June 09, 2008


Hi, Kids. Uhh, boy...today does feel something like a Monday. Yes, for sure it feels like Monday. Maybe it's the weather as the overcast skies are taking something of a toll on me. But, things have been in flux for me lately. Changes in life, work, home, and thought patterns (and that is always in some state of fluctuation).

I know you typically find me posting on fun, fashion, design, etc. And that was one of my main intentions in starting this blog. I really wanted to stay away from anything "rant" oriented and try to focus, as much as possible, on more positive and inspiring topics. And while I may not typically present anything deep from a spiritual perspective, I think something that even superficially brings a little smile to the day has worth.

That said, however, I also have the perspective that this is a personal blog. And nothing "personal" is ever without its flaws or humanity. And today, I feel flawed and oh so human. And I feel it is important that you see not just the cleaner and shinier version of me here but know that there are those cracks and crevices as well.

You see, after a relatively grueling schedule over the last three months my job has now come to an end. No, I didn't do anything...they simply closed the business. So I am, once again, in a place where I have found myself before. On a precipice. Looking up, down, around and feeling trepidation at making a move. On the one hand, I "should" do the "logical" thing and find another job or, on the other hand, venture into my own thing again. But what will either of those things bring? I can tell you right now they both share in common the traits of fear and anxiety.

I have worked in the hospitality industry for many years...and I am good at it...damn good. But what people often seem to assume is that because I am good at it, I am also happy or fulfilled in the process. This simply isn't true. It was at one time but those notes simply don't ring in tune as much as they once did. Somewhere inside there exists something else that wants to rise to the occasion. Truthfully, I can't say I know exactly what it is but it's there...oh yeah, and it's grumbling. And, laying the cards on the table, I am kind of afraid of that grumbling. That's a lie...I am afraid...period.

I am vacillating between what is practical and what is inspired between enthusiasm and gut-aching avoidance. I have tried things in the past with some success and some failure. And the failure always looms largest. Why is this? And why do so many of us do this to ourselves? I keep hearing the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." But something about my mindset doesn't really allow for that but rather cautions me toward something safer and more predictable. Boring.

Is this something specific to the creative mindset? Have all of us artistic/aesthetic types been sold a bill of goods that leads us to believe that the creative life must be hard and full of suffering? Or, perhaps worse, easy and fruitful...if only you're lucky or talented enough? And in a day and age where creating our own rules is easier than ever...why are so many of us trying to follow the old ones?

So what about you? Where might you be in all of this? Any thoughts to share about your personal process? Moving through fear? Finding your passion/s? Are you still seeking "it" or do you think you might just have found your "pot o' gold"?

Well, well, well...amazing how things show up.
Miss Julia pointed me in this direction.
And Victoria had this great post to share.


  1. get out the teapot mabel, we need to talk

  2. Hello - I saw this artwork earlier and it really struck a chord with me. Then I read your post, and thought maybe you would appreciate it as well.

  3. Beefy,

    Follow your heart. Consider this a sign that you are meant to do something else, something that means more to you. Something bigger.

    Your recently (pseudo)-retired friend, Bee.

  4. em...true dat...true dat! How about vodka tea?

    crystal...thanks for sharing this! Love the sweet work and, so funny, posted this quote on my blog ages ago! Clearly needed the reminder...so thank you for your thoughtfulness.

    Bee...thanks for your support and kind words. I do think I get caught up in thinking about things too much. Like there is some prescribed logistics to living creatively. I guess I just pointed out the inherent contradiction in that statement. See how you helped! :)

    Thanks, All for the encouragement!

  5. I was gonna say what Lil Bee said, but we can still drink vodka, right?

  6. same boat brother, my little family is working on getting to that "out on our own" thing. . .mollie's husband just went out on his own doing photography but with a lot of business investing thrown in. . .seems like he is doing all right so far. . .doing what you love, not what other people love you to do is a very brave and scary, funny isn't it? everyone always wants me to do oil paintings, but darn it! i want to do printmaking! so i am! oil someday probably. . .i know i would regret not doing what i truly am inspired to do, bottom line. the deathbed regret. oh my! so morbid! sorry. . . good luck in all ventures.

  7. I know how you feel. For years I was "I wish, but..." until I got sick of myself and tried it out. But don't make it too scary to jump off that precipice - sort out some backup that will allow you to land without too much of a bump, then it's easier to launch.

    Also, how about showing us more of your work so we can ooh and ahh and stoke you up a bit?

    Go on, Beefy, make a move - just a little one first, then more.

  8. I liked what Heather said - make small steps but keep on. Often times the path or direction we need to take appears as we keep moving forward with what feels right. Plus, we never have to go through anything alone.
    Please remember that there are a whole lot of people { myself included} holding that safety net as you make your climb.
    Best, Denise

  9. Hello,

    I just wanted to say that as someone who has been through the same thing you're going through many times, know that there is always something better out there waiting for you. It sounds cheesy, but it's true!

    Currently, I'm working on the small steps process working full-time in a non-creative job that I'm great at(boring!) and then being creative at night when I go home. Hopefully it will turn into something big, but I'm not sure if it will.

    At least I can say that I tried and I think you should too :) If it means again!

  10. Thanks muchly, Denise & Maria! Your words continue to add to both my support and my inspiration! I hope you know how much that means.

  11. ah sweet beefy ~ it is a scary thing to take a leap into the unknown in hopes of fulfilling dreams {that is if you are lucky enough to have very clear vision of what those dreams are} and it is a scary thing to stick to the boring same-old-same-old with the prospect of your life not having any glittery goodness in it. we spend the majority of our time at work so it's no wonder we want that work to be inspiring and fun and fruitful. you absolutely deserve that! and if it was you deciding on the course for a friend's career choices i'm sure you'd do everything your power to give them success at the happiest career choices possible. so my advice is to do that for yourself. you're actually lucky that you've been given this little push to the edge so you are forced to make some choices. choose the less traveled path and see where it takes you. i bet you'll be amazed at how much support the universe gives you in return for your bravery.

  12. uncle beefy, have i told you lately how much i love you? i totally feel you, darling. been there. wouldn't it be easier if our passions were accounting? alas! email me anytime...we'll talk. xoxo

  13. Uncle B...came to visit this morning and found you words from yesterday. I think that it is awesome that you DID share with us, your bloggy friends, what the biz is in your head and life right now. I launched off the edge to find my passion and give it a whirl. That was a year ago. My credit card is still useless cos it is full and I still don't know how I am paying my rent this week which was due yesteday. BUT I am the happiest I have been in years and years. I figure this. When you feel fat you eat more and get fatter and feel horrible. WHen you feel good, you eat less and feel awesome and gorgeous. (this sounds better in my head). What I am getting at is if you attempt to go after your creative dream, you may well feel happier...which may well lead to a more positive take on life...which will encourage your creativity and ability to stay strong and true to your passion even when times are tricky. SUCCESS!!!

  14. ...sigh...that was pretty tricky to read. Stay strong and remember life is too long to do shit that makes you unhappy xxxoo

  15. Aw, I'm sorry Beefy. Would you like to guest post for us?? