To borrow one of my favorite quotes from famed architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham. Amen, brother. Ironic I’m using an urban planning quote seeing as I detoured from the profession when I set out to pursue two of my passions – floral design and stationery. So like Burnham with the Chicago Plan, I made some big plans of my own roughly a year ago to launch myself into both of these hobbies and turn them into my day-to-day business. While I must admit that I’m still working out a whole lot of kinks and balancing a career with such an uncertain future, I have honestly never felt so happy and fulfilled professionally. I can’t totally put my finger on why it makes me feel so good since I’m still so “in it,” but I think it’s a combination of the following:
1. Learning every day! There is something new and challenging every day to work out, and this keeps me energized and stretches me.
2. Feeling creative and creating. I’ve realized it’s important for me to see results, and for those results to be good. I am someone who loves nature and beautiful craft, and being able to create and work with these products brings a lot of joy to my life.
3. Freedom. Ok, so some of us are not great at working for other people. We are great employees, but the energy drain having to be at someone else’s whim and take orders is not our thing. Working for yourself is liberating if you are like “some of us.”
4. Efficiency. Without being interrupted for meetings or work drama/personal chats, I am a producing machine. Don’t get me wrong, I love being social and working with others but I hate wasting time. I would rather work my bum off when there is work to be done, and spend the rest of my time doing other things than half working 40 hours a week. I love working hard and being focused.
5. Driving my own success. This means dreaming up a new project, and doing it. No politics, no drama, and no egos involved. Period.
6. Healthy stress. There is a certain amount of healthy stress that comes from not knowing what the future holds. To borrow another urban planning favorite, Kevin Lynch in “The Image of the City” talks about the urban sociology of how people experience and navigate cities. One of his major themes is creating notable landmarks that help orient people, while providing places in the city for people to get lost – like winding back roads. Oriented chaos, if you will. There is a balance between knowing where you are and stumbling upon something new that creates the psychic “sweet spot” where things feel exciting but not life-threatening. Same with having your own business! Getting lost and stumbling on something new is part of what makes it engaging.
All this being said, thank you all for your support and for following me! I realize I’m often shifting gears between flowers, stationery, and general inspirations. I’m still figuring it all out, and finding meaning in what I do so thank you thank you thank you. Anyone else have any big plans of their own? I would love to hear!