Well, I’m going to be adding jeweler back to my job titles officially. I ordered a brand new jeweler’s saw and new silver solder this past weekend from my favorite wholesale supplier, and I’ll just… find the time for it. It really shouldn’t be an issue, honestly – I hadn’t realized just how much time relationships take up.
I don’t mean friends mind you, but the romantic kind. No, my friends keep me going. Max checking in and relating the latest chaos from their work even when I’m so tired I can’t form coherent sentences, Rhys for well timed conversations about surviving work and stress and art, Corey & Colin for touching base and reminding me I’m loved, Cari and her latest (not really) hedonistic adventures, Kristi for too long of a list of sharing to put here, Paulla and Peggy for the garden and Phin stories and for generally just making sure I’m being gentle with myself, Bliss for letting me be her friend when she needed it, Jeff for deeply thoughtful conversations, Michael for talking about trauma and grief and art, Jae & Alyssa for holding space for me when grieving or facing my faith – and that’s just the short list from THIS week. It’s not complete – it’s WOEFULLY incomplete. I am blessed beyond what the younger me would have ever dreamed of when it comes to friends.
You know what’s funny though? These people are my saving grace, and I’ve only met ONE of them in person. Proximity can be important (and I will admit to really needing a hug, among other things, lately) but don’t underestimate the importance of someone willing to spend time with you, even if they aren’t in person.
But back to jewelry – Rhys caught me when I was gnawing on un-retiring from jewelry, like a hungry dog on a meat bone, and asked me the important questions: will it be satisfying to make it again?
And yes, it will. I may never have felt that good at it (see also: The Gap) but the challenge of design to execution was always satisfying, if often also frustrating. However, it was usually frustrating because I lacked tools to do what I wanted, or enough materials to practice the skills. In ordering the saw, I’ve solved a big chunk of that first one (saws are a foundational tool), and as far as materials go, well, I know how to run a jewelry business shoe string, so I can manage that. As for feeling not good at it, I’ve worked through a lot of that too – it matters a whole lot less to me if I’m Good or Not, and way more if I like what I made.
There’s some deep cultural baggage there that finally got dropped off at the Lost and Found and won’t be picked back up again, and it’s a freeing feeling. Now to just stop caring if I’m attractive to anyone but myself, or better yet, stop caring at all, and just focus on if I’m happy. Which, okay, is a big part of why I picked jewelry back up, and why I’m painting often, and why I’m doing a dozen different things at any given time, so many so that people frequently ask me how I do it.
Because it makes me happy. I do it because it makes me happy, and dammit, life is too short to spend it unhappy. Sad will happen, grief will happen, but regret, that one doesn’t have to.
And so maybe I’m hitting that Crone era where most men won’t look sideways at me, and most women don’t either. No maybe – I’m crossing that line where I start to feel more invisible because I’m not pretty enough to be wanted (or too busy to make myself appealing) but also not powerful enough to be feared.
But give me time.
These twatwaffles who play games because they think I’m a nobody because I’m out here in the middle of nowhere on purpose, they don’t recognize potential, and that’s always the danger, isn’t it? However, being underestimated is a strategic advantage, and there is something highly amusing to me about throwing this all out there, knowing they could read it, but knowing that, let’s face it, those boys won’t, will they? It’s all ego stroking for them, and they don’t understand what it means anymore to go research someone to learn about them.
But those of you who do? Who read this?
You’re my people. Welcome, my bitches. Let’s rock this dirt ball. Also, all hail public records being Google searchable, amirite?