#goingsolo: I survived Month #1.
I made it through month one.
There were fits of doubt, some not-so-secret tears (of joy and of fear), and lots of nights I thought “I should be doing pushups to prevent flabby bride arms instead of reading these articles about blog metrics and researching stationery shops in D.C.” There were little victories, 14,000 prints of my AAU poster, 17 trips to the Beaverdale post office and piles of receipts in the kitchen, on my desk and in my glove box. There are postcards everywhere, highlighters in all coat pockets, I got to be the U.S. Bank small business of the month (booyah) and I found my print framed in the new and beautiful Happy Medium offices. I’ve consumed a few more beers, spent too much money on coffees I didn’t really need but felt obligated to buy because I sat in Smokey Row for four hours and I've thrown out 3 wounded sharpies.
I survived. I made it. I’ll get better at this.
A few things to note about #goingsolo:
Confidence is contagious.
Ain’t that the truth. I can remember my friend Liz saying to me “if you doubt it, we doubt it, and if you have confidence in your decisions I will too” while we shared a lobster flatbread at Biaggi’s. Doubts have got to be a normal thing all lady makers, leapers and daredevils feel all the time. But quieting the screaming doubt monster in your brain that hollers and hurls all kinds of weird shit at you is tough. I’m not sure why doubt monsters scream louder than the way-to-go champs, but they seem to.
On those days where I really, deeply believed I could do it and I wrote it down and I repeated it, on those days I sold more of everything. As soon as I started calling myself an illustrator, folks took my drawings more seriously, and honestly, I did too.
Kevin is super patient and handsome.
Living with this roller coaster in my own mind is tough, but living with me and the mind coaster must be a little like sleeping next to a blindfolded bear who can smell fish but isn’t sure if he’s hungry quite yet or where the smell is coming from. Basically Kevin is great. Good thing I locked down that marriage thing before he read this weird analogy and sees that I admitted to all of the interwebs that I have a mind coaster. Thanks babe. Having a buddy that's all-in with you and is willing to give you a-to-the-point-pep-talk makes a big, supportive difference.
Thanks to everyone who came out to Market Day this weekend. I had my favorite sales day, ever. To the couple who saw those teeny specks of tears in my eyes when you bought the last print I had of the new DSM skyline, thanks for not mentioning how weird I seemed. I wasn't trying to be weird, I was just so overwhelmed with happy.
I survived. I loved most of month one as I reflect on it. It was really hard, but I did it. I chose it and I did it. I survived. Now to August where new risks will be taken, new victories will be celebrated, new fish dishes will be prepared and I’ll spend everyday at the Iowa State Fair.