27 May 2011

When do you give up on your dream?

Is giving up your dream realistic, or settling for second best?

I began the week contemplating wether or not we can have it all. And end the week with another big thought about dreams and aspirations.

I don't think we can 'have it all' neither do I think we should aspire to. With every choice there is compromise, and I think we should aspire to have what we really want deep inside ourselves, and then accept the inevitable repercussions of that choice.
But how can we decide exactly what our dream is? and for how long do we continue chasing it? That's a very tricky question...

As a young costume design student, I allowed myself to dream about seeing my name in the credits rolling onscreen. By my final year, I realised I wouldn't be accepting any oscars for costume design. I hadn't given up my dream, or settled for second best. I had realised that my dream wasn't for me, I am an artisan, a facilitator and in costume terms an interpreter. Realising this allowed me to change my dream, and shift the direction of my life.

So was I realistic, or did I cop out and settle? Hmmm- working as I do in the entertainment industry, I see many folk that refuse to give up on their dream, despite possibly lacking in talent. X factor thrives on the untalented individuals dreaming of stardom. So when should they give up on their dreams?

My philosophy in life has been to do what makes me happy, I've changed direction several times in my career, usually changing when my work stopped giving me joy. I'm lucky and priveledged to be able to choose to do a job I love, rather than having to do a job I hate. Am I still following my dream? YES I am, It's just not the same one all the time, and definately isn't the one I had at nineteen.

Have a great weekend

Ps- I have in the last few years seen my name in the rolling credits as costume designer, and it thrilled me as I had dreamt it would. But I still know that wasn't the dream I should have followed. I am an average costume designer, but a great wardrobe mistress, and hopefully an inspiring teacher!

25 May 2011

The Thrifty Stitcher video on winding bobbins

Here is my first ever video guide, scary recording yourself, and weird realising what you sound like! But I'm glad to have got the first one up and running. Watch this space for more mini video how to guides.

23 May 2011

Can you have it all?

I've had a super busy fantastic weekend teaching, working, networking and hen partying! Yesterday I met with the "wonderful women minding their own business" (#wwmoob) ladies, for our monthly get together. It prompted me to think of the post I meant to write after meeting them all last month for the first time.
As women we celebrate our multi tasking skills, we rejoice that we can now have a career, raise a family and still be a good best friend. What I wonder though, is are we asking too much of ourselves? Should we really want to have it all, is this actually possible?

Hmm.... food for thought.

At yesterday's lunch a large cheer erupted when one of the ladies announced that she had given notice on the job that no longer inspired her, to follow her dream and develop her own magazine. Several other ladies have also recently taken redundancy, or quit jobs to follow the dream of a life they want. Is this fool hardy or wise? I am a great believer that if something really makes you unhappy then don't do it, but is this unwise? Obviously we all have bills to pay, so following a pipe dream can leave you financially vulnerable- but can trying to have it all, leave you having nothing you really want?

I have a fulltime job, and I run a small business. How do I manage this? To be brutally honest I work a lot of hours, get little sleep, no days off,  I have no time for myself and rarely see my friends or family. Is it worth the sacrifice? Honestly I don't know. I do know however that I don't have it all, my work/life balance is askew and all the fun stuff gets squeezed out. Having a fulltime job gives me financial security whilst building a new business. It does however give me something to hide behind, and holds me back from really building my business. With financial security you can become complacent, lack of money is a great motivator. Being too busy means it's hard to live in the moment, to stop and smell the roses sometimes. When over committed it's so easy to over-spend on food on the run, and the service industries, so how is that helping to make more money?

I've been inspired recently by a returning student. Between classes she had given up being a head teacher to go part-time and really live her life. She now bakes, cleans her own house and gets to see her family and friends. She doesn't make as much money, but feels richer for the fuller life she's living and the lack of stress.

So can we have it all? Sadly I don't believe we can, but I do think we can choose what we really want in life and make that our priority.

Here's to living the 'slow' life, and loving the life we lead.