It was about January 2020 and I had quit my full time job as an occupational therapist not too long ago and had also recently let go of building another business idea with a friend. I was sitting eyeball deep in those feelings of “what the heck am I doing with myself”, “did I just make some of the worst decisions of my life”?! Layered with shame and some super negative self talk like “why do you keep doing this to yourself” and “why can’t you just be like your friends and keep with your OT career”? I was feeling less than successful, proud and confident to say the least.
The one thing I did have now…time. Time coupled with my two favorite coping tools for stress, avoidance and sewing. I started playing around in my sewing room to help me deal [or really ignore] the place I was currently in. It was in those days of burying myself in creative flow to hide from my current reality that I started to put energy into an idea I’ve had floating in my head for a couple of years. And as I brought this idea to life I also brought a big obstacle into existence as well.
The idea was turning out even better than I had anticipated and so my excitement was taking off with rocket like trajectory. I couldn’t stop thinking how cool of thing this idea would be to start sharing with other people. But you see, this is the place where I can get myself into trouble. This place of full blown excitement and it was the big obstacle I was bringing into my reality. “Great.” I thought, “another business idea, just what you need Brooke”. [Insert eye roll.]
I was super hesitant to share this new idea let alone act on trying to make it into a business. Over the years of being married to and having lots of friends that are ultra practical, who are always reliable and stable in their decision making; I have taken on some shame and guilt of not being this way. I don’t know exactly how long I processed on the decision to try this new idea or scrap it but I don’t think it was very long. Surprise, surprise. There was something stirring in me that I couldn’t ignore and so I decided to share my idea and see what I could do to make this idea of Switch Stitch successful.
Although I had been down this path of trying new ideas many, many times before, this time I promised myself I would go about the process in a way I hadn’t in the past. I would share this idea with intention, with a perspective of constant curiosity and with the kind of self-awareness and openness that might be painful at times. I had no idea I would discover so many aspects of growth when I decided to put my Switch Stitch idea into play with these new parameters. I also had no idea I would be able to sit with the uncomfortable times in the way I have. And sometimes I even find myself sharing things simply for the growth that will come from it despite how awkward and uncomfortable it might be in the moment. Hint…this might be one of those times.
What I’ve come to realize over these past couple of years is that ideas and self growth have to start somewhere. They both deserve to be looked squarely in the eyes and seen fully. Sometimes self growth is disguised as a new idea. Sometimes the wildest ideas are the platform to learn the most about ourselves and grow in ways other paths have not provided. And sometimes that self growth shifts perspectives in a way that lets us embrace all the nooks and crannies of ourselves so that there less space for shame, guilt and feeling less than. At least I know this is what it has been for me.