02 December 2008

dreaming 'n acting...

While shopping at Target the other day to pick up some last minute display items for my show last Sunday, I was heading to the cash register when I spontaneously decided to turn into an aisle just to browse for kicks. Lo and behold, the first thing that caught my eye was a small plaque with a saying from Anatole France:


I stared at it for a really long time, because it really rang a bell.

With the new year upon us in less than a month, I am close to reaching the 6-month mark from the moment I graduated from the University of California, Irvine and reluctantly moved back in with the parents with a whole lot of junk but a whole lot of nothing in terms of a job and a direction.

Rewinding four years back, I chose to attend UC Irvine knowing it would give me more time to figure out what I wanted to do... and let alone, figure out who I was. It was that or the decision to go to Chapman University, which would lock me into a major (interior design) that would be promising for the future, but not so promising in the opportunity for growth and self-discovery. In other words, I'd be attending college while still living at my parents' home. And nothing against my parents, but that was the last thing I wanted to experience during those four crucial years.

When I look back, I probably wouldn't have admitted it then... but choosing UC Irvine over Chapman also had a lot to do with my lack of self confidence. UC Irvine seemed "safer" and gave me room to take my time, while Chapman seemed intimidating, out of grasp, and not for me. At least, not for me at that stage in my life.

Even attending UC Irvine my first two years, I caught myself playing it "safe" again when I declared a Sociology major and Business Management minor. Sure, I loved both topics... but when I found myself skipping most of my classes, it was obvious it wasn't my first passion.

A lot of people ask me why I didn't major in Studio Art. I still ask myself this even to this day. I had a passion and an interest in it, but my ability to just "go for it"? Well, it just wasn't there... just yet, anyway.

During my four years in college, it had a lot to do with building self confidence and self worth. It started with being in the Sierra dorms my first year, and continued on when I took up CADC literally full-time... as a member, Captain, and then Coordinator. It was a struggle to think I could even take up those roles, which often times held me back in my potential, but if there's anything we learn from being apart of CADC... it's that anything worth fighting for will always be a struggle, but that struggle is so damn worth it when you finally reach that finish line.

When I graduated from college and had to let CADC go so it could become the future, I had a lot of time to myself and kind of just jumped into this whole crafting world. I didn't know what I was going into, but something was different this time that didn't make me feel as afraid.

I finally realized... it was OK for me to have dreams, and it was OK for me to act on them.

And a couple months later, here I am... with an Etsy store that just reached 70 sales last night, artwork on living room walls all across the world, and a physical mobile "mini-boutique" I am driving around and setting up in places all over Southern California.

Everything happens for a reason. And I'm far from where I want to be, but farther than I would have expected myself to be four years ago.

"To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act."
-- Anatole France
Holler to that, brotha.

xoxo,
Steppie
http://steppie.etsy.com

6 xoxo's:

Tizzalicious said...

It's so true! I was too scared to take the step to actually open my business too, but I am so glad I did it. Dreaming is also a good motivation...it gives you goals, which make you work harder to reach them.

Mel said...

Dude! I get the exact same questions about NOT studying studio art in college. I totally understand exactly what you are talking about here, about not having the confidence although you know deep down it's what you love and that you just might have a talent for it. I'm glad you're on your way to discovering the person you want to be. I wish you much success with you art!

Etsy has been such a huge motivator for me too. Knowing that I have paintings hanging in the homes of strangers across the country has given me more confidence than ever before and now I can't wait to get out there and paint more!

Jacqueline said...

This such an inspiration post! It is so true and i do believe in this too "it was OK for me to have dreams, and it was OK for me to act on them." Gratz on making 70 sales! Your creations always looks yummie to me! Keep up the good work. n_n Have a lovely pink and red wednesday!

Mel said...

I still remember when you were hesitant on coord (or was it captain).

Anyways, I'm glad you took the plunge =D

Candice said...

That was a touching post. I'm in the same boat- graduated last may and still no job.

Stacey said...

I was at the Handmade Brigade this past Saturday. I got my free bag, which had your bookmark in it. I just looked at the address in there and punched it it...which brought me here. I can't tell you how much this post resonates with me :)