Thoughts & Stories: Slow & Steady...Wins the Race?

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Above, you see my very first blog post back in 2008. While watching a bear documentary and drinking wine with my best friend Bethany, she suggested I start a blog. "You should get a blog...you're weird, you'd write entertaining things. I'd read it" she said. 

"What's a blog?" was my answer. 

Bethany swiftly pulled out her Macbook and before I knew it I had a blog called "Thoughts From the Jar" on at blogger. It started out as a place for random ramblings and confessionals while listening to (too much) Ingrid Michaelson.

Soon, however, a winter storm would leave me stranded at my friend Dominique's apartment. Unable to escape the reality of my apathetic and somewhat unhappy life...I realized I loved writing, creating, and designing. In order to respect myself and find a career path that I enjoyed, I'd need to be creating something.  My first "design" took place in Dom's living room...doodling a few christmas cards for my mother as a gift.

Finished Product Jar Design

 

 

JARFLY was born out of a funny conversation I had with Kenny (my husband...then my boyfriend) regarding a lifelong dream I have of catching fireflies in a mason jar. It seemed like a perfect company name...so we coined it. I had no idea what type of products I'd be selling, but I knew it all felt right. So we designed a blog (above) as a blueprint for the next couple years of discovery. As you can see, it was a rough design and no where near the level I wanted to be...but I loved that little first start.

 

 

Finished Product Vintage Victrola Design

I struggled to wade the unnatural waters of...business building, dreaming and goal setting. For most of my life, I'd just assumed people with cool jobs were lucky or extremely vivacious...perhaps very A-Type. I never even CONSIDERED that I too, could love what I did. Or even love myself. I found myself really stumped as of last May, on where I wanted JARFLY to go...or what it should become. So in an effort to inspire myself, with the help of my husband...we redesigned the blog once again. This time, I felt I could hang in a little more with some of the heavy hitting blogs I followed.

However, fear and anxiety was never far. I was a newlywed and jobless. For the first time in my life I didn't need to work (due to Ken having such a great job) and I had any pathway available to me. I could completely focus on my dreams and pursue them in full force. This absolutely scared the hell outta me. I could no longer blame long hours, exhaustion or other commitments for my lack of excitement in life. It was simply up to me to make it happen.

That was a year ago. 

I've since started a rental company and gone back to school for graphic design. I've narrowed my goals for this year to three things:

1. Complete my first year of study

2. Complete the new Jarfly Vintage website

3. Open my new online paper boutique

 

If I'm honest though, I really get anxious when I think about it all. I worry I'm not good enough and that my market is saturated. I lay in bed at night staring up at the ceiling wondering if I'm a good artist and if Anthropologie would ever even consider looking at a stationary set I designed (one of my biggest goals). I become frustrated at my own lack of diligence at times and my ability to give up in my head every other moment. 

As an average gal, I wonder if I'm beautiful. I try and go the gym...keep up on housework...be nice to my husband. Yet, I never feel like I stack up against Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez or any other pretty face I see on a magazine cover....or heck...half my girlfriends on facebook. I change around 5 times before I go out  and sometimes feel unworthy of looking fashionable because I'm such a dork right? Right?

 I sometimes get caught the in the trap of comparison with others...and then I feel ashamed. 

Know what though? I think it's these struggles that ultimately make us stronger. Feeling a little bit broken is a sure fire way to stay relatable and see others with the eyes of kindness we ought to. It's also just part of life and growth. The key is not to let those thoughts linger too long or let them sink you. And of course, never giving up helps too.

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas Edison

I'm still so far from many of my goals. Yet, I have a little jar (or course) of dreams on my shelf. I read through a good portion of them the other night and was delighted to see that I'd accomplished quite a few of them without even realizing it. It felt good to take them out of the collection...replacing them with new dreams.

The saying goes, "slow and steady wins the race". Some people in this world are able to jump right in full force and succeed rather quickly. That's great! Yet, I think I'm more a slow and steady kind of kid. And that's alright with me.

For all you dreamers out there, as cheesy as it may sound...keep working hard and know that goals are always realized if you keep with it. They may not look like what you thought they would...but that's half the fun! 

I still haven't seen a firefly in my whole life. I look forward to the post I'll get to write someday telling you all about the time I caught them in a jar.

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