My Creative Odyssey

I want to tell you a story.  But first let me introduce Jessica Van Den from Epheriell Designs; she is running a blog hop called Creative Odyssey right now.  You can also hop to my partner in crime today, City Kitten Designs, and you can check out the full  blog hop list here.  Now back to my story…

Once there was a girl who ate, slept and breathed volleyball.  She had big dreams and goals.  Her senior year, after signing on to play at a small university in Nebraska, she got inured.  This wasn’t a small injury either; rather it was an injury that would take years to fully recover from.  It seemed that maybe her dreams of college volleyball were over.  And instead of resting and healing, she pushed on with all her might; often ignoring the signs her body sent her and the instructions given to her by her doctors.  She thought with pure will-power, she could beat the injury and push on to accomplish her goals.

Two years in a row, she struggled with complication after complication never letting her body heal.  Her leg soon atrophied.  When her doctors didn’t clear her to play, she felt completely defeated.  After working so hard to “heal” for two years, her spirit was crushed and she quit.  That day she met with the coach, released her contract, cleaned out her locker, and walked back to her dorm feeling defeated.

Six months later, after she had stopped training on a daily basis and finally took time to rest, she noticed that her symptoms had started to subside.  It seemed she no longer had complications.  She slowly started training again, a little here and a little there, and noticed that she was still passionate about her previous dreams.  After taking one year off, she tried out the following season.  She was stronger, smarter, more agile, and she made the team again and for the first time in years, she started her first game at the university level.

Why am I telling you this story?  Well, recently I have received an “injury” –not a physical injury, but rather some disappointing news that had temporarily defeated my spirits.  When your heart is a part of your work, a part of what you do everyday, I believe rejection hurts a bit more than in day to day work.

I think the reality of being a creative entrepreneur is that at times you will face rejection, and during those times, it’s important to stop, and heal.  Listen to your body, the signs around you, and don’t look at the setback as failure –find a new path to your destination.

And so this leads me into my creative goals for 2011:

  • Break the habit of keeping my nose to the grindstone –rather look up, and take time for reflection and healing.
  • Find a mentor, someone who knows the realities of running a creative business similar to mine.
  • Celebrate and notice the little accomplishments along the way.
  • Submit my quilts to get published in magazines.
  • Continue to follow my dreams of getting a book published.
  • Learn new embroidery techniques.
  • Exhibit my work in at least two fine art shows this summer.
  • Share my passions with other people by leading a quilt-a-long on my blog.
  • Sketch more and start playing with the idea of fabric design.
  • Continue to improve my photography skills.
  • Continue to learn illustrator.

Today I turn 30; did I forget to mention that?  However it is with confidence that I step into my 30’s, knowing that this will be my most creative years yet.

image credit:  Niela Photography and Design
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33 observations on “My Creative Odyssey
  1. Kristen

    Happy 30th birthday Angela! the thirties are the best, IMO. I am 2 years into this decade of my life and my world gets brighter every day. Beautiful and insightful post. I wish you the intuition to stop, take time to reflect and heal and grow with confidence in 2011. You are an amazing artist! Keep up the wonderful work!

    1. Angela

      Thanks Kristen. I’ve heard so many woman say that they love their thirties. It seems that maybe with age, some woman get more confident, and I do believe that confidence is necessary when it comes to living a bold and successful life 😉 Thank you for your nice words and kind wishes.

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  3. Amanda Davis

    First of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Second of all: If you wrote a book, I would totally be a test reader. I bet it would be fabulous!

    Third of all: I think your quilt along idea is wonderful!

    You’ll rock 2011!

    1. Angela

      Thanks Amanda. I’ll keep you posted on both the book and the quilt-a-long –the quilt-a-long is a go for sure and will be finished much before the book, lol 😉 Thanks for your nice words and the encouragement.

  4. Sarah

    Angela, this is such an amazing post. Thank you for sharing! I know exactly what you mean about the up’s and down’s of creative entrepreneurship. You’ll get through it – have a wonderful birthday!


    1. Angela

      Thanks Sarah! I think it’s important to be honest online, because the ups and downs really can be difficult. The best of luck to you as well. Please know that I’m cheering for you too 😉

  5. Jess

    “Break the habit of keeping my nose to the grindstone –rather look up, and take time for reflection and healing.”

    Thank you – I needed to be reminded of that – I find it so, so hard to take a break.

