Sunday, July 26, 2009

living on the outside

I was reminded by a good friend, via her twitter, that this coming week is CHA summer. I had completely forgotten, or more accurately, have been happily out of the loop, and didn't give a damn.
I officially left the craft industry, professionally that is, a year and a half ago, when I left the magazine. At first it was really difficult. Even though I was pursuing my dream of a full time photography career, I ached for the excitement of a new paper line, the feel of new textured die cuts, the inside scoop of why a company wasn't renewing an artists contract, and the dirty tid bits of what Mormon had gone naughty and was having an affair with what executive. I had scissor withdrawal, if you will......being on the edge of everything, craft and hobby related, was now in the past.
Eighteen months later though, I've never felt freer.....I own my own successful business, I pick clients just as much as they pick me, I have VERY visible tattoos and don't worry about clients seeing them and I can say things like I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FUCK on my blog without worrying about being dragged into some lame-ass eagle scout/vice president's (of a failing company might I add) office and being reprimanded for foul language on my personal blog. I'm no longer a corporate bitch, and there's no nazi's around to look down on me or fire me. I'm my own boss, and a damn good boss if I do say so myself. I love my job. I love my life.
Do I still craft and scrapbook? (many have asked)......I'll be honest--I took a LONG hiatus from scrapbooking. I wasn't interested in it or anything I thought it represented for a long while. It took me nearly as long to realize that it only represents what I want it to though. The average American honestly has no idea what Creative Keepsakes or Making Memories or CardMaker magazines are, and they, like me, FINALLY, couldn't give a flying fuck. There was a point at which I thought it important to be consistantly published in these magazines, to be quoted in editorials, to be "known" by 50,000 or so women......but finally I came back to who I really am. Do I care if THESE women know who I am, or how I create a layout? NO, NO I DON'T. In my career though, I did become friends with ten or so women who changed my life and I love...they're funny, and loud, and not obsessed with pink or teddy bears...they either have tattoos, or really respect those who do...they drink, they swear..some go to church, some don't...some have kids, some don't---but they are all amazing women who from the get go "got" what I didn't....that the industry doesn't matter...but your passion and art and memories do. I wish I got what they did a long time ago. (I couldn't though, because I worked for the industry and became so buried in it that I lost who I was).
Back to my point though---it's CHA this week. I don't plan on looking at any of the new and exciting releases or youtube videos or blogs....if I happen to run into something I like at the store, I'll get it, paying retail (god forbid), and go on my way....and sometime soon, I'll start posting layout again---which don't resemble anything I've done before, because I finally remembered who I was, instead of who "those people" wanted me to be.
I had an engagement shoot today with a great couple. Afterwards, they asked if they could buy me a couple beers. We sat and talked, swore, and laughed.....and this was "work." I thought to myself, God, I'm lucky. A few years ago, I thought I was lucky---but it's not lucky when you come home at night frustrated, crying, hating your boss, your coworkers and everything the company you work for represents. The company I work for now is me, represents me, and encompasses everything I've ever wanted to be. God, I'm lucky.

oh,and those going to CHA...please don't take this as a "scrapbooking sucks" or "I hate CHA" blog---it's not that at all. Have a great time. This is more of a Jerry McGuire-esque blog....continue doing what you do. Just remember to love what you do, have passion for what you do, and smile while doing it, otherwise, it's not worth doing it. And to the stick-up-their-asses, forty-something year old eagle scout, middle-of-nowhere failing company executive.....good luck with that. Your fake enthusiasm and "gag me" holier then thou faith" isn't fooling anyone....including the customers.

peace out.
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