It’s not an unusual story for someone in her mid-to-late cough-thirties-cough, cough. I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied with my job in financial services for a while now.
Being a product manager gave me the chance to be creative and tackle various intellectual challenges; to learn and grow into a highly relevant and valued profession. But, for me, working in financial services has also meant many sleepless nights, intermittent depression, and the myriad not-so-fun varieties of other little physical and emotional maladies that come with the experience of constant, pointless stress. Slowly, I came to the realization that not only had I lost all enjoyment in what I was doing, I had also started to dislike who I was becoming – complaining, uninspired, budding alcoholic?
I spent a lot of time thinking about what else I could be doing and revisiting old life-dreams of doing something joyful, creating something good, making a living doing something I love.
And I remembered a letter that I wrote to my adult self when I was 14 years old. It’s a little ridiculous I know, but I realized how far off I was from having the life my child-self dreamed about. This, of course, included horses, romance, and owning a summer camp.
But it was also a vision of being someone good and kind and standing at the helm of her life. It was a vision of love and self-confidence. I knew I needed to stop what I was doing, change my life, and go for joy and creativity and yes … quilting!
I learned how to quilt from my mother who started teaching me to sew when I was very little. I have to admit that as a teenager and a young adult in college, I went into quilt rebellion – complete with eye rolls and deep sighs whenever my mom would talk about it. It wasn’t until I moved back home briefly after college and my mom convinced me to take a class with her that my interest was sparked, and I started to fall for quilting in earnest. Since then quilting has been my escape. Now I want it to be my permanent adventure.
Even though I’m years away from being a master quilter, I’m totally in love with the craft. The beautiful creations of unassuming generations of women. The time I get to spend with my mom sewing together. I love the process of making something new, kitties getting all up in my business, and learning new tricks and overcoming the hard parts (stitch ripper at the ready). I love going to shows and shops every chance I get, and I love reading and watching endless magazines, books, blogs, and online videos full of inspiring ideas and people make beautiful things.
And I believe that quilting is a joyful, inspired act of love.
So I’m doing it. I quit my job. I’m officially on my quest. I know there will be stress again, and failures (potentially colossal ones), and sleepless nights. I don’t know if I’ll make it. I just know I have to try. I’m a speck of star stuff-reaching out for creativity, joy, life, and love in quilting.
Wish me luck my friends.