    A big, big happy birthday, Angela! My 3-0 is very close now – it’s certainly got me thinking about my life and my future – one of those pivotal moments in life…

    Thank you again for being the inspiration for this blog hop – it’s been a wonderful journey so far!! xx

    1. Angela

      I’m so glad my words were able to help Jess. And yes, 3-0 is a pivotal moment for sure. I’m confident I’ll love my thirties, as I know you will too.

  6. Amanda

    Happy Birthday!

    I would to play with fabric design to, infact I want to do a workshop. I would love to see what you come up with.
    And keep working towards your dream of a book deal – it would be totally amazing! xxx

  7. Melissa Prell

    Happy birthday, Angela! Sorry about the disappointing news, but I love how you turned that around with a very inspiring list of creative goals for 2011.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I am looking forward to seeing your creations in 2011.


    1. Angela

      Thanks Melissa. My news wasn’t all negative –most news isn’t I suppose. It’s important to see what doors could open when one door closes. I really appreciate your nice words. Happy holidays to you too.

  8. Trece

    Happy Birthday Angela! My 30’s were the decade wherein I had my kids, so they were a bit of a zoo, but they were also some of my most productive. Merry Christmas, and may this next year be your personal best ever!!

    1. Angela

      Thanks Trece. Yes, kids do add a zoo like element to life for sure 😉 That pretty much sums up my days. Thanks for your nice words. Merry Christmas to you too.

  9. Carmen (Country Mouse)

    A very happy 30th birthday to you, Angela! This post was most inspiring, thank you! A saying I like is: “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher”. May you achieve and exceed your creative goals in the coming year. Christmas Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Angela

      Thanks Carmen. That quote really is a great one, and I couldn’t agree more –life is too short for anything else. I hope you and your mom are well. Merry Christmas to you and yours 🙂

  10. Brandi

    Happy Birthday, Angela!

    Disappointments and rejections are always so challenging to deal with. But sometimes, I think it’s good to have a little challenge, just like it’s good to have a break and step back every once in a while. Challenges make me appreciate the good stuff a little more than I probably would have.

    Still, they suck. I love the way you’ve turned it around in a positive way!

    1. Angela

      Thanks for your comment Brandi. Just last night I was hanging out with my family, and your words really spoke to me. I was pretty bummed with the news I got, especially over the holidays, but in hindsight it also makes me realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband, beautiful daughter, and a wonderful extended family. Maybe it’s not the cards we’re dealt, rather the way we play the cards we’re dealt –you know? Thanks again for your thoughtful comment. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  11. Kristin

    Happy birthday!
    Thanks for the cute fabric scraps you sent with Karen. I have already used some and will blog about it soon. 🙂

    Loved this post and the story it told, the message it shared. Sorry to hear about your disappointing news. We’ll have to talk.

    I hope you had fun celebrating the big 3-0. I’m lovin’ my 30s!
    Enjoy your holiday!
    Love, Kristin

    1. Angela

      Thanks Kristin. I hope you guys are enjoying the holidays. Oh, and I’m so glad you liked the fabric scraps. You know me, I hate to waste 😉

      Yeah, we’ll talk. The news I got wasn’t all bad, just not what I wanted exactly. I’m brainstorming right now –figuring out my next steps 😉

      Miss you guys. Have a Merry Christmas.

  12. Suzi

    Your words about being a creative entrepreneur are so true. My favourites are, “Find a mentor … Celebrate little accomplishments … Share my passions. If you do it, I’d love to know more about your quilt-a-long. Thanks and Happy Birthday!

    :)Suzi (Vignettes de la vie)

    1. Angela

      Thanks Suzi. I’ll be starting the quilt-a-long this January I think. I’ll post details on the blog, tweeter, and facebook –stay posted. Thanks for your nice words 😉

  13. Tracey

    Such wonderful goals – I wish you the very best of luck with achieving them! 🙂

    Taking time out for reflection and celebrating milestones are two things that I need to do too …

  14. Angie

    Great creative goals. I just recently had a set-back and have found quilting to be my therapy over the past year. I like you quote – it is good to remember to listen to one’s self. Good luck with your goals 🙂

    1. Angela

      Thanks Angie 😉 Quilting has been my therapy for the past year too –that’s why I’m in love with it I think. I always walk away feeling refreshed. Thanks, and good luck to you too.


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