Thursday, January 5, 2012

Opening doors

Last spring, shortly after I found out I was getting laid off from my job, a colleague came to offer her condolences. "I know it's probably not much comfort," she told me in her heavily accented French, "but sometimes, when one door closes, another door opens."

She was right -- it wasn't much comfort. At the time, I couldn't conceive of another door opening. And when I was passed over (several times over) for the job I was hoping for in favor of an internal candidate over the summer, my feelings were confirmed. But eventually another door did open, when my friend M invited me to participate in a craft fair at her house this fall, where I sold my knitting and pottery. Sales were a bit slow, but one craft fair led to another, and before long I had sold all my remaining pieces of pottery.

Suddenly, I'm glad to have a job that leaves me several hours free each afternoon, because those hours are kept busy filling orders -- $250 worth so far in 2012, including six sales and two (yet-to-be-filled) commissions. And it's not as tough as I thought it would be getting by on my meagre pay; it's actually been fun much of the time. It turns out I need way less money than I thought I did, I'm using more of my farm share than ever before, and dinner parties with friends are both fun AND cheap.

All of this is making me question what I really want and where I should put my energy. I know I absolutely love kids, and I can't imagine a life that doesn't involve spending time with children in some form. But do I really love teaching? I certainly don't love the stress and long hours. I do like being challenged and feeling busy and useful, which I don't always feel at work these days. And I've been surprised by how fulfilling it feels to sell my work and to spend lots of time being creative.

And now, I'm off to fill my first Etsy order and to decide how to spend my earnings. A fancy art deco iphone case, perhaps? A Missed Connections print to go with the awesome new Missed Connections book Slinky got me for Christmas? Or should I wait and when I've sold more get a beautiful hat?

Hmmm, Etsy might not be good for my austerity measures...

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited for my cashmere fingerless mitts! Let's catch up sometime soon!