Preface: What does “turning 32” actually mean? It doesn’t make much sense if you think about it. You are not literally turning into something else altogether are you?
Please, don’t answer that. I need to keep using that particular adjective for a paragraph or two.
April 4th I turned 32. Thirty-Two. For some reason, this number – that additional two years! – completely threw me off. I mean turning 30 is one thing; it has a fresh and new sound to it. It reminds me of happy people getting married, buying your first home, having your first child. You know, the things everyone my age is currently doing on or off Facebook.
Side-Note: I do not need to see every single picture of your baby. Yeah, I get it, the little thing is cute. It probably even has ten fingers and ten toes and, oh, is so smart! Uh huh. I know. We know. Please Stop. Thanks.
Moving on: Three years ago I was busy working a socially respectable job that paid me well. I had a closet full of blazers and Business Casual attire- God forbid open toed shoes when ones feet are under a desk all day!
I worked long hours, flirted with the few available men within my age range on lunch break, and put my time in. I was too busy being ‘Productive’ when I was 29 to think of much else. I was too goddamn tired from the job everyone told me was so wonderful – It even had benefits! Oh my!
I looked forward to sleep and forgot to eat. I lost 25lbs over the course of 6 months. I ate caffeine pills for lunch and yearned for the red wine that is no longer part of my diet (miss you old friend!)
On my scattered days off I hiked up steep mountains with my 140lb dog, Clapton. I rejoiced in solitude and silly things like the Podcasts I love and finally washing the damn sheets. You know, stuff a 29 year old should do when they are not busy pro-creating and have a day off from their wonderful corporate gig.
When not engaging in the aforementioned bleak and boring tasks I took to my sketchbook. That book represented a life outside the walls society, my parents and my own choices, had built. That book represented freedom.
. . .The road less traveled. . .
Inside it lay sketches of jewelry; scribbles stating a particular earring would be 2 inches long and lightweight, a drawing of a necklace specifying which gemstone would sit where and why. Lengthy paragraphs detailing the substances I needed, the measurements required, to make the patina jewelry I adore creating today.
That book, always by my side, represented my passion. But I wondered, often while staring at the clock on my computer at work, if passion could become profit, and if it could. . .Could it be sustained?
I tend to make decisions quicker then I should – a slight character flaw? – and so I quit my lovely job with the tethered benefits. I walked out of the office feeling, for the first time in quite some time, like the shackles round’ my too thin ankles had loosened.
Three years have passed since then, I’ve turned 32, and HeavyistheHeart Jewelry Design is alive and kicking. It’s growing and I am growing with it but I would be amiss to tell you it’s easy. Nothing worth having, worth loving and nurturing, is easy.
The most difficult part of owning your own business? Being so lonely. At least in my experience.
I never thought, when sharing an office with others, that I would miss proximity – just having someone else in the same room. Someone who shared your opinion, for example, that the Union was bullshit and our supervisor smelled like cigarettes and cheap beer.
These days, I have two studio’s – indoor and outdoor – and I spend much of my day working on jewelry or packing orders in these spaces. I am an introvert by nature – nurture even – and I suppose this works in my favor. I am naturally organized and self-motivated. Important traits to have or to learn when running a business. But I am also a human being and, well, people need people. I miss people.
Still, turning 32 has made me think about life differently. I’m just not quite sure how yet.
Until next time,