One of my favourite YouTubers – Planet Alissa – started a challenge a few weeks back about Reinvention. She, a published author and accomplished Vintage seller on Etsy, spoke about reinventing herself in the upcoming year. It prompted me to reflect on my year (And why is reflection so important… it was definitely a huge theme for me in 2015… for my MBA, for my marriage, for my family….) and so, this is a very personal post.
My life changed drastically in the Spring of 2015. I made a big move
back to the place, where I had once reinvented myself almost 15 years ago – Boston, MA USA. It was not a surprise though, it was very much planned. My husband got a fantastic work opportunity, with a little help from friends, to return to where he started his engineering career. It was also an opportunity for me to be able to take a career break, work on my studies and spend more quality time with my family. Particularly my growing 6 year old daughter. As much as I loved consulting, I knew that I just needed a new challenge. – Reinvention #1
Well, skip to October 2015 and I complete my exams for my MBA. On this same day, in an aim to reinvent myself from this shy girl ( I know I’m a woman in terms of age but I still get freaked out when people call me Ma’am), I decided to have an impromptu coffee and Hobonichi meetup with April Wu (PenguinsCreative). Whom I discovered on YouTube, and continues to inspire me to draw/doodle. She herself had just moved from her native Taiwan to Boston and we had a lovely time at the coffee shop. I have zero creative talent, but I believe I am now up to 15%. So there’s hope for everyone, just take it one day at a time ! And BTW I am not alone in my love for the Hobonichi, check out my blog posts here and here where I interview Chotskibelle and PalestBlue . – Reinvention #2
So now, what to do with the free time / hole inside me left from no more Open University (OU) coursework, OU banter on the Facebook group, assignments to reflect on management situations or Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs)??? Yes, you’ve guessed it. Time to focus on my little Etsy shop. After being inspired by a number of YouTubers – special mention to Thrify Theresa, Planet Alissa, Mad Maine , Texas Gal Treasures – I decided that it was high time to move Vintage Flicker from a hobby to a part time business and to put into practice what I had just learned on my MBA course, bringing it to life.
It was a lot harder than I thought and probably because, as with my clients, I was too close to the problem. It was just too personal. So, I drafted in my husband and asked him to be very German (i.e cold, hard, facts only …) and to give his professional opinions. My husband works in Marketing – specifically developing product lines etc… I know an engineer gone to the dark side 🙂 … Sitting there and listening to his criticisms were hard, but necessary. I had an entire pot of tea and made copious notes. There were raised voices from time to time. But in the end, I had a plan. I was going to carve out a niche in Vintage Kitchenalia ! – #Reinvention #3
On a personal level, I have made more time for me. Something that was more of a luxury in previous years. I now also have time to volunteer at my daughter’s school, as a room parent. I have discovered new communities – Typewiters, Snail Mailing, Hobonichi… and made new friends and new habits such as mediation and journalling. I know that I have been truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. My husband of two years now, is very supportive and even my daughter helps with orders. She adds the extras (teas, lollipops, gummies) to all my thank you cards.
So reinvention, on reflection , mine was not always purposeful and sometimes I was not aware of where it was going to lead. I’ve learned that I am ok with that.
What about you? Have you reinvented yourself?
If you’d like to join Alissa’s challenge you can find the details on her Youtube video here.