Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Know I Can ...

I might have done something a little crazy.

Good crazy, not crazy crazy. Exciting crazy, not Sharron Angle crazy. "Eee, this exciting!" crazy, not "Oh, God, what have I done?"

For too long, I have been attempting to swim upstream, against the vocational current, apparently.

Things have not worked out well.

Mind you, I'm firmly of the belief that we're always where we're supposed to be.

There is no such thing as failure in my book, though I've just recently arrived at that realization.

Everything teaches us something, if only we're willing to learn.

And lately, life has been swirling about, as it always is, of course, but now I'm more aware of the spinning whorls that ever before.

Instead of attempting to swim upstream, I'm learning to relax and go with the flow, accepting that traveling down this river of life necessarily means leaving some things – some people – behind.

Not everyone is traveling at the same pace. Some who have been by my side for years are by my side no longer, but I'm meeting others along the way. (Just like the 3-Day, actually. The 3-Day is an excellent microcosm.)

But here's the thing: I'm a dork. I allow myself almost no learning curve. I hate not knowing. I hate feeling inept. Paradoxically, I love learning.

I expect of myself to be an expert in all things, all the time. Which is ridiculous, I know.

But when I embark upon something "new," a little voice in my head says, "And what makes you think you're qualified to do this? Others can do this very, very well, but what makes you think you're as good as them?"

Oh, little voice in my head, do shut up!

Thankfully, a more rational voice pipes up in those moments and says, "Um, Beth? Those people, who do those things so well? There was a time when they had not done them before. They all had to do those things for the first time, just as you have to do things for the first time."

Like I said, I'm a dork.

So, the crazy thing?

I've offered to decorate someone's home. They were looking for recommendations for interior designers, which I assure you I am not in the formal sense, and even as I was asking a friend if he knew of anyone, I was thinking, "You should do this, Beth."

But I didn't say anything. I'm not a designer, I told myself. I can't do what those people on television do.

Except that I can. Maybe not as well as them. Not yet. But lately, I've begun looking at my space differently, changing things, mixing things, stepping outside of what I've done in the past and liking the results.

My television room is my laboratory of late. It's a room in which I spend a lot of time, but for a long time, it's languished. Over the years – I've lived in this house nearly 10 – I've added to it and subtracted from it, as is the case with all rooms, but it's been in the past couple of years that I've really started to fill it in, and in the past few months, especially, that I've started to mix elements I previously wouldn't have thought to mix.

(I have my Twitterpal Angelo to thank for this. I really respond to his style, and am so grateful that he's so approachable and helpful.)

So yesterday, I was flitting about to fabric and craft stores, looking for the latest fabric with which to stitch up throw pillows for the TV room, because design can be a chain reaction, and changing one thing often requires changing another, and the pillow I made this weekend suits its host chair just fine, but now I have three throw-pillow fabrics in that room, and they do not play well together, so I need new throw pillows for the couch, and I thought about my friend who was looking for someone to do their space (1920s-vintage condo which will be rehabbed) and I thought, "You should offer to do it."

So I did. I wrote to him and asked if his friend had found anyone yet, and told him that if his friend were amenable, that I'd be happy to donate the time in exchange for photographing the space when it's completed so I can start building a portfolio.

And he replied and said his "friend" was, in fact, him (which I'd suspected), and that he and his wife were certainly amenable and that we should hop on the phone and talk, which we will do today.

There are things that they need to accomplish first, like closing on the property and having new floors installed and such, so whatever I do won't be done immediately, but I'm very glad that I offered. This should be really fun on a variety of levels, not the least of which is that I used to work with him at the Trib and have always been fond of him. He's whip-smart and funny, and who doesn't want to hang around someone like that?

Oh, and I also popped into a friend's store yesterday – she sells home furnishings and I love her taste – and offered to help her when she needs to change out displays and such. She could use an extra pair of hands sometimes, and I could surely benefit from all she knows about decorating and design. And, at the moment, anyway, I have the time.

So, there you have it. Angelo and I have joked in the past that if I had a design show, it would be called, "Beth's House ... Again!" because I'd make everyone's spaces look just like mine.

But that's not really true, of course. I'm confident that I can translate the tastes of others into spaces that suit them. Happily, though, the condo-buying friend and his wife strike me as the types who will want a space that's not hugely different from what I'm used to pulling together. So in that way, it should make for a good first effort.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, and I did find a fabric last night that I really liked. A nice woman at the store cut a swatch for me and yup, it's the right choice in the space. So I'll return today and buy a yard or two. Leave it to me to like stuff that's $45 a yard, which isn't a lot of money in the world of fabric, surely, but it's not exactly the makings of an inexpensive throw pillow, either. Thankfully, it's on sale.


Anonymous Alison said...

Yaaaaay! You go!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Rick Hamrick said...

This sounds like a brilliant part of the river to float, Beth! It's wise to set up the experiment as a "nobody can possibly lose" situation, and the more likely outcome is win/win! You get some nice photos for a budding portfolio, your friends get Beth's house [smile]. From what I have seen of your design/decorating efforts, they are definitely going to be winning in this deal!

7:21 PM  

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