Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year! I hope you all had fun, ate and drank tons and spent time with people you love. I did :-) My favourite gifts this year were books. I got a couple of books by two of my favourite authors Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed, plus one from an author I haven't yet read, The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (he's a potter too).
Gilbert and Strayed are inspirational women. Both have faced very different challenges and emerged triumphant, and with fascinating stories to boot. If you haven't read their books, I highly recommend you do. Although I don't profess to know much about literature, I do know that whenever I read their work I am inspired and given renewed strength. The below is an ode to Gilbert's 'conversations with fear' in her book Big Magic. Whilst I can only hope that as new challenges roll in along with 2016 I am open enough and brave enough to allow fear to come along for the ride, what I know for sure is that I will never let him drive ;-)
A few times over this past 7 months I have wanted to stay under the covers, "I am not coming out today, or tomorrow, or in fact ever again..." At times it all felt too scary and seemed easier not to face the world, especially a world where (forgive me for sounding over dramatic) I have risked pretty much everything to start my own business *as a potter!*. Perhaps, I thought (often!) it would be so much easier to just pack it all in and find a nice 'regular job' where I am paid on time (/at all!); where there is no risk of silicosis (Potter's Lung), or back ache; where I'd have lovely painted finger nails and soft hands. But then again, I reminded myself that's not my dream.
I owe a lot to you Fear. You threw countless threats my way: 'it's dangerous to follow your dreams; you may open your kiln to an explosion, or something will be stuck to the shelf; you won't make that deadline on that jug; isn't that teapot a bit small?; what if those pots arrive at the customer's home shattered to pieces; what if NO ONE likes your work?'
But Fear, you didn't count on me reminding myself that these are small threats compared to what you throw at some people everyday. So I want to say thanks Fear, thanks for those small fears, ones that only made me more determined, that showed me what I needed to overcome, taught me lessons I'll remember for years. I am sure we will meet many times in the months and years to come, but I plan to interpret your threats as mere twists and turns designed to make this journey all the more thrilling, terrifying, exciting beyond belief and... totally worth it.
Yours forever grateful
Kara Leigh x'
I also want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my lovely customers, friends and family who have supported me this past year. I really am grateful beyond words for all of your orders (big and small), comments and likes; without you I would probably still make pots (I just cant help it ) but getting to share them with you makes it a billion times better.
PS. I'd also like to extend a special thank you to my editors in chief Verity Teagle and Thomas Corneill for helping me write my blogs, I am not the worlds most gifted writer ;-)