I have a whole lot of Really Mean Voices in my head, I started to tell myself how laughable it really was and how I had no business even having such a dream. And that I'd better find something else to do. 

And then... I felt like I was wandering around in a fog, trying to find a purpose in life. And it hurt a whole lot, because that purpose (see above) was right there! Waving its little arms around and yelling at me to please, please stop pretending it didn't exist.

I've got to say, I'm really tired of this lost feeling. I'm realizing that sinking into the fog is way worse, and way less productive, than trying to make a go of something that might be impossible, or at least, will take a lot of work and strategic planning to move towards.

I'm also wondering if some of the lost feeling is tied to taking the dream so literally, or setting such a huge expectation on myself when I'm still struggling to find even a scrap of confidence. Big Crazy Dreams can be wonderful unless you're like me, and you use them to torture yourself. Then they can be a form of self-sabotage. Kind of like when I write myself a to-do list, and I make it so long I end up curling up on the couch and whimpering all day.

I've had a lot of dreams, and I always seem to get stuck at this point. Torturing myself by waving these huge expectations over my head, and giving myself panic attacks by demanding I meet them in a short amount of time. If I'm right about this, the way out is to have more realistic expectations of myself.

And that can be a form of copping out and settling for less, if I don't take the things I really want into consideration. I'm sure we've all had that mean teacher, family member, co-worker, or frenemy who's told us we'll never make it in fashion design, and that we should look into pole dancing instead (I exaggerate, but this is how those suggestions always sound to me).

What I really want is to make cool stuff. I want to give dolls the place they deserve in my life, and to do that by making cool stuff for/involving them. I'd like to make some money at it, even if I don't become rich or famous. And I'd like some help on the tougher stuff, like learning to sew and follow the patterns I make. And you know what? I see people doing that. Just working for themselves, selling cool things. Learning what they need to learn. And it doesn't feel like settling to me -- it sounds awesome.

(As long as I still have time to pursue different dreams that are just as important to me. More on that later!)

So I guess the moral of the story is that my Real Dream is to be a designer for myself. And maybe to collaborate with other designers on projects -- because for all my lack of sewing knowledge, I can bead the heck out of anything, I have an eye for itty bitty detail, and I've been told my color sense is not too shabby.

And my next step? Is to play with fabric. Just play. See what kinds of shapes and effects I can create with satin, with knits, with cotton, with hand-painted fabric. It takes the seriousness out of the process and focuses on my strength -- experimenting. 

Now it's your turn: Do you have a Big Crazy Dream? What's happening with it? Is it in tune with what you really want, and what you can handle emotionally, or does it need some tweaking? I'd love to hear from you. 

Sequintastically yours,

Sarah J. Sequins


  1. Oh man, I feel this way every January when I go to set my goals for the year. "Who do you think you are?" "What makes you think you can do this?" "You didn't follow through last time." Well, that last one isn't always correct, so as soon as I find a chink in the mean voice's armor, I tell it to go pound sand!

  2. you could always bead clothes for barbies.. just sayin'

  3. Oh, honey, do I hear you. I'm between (real) jobs right now, and while I initially saw it as a chance to redefine myself and start a new career path, I have run into my share of brick walls. It's hard to redefine yourself after twenty(mumble mumble) years on one professional path. It's even harder for others to redefine you in their own minds. So yeah, I understand that frustration, that fear, that self-doubt. I'm pushing myself into the deep end tonight, taking the first class in a certification program that I keep seeing as a requirement for jobs that look interesting. It may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, or it might be as appealing as a big ol' pile of overcooked cabbage. We'll see...I'll keep you posted, you keep me posted, and we'll hold each other's cyber hands as we figure out what we want to be when we grow up, okay?


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