What do you do when the hardest thing you’ve ever done gets, somehow, impossibly harder? I, for one, would love a concrete answer to this question.
After working tirelessly and endlessly for the past 5 years, the year 2020 was off to a great start. Our sales were starting out gangbusters, we just moved into a new studio, and we even had international shows planned. I was going to leave the country for the first time in my life and was even planning on taking my first adult vacation. My passport arrived in late January. The irony is still sinking in.
The next 6 months seem like a faded groundhog day. A rollercoaster of emotions on an endless loop… moving through the entire spectrum from full of hope to filled with despair – again and again and again.
On the downslope, we lost a large majority of our business, missed out on countless opportunities to grow and have lost out on invaluable community engagement and interaction. On a personal level, I have experienced dental problems, moved in with my parents, spent more than my fair share of time at the auto mechanic and my dog is having issues with one of her legs. Amazing how much can happen in 6 months.
However, there has been an upslope as well: we have been overwhelmed by the support of our fans and community members; we have won 2 small monetary prizes - rewarding and validating our hard work; we celebrated a 1-year employment anniversary; and we even just hit another milestone: 20,000 square feet of plastics diverted from local landfills!
This is not where I planned, wanted or hoped to be as 2020 nears an end. I am tired of being tired and so over being stressed. And I know that I am one of the millions (more likely billions) of people who are currently feeling this way – which seems to make it all the more difficult somehow. However, I cannot change the current circumstances of our world, I can only decide my personal course of actions everyday: whether to be proactive or reactive.
I finally sat down to write this the evening of Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, a time which the emotions and anxieties of the entire country may have been at an all-time high, myself included. I have no idea what the next 2 weeks, let alone 2 months, have in store. Six months ago, I had 4 more teeth than I do today, my dog wasn’t limping, and in all honesty, I thought we may already be out of business. But we’re still here!
So, I guess when the hardest thing you have ever done gets harder, you need to make the hardest decision you’ve ever made: give up or keep going. And, yes, you need to wake up every day and make that decision actively – so that’s what we plan to do. We are going to wake up, take a deep breath, perhaps cry a little, and then put one foot in front of the other… we’re not ready to give up just yet.
Here’s to hoping that the hardest thing we’ve ever done gets a little bit easier and cheers to all the people out there waking up every day and making the choice to move forward. We’ll see you out there!