Learning I’m normal

One of the great things about my job is that I get to work at home. But one of the bad things about my job is that I’m stuck at home. Usually alone and in a feedback vacuum. Logically, I know my beadwork projects and classes are good and that I have a large fan base. I know that we designers make it look easy, but the truth is that many of our projects are darned hard to figure out. I bead and rip it up. Bead it again and it’s still not right. Change a stitch. Change a color. Abandon projects altogether because it’s simply not the right time for that particular project to be born.

I deal with anxiety over wasting time going down these blind alleys – especially when I’m up against a deadline. I get frustrated and annoyed that I’m not a better beader. And God forbid that I go look at what other designers are doing – it’s always better than mine! I lost pretty much a whole day of productivity on Friday, moping about because I was feeling so unworthy by comparison to some new projects by a few of my favorite designers. (Poor Mom – having to deal with me.)

But Sunday, it was explained to me that I’m not alone in having these sorts of feelings by the one and only Marcia deCoster. She posted on her blog an entry explaining her quandary on these very kind of feelings that she’s been wrestling with. And then Rachel Nelson-Smith and Nan C. Meinhardt and Barb Switzer and Jean Power all chimed in on Facebook about it too. And suddenly, I wasn’t the weird one. I was normal.

I’m incredibly grateful that the beading community has found a way of coming together and sharing our stories and lives even though we live cross-country. The comfort and support is critical when you’re sitting at home for weeks on end and the inevitable self-doubt creeps in.

I like to joke with Mom that when I’ve been away from the shows too long, I need a “fix.” And it’s true! It’s a restocking of the creative juices, a reminder that I have a large league of fans who adore my work, and a face-to-face connection with the beaders (students and peers alike) who share my passion. I need you guys. I really do.

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