I had planned to write regular blogs to document my progress after graduating. This hasn't happened. And for a while it has been stressing me out along with everything else on my never ending to do list which stares at me with contempt.
The main mistake I made was thinking time was elastic. I have learnt the hard way that it isn't. I spent my summer working different jobs to help build my funds up to enable me to get a workshop and during that time I thought its ok, I will have time once September comes and I'm no longer working full time. I can make a start on things then. I have so many ideas but as yet just haven't had the time to develop them.
However, I started an MA at the UEA and foolishly (oh so foolishly) underestimated just how time consuming that would be. Looking back I realise I was a complete idiot to think it wouldn't be. On top of the MA I work part time, because essay writing doesn't pay bills. On top of that I have other commitments. With any time left over (there is none. NONE.) I have been trying to work towards becoming a self employed silversmith. And from September until now I tried to do it all, the uni work, the work work, the development work, the funding work, all the work, and all that has happened is I've failed at actually getting anywhere with anything other than completely running myself into the ground.
So this blog is to remind me of the hare and the tortoise. I can't do everything all at once, I just simply can't. But instead of focusing on all the things I feel I am not achieving and letting that make me feel like I'm a failure and that things are slipping away from me, I need to appreciate all the things I AM doing, all the things I AM achieving. Ok, I may not be working on my making practice and new designs but I need to let that go right now and think actually I'm not doing that bad. And I deserve some time each week to sit back and enjoy what I am achieving, reflect on what I have done. All work and no play makes Jack psychotic woops I mean a dull boy.
I'm doing an MA. Me, someone who just over three years ago didn't even have A levels, let alone a degree. Now I have a BA and soon I'll have an MA. I need to give myself some credit for that, its bloody hard work but its temporary so that has to be my priority. Once its over I'll have time again, not only time but I'll be full of pride at having achieved it. Shocked pride, but pride nonetheless.
I work for a well respected silversmith every week. This is another priority, not just because I need to earn money but I have come to look upon Miriam's workshop and the time I spend in there with her as some kind of sanctuary. The work is hard but I never ever tire of it. I never feel like I wish I wasn't there. Sometimes I take it for granted - mainly because I don't have a minute to let my mind relax - but then I'll meet someone new and they will say "you work for Miriam? Wow" and I am reminded what a fantastic opportunity it is and how lucky.
I have managed to get a workshop thanks mainly to my parents back garden and my dad working every spare minute to get it all together, and a scholarship which helped to make the balance up with my savings. Ok I'm not in there right now but I will be soon. Miriam helped me to realise that although I may *feel* like I'm not working towards my goals of silversmithing on a daily or even weekly basis just because I'm not pumping out a billion new designs each month I am actually doing something just as important. I am building a foundation. I am doing everything I can to get all the tools I need to make sure once I do start, I do it right, and I can keep on doing it. So instead of trying to fit everything in I'm going to relax and say you know what, i'm doing enough and what I am doing, I am doing well (well I will be now I've stopped trying to do too much). And once the MA is finished I will become the tortoise waving goodbye to the hare as I saunter on by, heading towards the finish line.