I was just thinking about Easter and all the fun and creative projects I’ve been seeing on blogs: paper carrots, gardening “easter baskets”, and a plastic eggs makeover. It’s been really fun to gather things for Iliana’s basket and to imagine what it will look like when it comes together. One of the things I truly love is displaying or putting together a themed table or basket in this case. I like wrapping gifts and bringing it all together with colors, and various materials, somehow making the gift start from the time the item is presented to the receiver. Way back in 2002, I worked for about a year and a half at a very inspiring shop called Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, CO . A highlight of my job there was putting together a themed table, or doing a new display in the window, using whatever was at hand in the store: beautiful, letterpress stationary, handmade papers, and interesting, creative books. Oh my, there was so much to work with there as the proprietor had such great taste. It was an experience of beauty walking into that store and while working there I was surrounded by so much creativity and inspiration.
I grew up doing “displays” as it were, in my bedroom. I had a ton of shelves that I’d redo on a regular basis, creating little worlds with something in common but using little, stuffed animals, books, and other special items that I’d set up to bring each shelf to life. I even decorated my wall with an old dress of my mother’s and various necklaces and jewelry from our dress up box. I also enjoyed doing collage and had a bulletin board with various images from magazines that inspired me.
Somehow I’ve never really figured out how to turn this passion into, say, a career. A few years ago, in a New Mom’s group in Boulder, I met a woman who had gone to school for and worked as a visual merchandiser. I was fascinated. I had no idea you could actually DO that! Right now, I’m kind of exploring what it would take for me to do more of this thing I’ve always gravitated towards and loved doing.
I recently heard an interview on NPR, and though I can’t remember who it was with, this is what stuck out. The interviewer talked with a young woman about how she came to be doing what she loved and this is what she said in a nutshell. She was struggling with her life as she was graduating from college. All of her friends had either jobs or graduate programs that they were moving on to after finishing their bachelor degrees. She had nothing. She went to a party and someone there told her to write down a list of things she loved to do, regardless of whether or not they could get her anywhere. She wrote down: travel, writing, cooking and eating. Voila, this is now what she does as a food writer who travels around the world. She had no idea that this is where her list would lead her. Hmmm! Do what you love and the rest follows (but not without work, mind you).
I’ve thought about the above story quite a bit. Maybe I’ll find the NPR interview for you so that you can hear the whole thing, but really the point for me is, am I doing what I love? If I were to sit down and write a list of things I love to do, where would that list lead me? Where would it lead you?
So here’s to Spring, Easter, and new beginnings! May we all plant seeds that we’d like to come to fruition.