I love starting over. When I was in sixth grade, my parents were contemplating moving way across town into my grandparents old house. With six kids, this was no small decision as it would change elementary, middle, and high schools for all of us, not to mention our church and neighbors and grocery store. The idea thrilled me. I would get to start middle school in a whole new place! No one would know me! I’d have a fresh start! I couldn’t wait!
Unfortunately for me, we never did move and I spent the first nineteen years of my life in the same house, neighborhood, school zone, church, and grocery store.
My first fresh start was moving away from home for college. I didn’t know a single soul in the new city I was living in. And it was glorious. I got to recreate myself, try new things, figure out what I really wanted and who I was without friends and family around to influence me. I embraced the new and ditched the old, including finding new friends, leaving behind my not-so-good friends from home that I stayed with out of habit. I started anew.
Since then, I’ve fully embraced every chance I’ve had to start over. I started my lifestyle/newlywed blog but when I felt it was no longer a reflection of me or the person I wanted to be, I ditched it completely and started over to focus on my new life as an entrepreneur and designer. We’ve moved homes many times, sometimes near sometimes far and each time I’ve felt myself change just a little bit, seeing each move as an opportunity to become a new person. I completely changed design focuses as I started out with wedding stationery, but then dropped that completely to focus on web and brand design. I love the New Year and making goals to become a better person. Do you see what I mean? I LOVE STARTING OVER.
That being said, starting over doesn’t come without it’s stresses and worries. There have been many times I’ve wondered if my old high school friends get together and talk about what a jerk I am for ditching them (yes, a terribly egotistical assumption to make) or I’ve worried that people will think I’m a flake for not sticking to something for long before moving on to something else (and thanks to my parents, I’m aware that people do in fact think that). It’s especially difficult in the online world where all of my many changes can be tracked by the people that follow my life. Each time I change what I do, I feel like I’ve failed these loyal readers and followers, even though I’m aware these changes are for the best.
Because change I must. At twenty-two I’m still growing and changing as a person. I’m fully aware that I have not found my “forever career” yet, just as most kids my age haven’t. But unlike most kids my age, instead of hopping from job to job I’m creating job after job for myself. It has it’s freedoms and also it’s pressures, but thankfully I love this path and I’m glad I’ve found a way to make it work.
So what’s next? That’s the question I keep asking myself. Sometimes it plagues me, binding me up with it’s “what ifs” and telling me I’m a failure for not having it figured out yet. Other times, it’s a whisper in the back of my mind as I move about each day. What am I doing with my life? Where will I be in five years? What do I really want, deep down? These are scary thoughts, but ones that eventually have to get addressed before life passes you by (or you have one too many what-am-I-doing-with-my-life panic attacks).
The next thing is certainly coming. My mind is already made up, as the clothes of two years ago tighten and make me uncomfortable as I grow. The more I work on The Collaboreat, the more I realize my focus has changed, something that many emails in my inbox remind me of as I turn down design inquiry after design inquiry and continue to neglect this here blog. I’m in the process of creating a new space for myself, ready to shed Love Grows Design like an old winter coat. It served me well, but it’s a new spring and with each season I’m growing up and becoming a new person.
Who is this new person? What does she want? More importantly, what doesn’t she want?
I don’t want to share any more advice or tell you what to do. I want you to trust your gut and ignore what everyone else is doing. I don’t want my life to revolve around making money with this business. I want to relax and live a calmer life. I don’t want to feel boxed in by what I do, but rather to do what interests me at the moment, whatever that might be.
I want to move on.
This may, in fact, be my last post on this blog, as I busy myself with new things for The Collaboreat and get ready for this new venture of mine. I’m excited to feel comfortable again, to have found a new space that fits the new me. I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m excited by to begin again and have more room to grow.
And if you’re not excited, that’s okay. I’m not offended. You can gather around with your friends and talk about what a jerk I am for ditching you. It’s okay to grow apart. That’s life. We all will change. But I hope you’ll look back on these days and see the good, maybe that I taught you something or simply made you laugh and nod your head in agreement. It’s been a good run and I wouldn’t change it for anything. You and Love Grows Design have taught me so much.
So here’s to change and growth and starting over. Here’s to going back to zero followers. Here’s to alienating my old followers and watching them leave. Here’s to battling feeling like a flaky failure. Here’s to having fun with a new design. Here’s to brainstorming and planning fun new things. Here’s to refreshing my love for my work as a designer. Here’s to finding myself in the things that I do and the choices that I make. Here’s to making choices that feel good for me and my life. Here’s to the scary but exciting parts about growing. Here’s to fresh starts.
And where will my fresh start be and what will I be doing? Don’t worry. I’ll keep you updated.