Thursday 8th December 2016 21:30
I had an amazing day yesterday…
It was Wednesday, 7th December 2017. It started after a night of stormy winds and heavy rain. From my apartment balcony I could see the coastline. It was clearing, so I decided that I would take my 2-year-old to the beach. I invited my Mum and after a 5 minute drive, by 10am we were beneath a beaming sun on the damp sands of Coral Bay beach.
This all sounds beautiful enough as it is, but there was also a huge sense of ‘freedom’ in the air.
Let me take it back a bit…
I am daughter to a nature-loving Dad and a very creative Mum… a combination which I must say I am very proud to have inherited. So naturally, I grew up with a passion for all things outdoorsy, wild but also from the comfort of a very ‘arts & crafts’ home, as well as a good-time spent in my mother’s craft & embroidery shop in the beautiful county of Sussex, England.
In my late teens, my parents emigrated to retire in Cyprus, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. Initially I stayed in England, intending to secure a future there, however I had a bit of a realisation one day at my job at a security company. In a nutshell, money overruled the security of the public. As I walked home from work that day, I looked around me. Emotionless faces hurriedly getting from A to B. The same posh cars parked in the same reserved spots at the office building. Somehow I’d got lost; not literally, but I had a deep, plummeting feeling of ‘I don’t belong here’.
I sent this message to my Mum:
“What do I need to do in order to live in Cyprus?”
Within a few months, I was calling Cyprus my home.
That was 11 years ago.
Although my Mum hadn’t intended to work after relocating, it only seemed natural for her to reopen a shop. That shop grew from a tiny unit filled with cross-stitch kits, silks and petite glass beads, to a large double-unit with haberdashery, sewing equipment, but mostly dedicated to knitting and crochet yarn and notions. It got so busy, I was lucky enough to work there with Mum and some other lovely ladies. It was there I learned to crochet. We ran clubs, workshops and helped whoever we could, if we had a spare moment between serving people at the till. Really busy…
It sounds like I’m approaching the peak of the story doesn’t it? But the truth of it is, we had become so engrossed in supplying the demand, focusing on ‘business’, that we had lost sight of the real reason for opening the shop in the first place. As we started to become aware of this, it seemed to point towards Mum turning over a new leaf and retiring… and I had a choice to make…
I was one of the lucky ones that actually enjoyed school. Although I was definitely a bit 'weird' or 'quirky' something that unexpectedly helped me was the fact that I had a brother 6 years older than me who would tease me, in an endearing fashion (if you could call it that), so any mockery from piers seemed to fall like water off a duck's back. I had a large group of friends and my grades were quite good. I would never have thought to call myself confident, but to be honest, I must have been because I wasn't embarrassed to be alone either. Perhaps 'independent' better describes it. I think I get that from my Dad. He and I are both the kind to go for a solitary walk purely for the sake of enjoying it. I guess I always considered a confident person to be one who would regularly strike up a conversation with a stranger, something I wouldn't choose to do. But, now I've grown a fair bit, I've learned that I am self-assured, it's just not naturally in my character to go in search of small-talk.
I 'live' a lot in my head. I always have. It's like a torrent of thoughts/ideas, so when it comes to engaging in social interactions, I can't seem to just 'switch-off' what's going on 'up there'. Thus, it can become very tiring, if not overwhelming, if I attend say, a large social gathering. In my teens, I discovered something amazing that took away all my apprehensions of small-talk, and let my buzzing mind calm down; alcohol. And that, my friends, has been my key to initiating friendships... all the way until my son was born, 3years ago. Instincts kicked in (Mother nature is a powerful thing), I mostly cut out the booze, occasionally enjoying 1 pint of shandy on a sunny afternoon, but on 1st January 2016 I cut out alcohol completely. My life changed in ways I couldn't imagine.
Looking back, during the first 6 months of sobriety, I was avoiding pubs. Unfortunately it meant I saw friends less and less, initially. But one day in the latter half of the year, I realized I would genuinely crave a cup of tea or coffee over a beer. The truth is, I never realized I had a problem, until then; I had overcome something. This initiated me asking myself many more questions. I seeked spiritual and psychological insight.
This first alcohol-free year, I was beginning to realize where my passion lied. Working with hand-dyed yarn, unique works of art, into a design of my making, through the craft of crochet. I also discovered this online community of crafters, podcasters, tutorial creators, photo sharers, all of whom fueled the fire of my creativity.
Also during this year, my Mum was becoming tired with the running of her craft business, where I also worked. I had a decision to make. Do I follow where the money is and take on a very busy shop? It would mean constant social interaction, a struggle for me, but at least we would be financially richer. Or do I pursue a dream? Go with what naturally flows for me and opt for riches in the form of fulfillment?
Fast forward to today, Thursday 5th January 2017 and the shop's VAT is due in 1 month's time. But, it is the last. Over the last couple of months, I have been shifting boxes of unsold stock, planning workshops which I intend to run from home, while designing crochet patterns. I have also been writing my experiences and learnings in which I shall share with you all on this blog. This is a very exciting, new chapter for me, for us all perhaps? Some strong friendships are already being made, beautiful project photos being shared and encouragement and guidance being given. I think this is a good moment to share a favourite quote of mine:
"When you get the environment right, humans will do remarkable things" - Simon Sinek
Well now, my environment is lacking a fresh cup of tea, and nothing remarkable will happen unless I get the kettle on! [pictured is the very tab from my cup of tea!]
So, until next time,