Merry Christmas friends and family!
What a year it has been (the obligatory beginning to all Christmas letters this year I imagine). On the upside, know one need worry about "looking good" in this years letter. The bar is not high this year so if you managed to get a little fresh air and didn't binge watch the news or have at least 10 social media meltdowns, you're doing okay. No one is judging *takes big sip of cheap wine*
I've just arrived back in Turks and Caicos. Yes, it seems like just yesterday I was here welcoming in the new year, watching the fire works at Club Med, and filled with so many emotions that 2020 was going to be THE YEAR! The year that I escape the resort life, move back to the U.S, waited for Mau to get his interview and arrive with me, and FINALLY start the next chapter of our married lives. Well, 2020 had other plans!
My last blog way way back in May, I mentioned that I started (formally) my artisan jewelry business, I was reacclimating to life in the US and living with a parent, I had made a few trips to see Mau in Mexico in between the lockdowns and zombie apocalypses, and all in all, I was trying to mentally stay afloat. I managed to do so by making a lot of jewelry :)
In August, I took a trip up to Iowa for a friends wedding and toured around (the best I could in the covid-19 world) visiting friends and family. It was at this time I decided that I would come back to Iowa for another 3 months to help out and be around family that I had neglected to visit for far too long. So, plane ride back to Arizona to repack and head back on a plane to to Iowa with all my jewelry and supplies to continue my business on my extended visit.
I'm still sifting through the emotions that came with being home. Maybe it's the artist in me that feels so deeply. Or maybe its the adventurer in me that wanted to re-explore the same land, but with brand new eyes and a different heart. I have to say, sitting here in the middle of the ocean, I miss it already.
One of the coolest things to happen this year was my Gas Station renting adventure! For two months during my stay in my hometown I rented what use to be the Wistrom Oil station at the end of Broad Street in my hometown. I fell in love with this place so hard. My own space to set up shop, a work space, a hang out, and an escape. The back of the shop was a transportation back in time preserved in the smell of old wood and dust. Cobwebs caught the sunlight streaming through foggy windows, old shop supplies and furniture waited to be unearthed, and for me to do with as I pleased. When no one else saw these treasures of time I saw my sanctuary.
The front of the shop had been restored with a vintage touch and made for a perfect boutique/work space for me. At the end of September/beginning of October only a week and a half after moving in I launched my temporary shop with a 3 day pop up shop, and I feel it was a successs!
A huge THANK YOU to the family, friends and town of Stanton and surrounding areas that came to my shop, browsed, chatted, shopped, put in custom orders, bought gifts, and signed up and attended my jewelry classes on Wednesday nights. Your support made my entire year, and I am beyond grateful that I was able to reconnect with everyone!
And of course, I had to document the whole process of how I set up my shop. It's a series of 4 videos from start to finish. You can watch the progress and final look by clicking HERE for the playlist.
I had made a few professional goals at the beginning of the year- many of them circulating around starting up my online business, but in order to have a successful business model I needed to be doing craft/art shows and farmers markets. This I felt was a crucial task to not only direct traffic to my online shop, but to also building multiple streams of income, and networking. All things needed to be able to rely on my art career as my full time gig.
2020 was a bit devastating in that area as the lockdowns in Arizona and other states didn't allow for craft and art shows. I'm happy to say that although I wasn't able to rely on art shows this year I was able to do 3 shows! My location in Iowa was still a small open window with very low covid cases at the time, which allowed for some shows to go on along with the proper precautions. The experience was crucial for me moving forward, and I'm so grateful for the success I had at these shows. Moving forward I have a better understanding of the work involved to have a success booth and what will be needed from me to do larger shows in the future.
I don't know what this year was really about. Every time I think about it and try to come up with some words of advice I'm reminded that I'm a moron. I think when you hit a certain age you go from wanting to be a know-it-all and proving your intellectual worth to seeing yourself for what you really are....a moron. It's absolutely liberating. You don't have to have answers for anything. The weight of the world isn't on you to explain what or why you do anything....you're a moron. You're free to do as you please; to be stupid happy, and grateful, do fun things in the middle of a world crisis, and use semicolons inappropriately. I'm just stabbing in the dark, and probably missing the mark most of the time. This was what my year was to me. Swimming forward regardless of pandemics, of lockdowns, elections, or that someone else in the world was less or more privileged than me. I can't tell others how to live their lives, or how they should think, or what they should say or shouldn't be saying, or what they should be doing to be a better human....because why? Let's say it together.....I'm a moron.
Say it. Be free.
Let's wrap it up now and get up to speed.
At the beginning of December I repacked my bags, and flew to Arizona. Here I unpacked, and then repacked, and boarded another plane to Turks and Caicos to join my husband who has been here since September, and he is now back to working at the Club Med Boutique. Because of this years circumstances the consulates are closed, and the final step of Mau's immigration process (getting his interview) has been put on hold indefinitely. So instead of remaining apart I have decided to join him here on the Island. One major change is that we are no longer living in a hotel room in the Club Med Resort. Because I am not here to work at the boutique and do not have a work permit, and I will need to be coming and going, we are living in an apartment on the island instead. Yay! I don't know if I could have handled going back to living at the resort, but I can definitely handle this. So we will continue flailing about until the next thing happens, and I will do my best to remain a loveable moron.
Happy Holidays Everyone! I wish all good things for you as we splash around together in open waters trying to pick a direction to swim.