Monday, August 18, 2014
I can see the beauty all around me. And I feel it too. And I know how lucky/blessed/capable, whatever you'd like to call it, that I am. I also know that I am too sensitive and self-sabotaging. And that sharing these roughly formed and ill-worded feelings are probably generally thought to be a bad idea. But I also know that it's important (for me, and probably for most people) to ignore most of the imagined chatter of others. Haters gonna hate, right? I have let invisible haters keep me from Doing, but that needs to stop.
The overwhelming assault of information is a poor excuse for shutting down, but that's what seems to have happened. I almost cannot believe how many mamas out there are doing exactly what I was/have been doing. Like, overnight there are 50,000 options on Etsy and Instagram for handmade harem pants, Liberty print what-have-you and a million more gorgeous shots of every day life by people expertly "cropping out all the sadness." There was a time when I was so busy making and doing and living my life that I actually wanted more people to do what I was doing, because I loved it so much and loved being in flow with it all and I wanted that for everyone. And now that I can't figure out how to get back to it, I find new makers online and I just want to cry. I love their work, that looks so much like my work, I love their photographs that show all the love I have hidden away. I feel like the Selfish Giant, longing for my lovely garden to return, yet still unwilling to share it.
These words and thoughts and feelings are so off-putting. They are bitter and childish and though everyone feels them sometimes, we're not supposed to give them voice, but BUCK UP, SQUASH THEM! BE POSITIVE! LET LOVE IN! And all that. But how do you get to the good if you're completely ignoring the bad? It seems dishonest. So here I am being honest. I love and hate you, internet monster, but the people at the other end, adding to the collective cacophony, I have nothing but love for. I'm going to chip down my walls and feel all the feelings until I'm free again.
Posted by valerie at 12:11 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I've been doing a lot of sighing and grouching and not much else lately. In a bit of a funk. The world sometimes sucks, in all its glory and there are the every day straws competing for the esteemed title of back-breaker. Generalized anxiety, bad feelings, depression all seem like impossible luxuries in the face of the terror that surrounds us on the news, at the doctor's office, on the other end of the phone line. But there it is, sometimes. Hard to rally one day, up and at 'em the next. Swarms of feelings like that are so very human, yet they're designed to trick us into thinking we're alone. We're not. None of us are.
Posted by valerie at 9:17 PM
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sushi helped me style some photos for our eBay listings. She was relatively patient, considering, but would not allow for ironing or even sweeping, so we're a little rough around the edges. As secondhand clothes should be, I suppose!
I am finally parting with most of my stash of Oilily children's clothes that I obsessively collected before I had children. Most of it, while totally adorable and still very loveable, just doesn't seem to match what I have going on for baby big girl S. There is one little sun suit and one completely ridiculous dress that I can't seem to part with, but the rest is up for grabs, along with this super amazing pair of Bu and the Duck overalls and some other goodies.
I really really want to open a little shop. Like, a real live store. Everyone I know says it's a horrible idea, especially if I also want to make things. I'll never make any money. I'll be tied to it. They're probably right. Online is the way to go, I guess, but how many web shops can you really have, all selling the same thing? I'm thinking about it, though. Maybe having a little online shop with by-appointment hours for Baltimore mamas who want to come have a cup of coffee and peruse a little corner of the house, stocked with lovely baby and kids' stuff? A mama can dream, at least.
Posted by valerie at 5:41 PM
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Door to nowhere, cats on the wall, the loveliest, most bedazzled-with-flowers house on our street.
I am so obsessed with finding out all about the oddballz in our neighborhood. I spend crazy late hours at night Googling into the abyss, when I should be sleeping or making. I've found out almost nothing this way and I'm thinking maybe I need to find a way to put my itch to research to real work. But that's probably just another distraction.
Lots of blogs these days are painfully positive and so many (maybe more) are irritatingly negative. It's hard to find a balance and be your own true self without feeling like you're falling too much into one category or the other. My comfort zone and go-to voice seems to be somewhat pensive, but I hope I don't ever come across as negative or whiny. Guys! Stuff is good. Sometimes I brood a little. I'm a human being! I love that. You are too and it's ok to talk about bad feelings when you need to. I won't judge. Not everyone can homeschool fifteen children, dress them to the nines and travel to exotic locales, while simultaneously running a fabulous indie business that has 300K followers on Instagram, OK? There's lots of back story you're not seeing! Teams of sherpas and shit that are getting zero credit! You are doing great and so am I. And we're totally not glossing over the realness.
I'm going to eat candied ginger and watch House reruns now, even though I sort of hate that show.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I am training myself to stop beginning sentences with, "in Brooklyn..." as I am learning that the only people who care about what's going on in Brooklyn are people in Brooklyn. Or maybe Portland. Unless it's in a magazine or on Instagram, nobody else wants to hear about it. And as much as I miss NYC, I get that.
Baltimore loves Baltimore and we want to too. We are working on it, and it on us. So here I go, one last time: In Brooklyn, I hated summer. I hated the increase in smells, the grime clinging to my sweat, riding the crowded subway, crushed (with two kids) against all the other stinky, wet, grumpy New Yorkers. I literally dreaded the warm weather and the accompanying sounds that would keep me awake late into the night. But in Baltimore! Oh lovely, somewhat suburban Baltimore. We have central air. We have outdoor space in front AND behind our HOUSE. Space for growing green things! It's amazing what that has done for my relationship with summer. Like, I totally get it now: Flowers bloom, fruits are ripe, bugs are swarming (real insects! Not just cockroaches and bedbugs!) the pool is open, dinner is grilled and it's all available to us in a way it didn't seem to be before. I really like summer right now. So thanks for that, Baltimore.
Posted by valerie at 11:21 PM