navelgazing · Ravellings

Send me a signal, a beacon to bring me home

I remember at this time last year, seeing a whole lot of “goodbye 2010, don’t let the door hit you on the way out” around the blogs, twitter etc. Apparently last year sucked for a lot of people. This year must have been better, since I haven’t seen any of that. Rah!

For me, 2010 was fine, but 2011 was better. Odd, though. I closed one chapter, but haven’t really started the next. Hm.

Selling Purlescence was A Thing. I’d been contemplating or planning it for a good long time, so although it was bittersweet, the grieving process was pretty much over by the time I actually announced it was for sale – then came the nailbiting anxiety and stress! Was I going to find a buyer? Were negotiations going to be horrendously difficult?* Was handover going to be traumatic and messy? As it turned out, of course, it all went fine – better than fine. I was lucky enough to be in the position of choosing the right people to take over, and Sarah was incredibly great to work with. Even better, since then, I’ve watched her and Jonathan steadily implement pretty much all the improvements I hoped for – there was this wishlist in my mind, things I wanted to do but hadn’t time/energy/resources for, and the idea that someone else could take Purlescence further down that road went a long way toward soothing the sting of selling up. To see it all coming to fruition is fantastic. And, okay, bittersweet. But mostly fantastic.

But then it was over, and I became officially a hausfrau. Or “stay at home mum”, as you prefer. It’s odd. It’s very much not something I ever pictured for myself. And yet, I don’t want anything else, right now. That would be the laziness speaking. Being temporarily without the responsibility of earning a living is… refreshing. Comfortable. Maybe a bit too comfortable. Going back to working life, whenever that happens, will be a bit of a shock to the system.

Not that I’ve done nothing. I have taken a little editing work over the year, erratically, as it comes up. Great to be able to work from home – and great that Elfling is finally settling into the preschool groove, which should make work easier next year. I do have more work lined up (huzzah!), so it’s possible I’ll be slightly busier in the coming months. We’ll see. I’m not under any pressure to earn right now (and yes, I am very, very well aware of how privileged I am). And while I am always delighted to have a bit of independent income, editing – at least for the clients I have – is not enormously exciting.

When selling Purlescence, I kept hearing the question: “So when are you starting your next business?” There’s an assumption that having done it once, I am clearly an Entrepreneur and will inevitably do it again. Hm. The thing is, while I am frankly dead chuffed to have made a success of my first go, I still don’t feel like I actually know how to Do Business. I did learn a lot, and I have pretty clear ideas about how I should go about any future venture, but it still scares me. I have a few ideas, of course, but they’re pie in the sky more than solid business opportunities… so, maybe one day. Not something I’m working towards, though.

I’m also regularly asked if I’m planning to design. Hm, again. As career goals go, it’s a great one (despite less than glittering financial prospects for designers). I have of course dreamed of “being a designer” for a very long time. Long enough that I have had ample opportunity to confront my weaknesses in that regard. (All these years knitting, making my own designs, and only two published patterns? There’s a reason for that, or maybe reasons. Lack of ideas isn’t one of them.) I do believe that I can pull my perfectly fitted socks up and give it a good, solid bash – at some point. Not sure if right now is that point, though.

The point of all this rambling is that there’s a bit of a vacuum. Back in May, I expected that I’d spend the rest of the year catching my breath, literally and metaphorically cleaning house,** and gearing up for the next thing, whatever that might be. But I guess I got lazy. There’s a fair bit of housecleaning still to be done.*** And I still don’t really know what the next thing is.

Some years ago – right before I moved to London – I had a conversation with a friend who had just taken a crewing course. She was telling me about learning ships’ signals. Apparently there is one that means: “This ship is clean and ready to leave the harbour.” This caught my imagination powerfully; which makes sense. I was itching to leave the harbour of my Joburg life and start something new (and indeed, very soon I did). The other day, I saw a fortune (as in cookie) that snagged my attention in a similar way: “A ship in harbour is safe. But that’s not why ships are built.”

I don’t know, yet, where my ship will be sailing next. I guess I’ll figure it out. For now, I’ll just carry on with getting it clean, and trust that when it’s ready to leave harbour… I’ll know the destination.


* Sarah, it’s probably safe to say this now: I was terrified of you. Terrified. You just seemed so professional and well seasoned, and I suffered from acute imposter syndrome the whole time I was running the shop.
** Okay… mostly metaphorically.
*** Not as much metaphorically as I’d like.

3 thoughts on “Send me a signal, a beacon to bring me home

  1. Oh, I know about Acute Impostor Syndrome. I’ve expected to be frogmarched out of every job I’ve ever held, once I was Found Out.

    But you? Smart, gorgeous, competent you? As we Yanks say, “Fuggedaboudit.”

    Happy 2012, my dear. May this be the year we meet in person.

    1. Happy noo year! Meeting in person would be delightful. I do hope that means you’re thinking of coming to London, since my chances of getting to the US any time soon are slender…

      And, thank you. *blush*

  2. Me…..terrifying. Oh no, I’m so sorry. I think maybe I waws just so keen to be ‘the chosen one’ that I wanted to show how sorted I was.

    I’m a bit late catching up on my reading here, but thank you for you lovely comments about what we’re doing with Purlescence. And really, we couldn’t have done it without the solid foundation thaat you built and your support along the way…………you know – the replies to the emails when I was having a complete crisis of confidence and was in a state of panic 🙂

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