Lately I’ve seen a lot of people talking about their “one word” for 2016. Have you seen this too? Do you have a word to focus on this year? I’ve never been the kind of person that can focus in on just one word. But I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about what I want this year to hold for me, and especially for this blog.
I began Two Purple Couches in 2012 as a creative outlet and a way to document how the hubs and I were going to personalize our newly-constructed home. Over the past few years, I’ve felt pulled to turn this blog into more than a hobby, but to be honest, I am not sure how far I want to take things. I made moves in my personal career to focus more of my time here, and when I lost my day job last year, I took it as a sign that I was definitely supposed to move on from that chapter of my life. My brain tumor journey began at the same time (when it rains, it pours, right?), which meant that I spent the majority of 2015 looking after my health. I had a follow-up MRI and appointment with my neurosurgeon right after Christmas, and got a clean bill of health. No traces of tumor left; no signs that anything is developing or re-developing. So with that huge sigh of relief, I can more fully turn my attention back to this blog, and whatever sort of creative career I’m carving out for myself.
You see, for a long time, I’ve been thinking that I needed to turn this blog into a full-time income. But I realize now that this way of thinking is wrong for me. Yes, there are bloggers out there who earn a full-time income. But this isn’t where my heart lies. For me, this blog isn’t about money-making (full disclosure: I do earn dollars now and then for running ads and partnering with brands, but the amount doesn’t come close to earth-shattering, or even salary-like). This blog about creativity. I want this to be a space that inspires and empowers. I have always felt the pull to more fully express my creativity, but something always holds me back from going full-throttle. And I’m tired of holding back. I’m not a professionally trained artist, but I love to create and be crafty. I love to make things. I love to share what I’ve made. And I love to see what other people are making. And that’s what I want this blog, this community to be about. I want to show you what I’m working on; I want to inspire you with simple and do-able projects and DIYs. I want this to a place that indulges creativity and makes you feel empowered to try something new. I get so much joy from making and from learning new techniques; I want you to feel this joy, too! And I always want the projects shared here, whether its a craft, a DIY project or a home decorating idea, to feel like something anyone can accomplish. Because there is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you don’t have the tools or the skill-set to do something. I am fully acknowledging that I am a learn-as-you-go kind of gal, and I am learning to give myself the grace and the freedom to try, to mess up and to just enjoy the process of creating.
I’ve always been a quiet, introverted person, and because of this I often feel like I’m holding back from you. But one of my favorite things about discovering other blogs and bloggers is getting to know them and feeling like we’re friends. So, I want to bring more of that comfortable, casual conversation here.
I was looking back at the “personal manifesto” I wrote for myself at the beginning of 2015—to follow my heart—and it still applies 100%. In the last paragraph of that post, I wrote that I was going to “relish every real, strange, uncomfortable, amazing moment” in 2015. Holy crap, could I be more of a sooth-sayer? 2015 was one giant strange, uncomfortable and amazing moment. It was the hardest year I’ve experienced in 31 years of living. And I couldn’t be happier that it happened. Maybe this makes me sound like a crazy person, but until life throws you a shit-ton of lemons, you truly have no idea how strong you really are, or what you’re capable of. I lost my job. I had major brain surgery. I lost all ability to hear out of my left ear. We lost one of Tom’s uncles to a brain tumor (that sure hit close to home). Every day I woke up feeling guilty about not having a job to go to, or a paycheck to deposit every month. But I made it through. And the biggest lesson I learned in 2015 was to follow my heart. To get rid of the guilt and the crap that weighs me down and to just be. So I am heading into 2016 with a clearer head, a grateful heart, and a mission to just be. Be happy. Be healthy. Be creative. Be crafty. Be messy. Be me. And I hope you’ll join me, so I can be me, and you can be you, together.