05 July 2010

My Own Little Independence Day

July 5th was moving day.
As I settle in, I'm feeling a bit raw.
Eyes straight forward to the future and yet
I'm also looking backwards again.
But this time it's alright.

There was a time in my life when I was built of plans.
This started early on and stuck with me.
But the older I get, the more I realize my plans are laughable, fragile, flimsy things.
Jokes in this jocular universe.

Don't get me wrong; I love my life.
No buts.

I smile, wryly, in the mirror.
I love and hate my reflection.
I see the me I planned on being and the me I am now.
We fade and fall into one another, fight each other.

You see, I love my son.
My three year old wonder, the best thing I'll ever offer this world.
And I love my husband.
But I never planned on either.

I fell in love and became a mom and got caught up in the momentum of life and the responsibility and sure, the good times too.
But somewhere in all the fast motion and the living . . .
I lost me.

I just lost me.
To mom.
To wife.
To homeowner and provider and circumstance and economic downturn.

Making, though such a large part of who I am,
was placed on the back burner.
When we were finally able to buy a house and I got my own studio space in the garage,
it was a dream.

Still didn't bring me back fully yet, though.
I've been in the garage for three years, all told.
No heat, air, or ventilation.
No protection against dampness.
(Hello rust.)
No natural light.
Flypaper and the cats bringing me lizards and frogs and all sorts of once living things.
Kind of dreary, with harsh yellowish lights that hummed.

It's hard to feel creative in a space like that sometimes.
I think you have to flat-out love what you do in order to tolerate it so long.
Which I do.
And I did.

But I'm done.

And here I am.

Becoming more saturated and excited all the time.
It's been the longest two months ever,
getting this space ready.
Cabinets and an old sink from Habitat for Humanity.
What feels like a hundred coats of paint.
Door slabs for bench tops and hand-me-down tables.
All mine.
Worked at by me, assembled and sanded and scrubbed by me.
FOR me.

The labor and love of friends and family to get tile down and shelves up.
Not much money at all and yet so much money for us to spend . . .
For me.

And I have a window!
I can have a plant that survives here.
I can wear less than ten layers in the winter and not be sweat-soaked in the summer.
No more hornets making nests in my disc cutter.

A clear delineation between work and home,
such a needed schism.
A place to go to everyday,
out of the house and into the world.
Even if it is only in our tiny downtown.

So forgive me if I rant too much about this little hole in the wall.
But I'm so happy.
So, so happy.
It's like finding a piece of me,
shopping in my own soul.
THERE she is.
I missed you, Jess.


  1. Tear :) That is something to behold :)


  2. and I am so happy for you!

  3. Welcome back! And I'm so thrilled for you to have your own place! What a beautiful window.

  4. :)
    Congrats! I hope this space gives you the space to discover more of you...
    A beautiful post.

  5. I wear your words on my sleeve, Jess . . . *sniff*

    But I just want to say, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
    You should be so very, very proud of yourself!!!

  6. i get it.

    congratulations, beautiful one :)


  7. You were never really gone. You were just exploring and learning other parts of yourself. :)

  8. Aw, BEAUTIFUL! You've got me crying now. Such a wonderful space, Jess. Can't wait to see all the beauty you're going to create in there.

  9. Wow, JJ, your words resonate. Welcome home to YOU. Here's a poem by Derek Walcott for you, called "Love after Love":
    Love after Love

    The time will come
    when, with elation,
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door, in your own mirror,
    and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
    and say, sit here. Eat.
    You will love again the stranger who was your self.
    Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
    to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
    all your life, whom you ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart.
    Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
    the photographs, the desperate notes,
    peel your own image from the mirror.
    Sit. Feast on your life.

    I love you and everything you write and feel!!! Congratulations!

  10. Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I am so looking forward to see the creations that come from your new space!

  11. lovely words. lovely space. lovely you.

  12. so incredibly deserved...

  13. What a wonderful, hard earned reward JJ!! Congratulations and welcome to the world, again. ;)

    Can't wait to see the creations you make in this new space. possibilities. now that you can spread your wings further....fly high sweet lady!

    get sassy!

    your new space is so stinkin' cute! I just love, love, love it! it is perfectO!!

  14. Glad you found yourself Jess! Can't wait to see what you do in your new space!

  15. I am with you in spirit on this one. My space is set up in my basement which is less than ideal. Congrats on the new space! I can't wait to see what lovely ideas will come to you in there!

  16. Love you! And truly proud of you! :) Congrats Jess! P.S. we all lose ourselves in something... you do not stand alone.

  17. Love the space... can't wait to see what amazing things come out of it!!

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  19. Just a lurker coming out to say congratulations!! I can so, so relate!

  20. What a wonderful new space - how thrilled you must be. Go forth and create!

  21. Congratulations J.J. It's absolutely lovely!

    Go forth and PROSPER!

  22. ...Independence so worth celebrating, CONGRATS Jess!

  23. sigh.

    and sniffle, sniffle.

    love to you, honey.

  24. I love this post so very much. I think a lot of us started (are still in) the garage. I'm so happy for you. And everything you've written is just right on.

  25. Beautifully said and well deserved. If you ever decide to make Jess a "welcome gift" to celebrate her return, please post it on your blog. I would love to see what you made for yourself. ;-)

  26. rant ran rant
    love and light pouring your way ; )

  27. I am so glad to hear you have found yourself again.

    And your studio looks amazing!
    And though life never turns out quite how you thought it would i'm glad you can see the joy and wonder in what life has given you.

  28. its a beautiful space!! huge congrats on your awesome & well-deserved achievement!!