Don't be afraid to try something new, you never know where it will lead. Full stop. End of post.
But seriously, when I think back to where I am now, much of my life has been directed by following my interests and curiosity. I was thinking about this back in April while I was taking an hour long drive to pick up a package of 10,000 bees. I know people who are beekeepers, I've helped harvest honey, and love reading about the life of bees. This is my first attempt at managing a hive on my own. It's exciting, and while I don't know if I'll take to it or the bees will take to me, I'm curious to see how bees fit into my life going forward and so far, they seem to be happy and I seem to be doing something right.
Back before I took my first pottery class, I had thought about it plenty enough, and eventually gave it a try. It took me a while to find my "voice" in clay, but the way I did was by trying different things and following through on fleeting ideas. The first birch piece was created why wondering what would happen if I used a piece of bark as a stamp. There's no need to go into what happened next, but I tried something new, and almost 17 years later, I have a healthy online and market business. Recently, I handed my sister a platter and asked her to draw on it. She enjoys painting signs, on various pieces of wood, and stone, so why not try using under glaze on clay. The platter pictured above was our first attempt and I brought it around to markets and got some great feedback. Last week it went to a new home and I couldn't be happier! Now I just need to get her to draw on a few more pieces.
When I first bought my house, I had trouble finding repair professionals so I started learning a bit about how to do basic home repairs. Overtime, I become more confident and renovated the apartment above my garage. Some guests noticed my work and then I started hearing from people looking to have some work done on their own houses. At the beginning of the pandemic I renovated a friend's house, going room by room, learning as I went, and then this past February I gutted and renovated another friend's bathroom which included tile and carpentry work. I love doing the work and thinking back to when I redid above my garage, I had no idea it would eventually lead to a side business.
Gardening is another area that has transformed my life. As a teen, I worked at a flower nursery. I remember planting a few vegetables in my parents' back yard. My garden plot was maybe 5 ft by 10 ft, if even. I hated vegetables...my family thought it was funny I was growing green beans considering I didn't like them. What I found out was nurturing the plants and growing my own food makes vegetables taste so much better. It took me about 20 years before I had room for another vegetable garden, one that is now 1200 sq ft in size and a joy to work in when the slugs don't eat everything first. I look forward to the first stalks of asparagus in the spring and cook them up with eggs from our hens and serve over sourdough bread baked from starter I've been feeding since well before the pandemic bread craze. Being curious about germination and how plants grow transformed my diet and how I connect with food. There's still junk food in my life, but at last I can walk into the garden on a summer evening and decide what's for dinner.
Maybe I was in a reflective mood, I'm not sure, but as I was driving to get the bees, I kept flashing through all the things I've tried over the years that have amounted to a significant change in how I am today. There are plenty of things that didn't work out, and that's fine. All these things not only shaped the person I have become, I feel they helped reveal who I always have been. When I was in my early 20s, I told my therapist at the time I was looking for my "superpower"....and I think I've finally understand what it is. I'm a doer....and I'm not afraid to try new things.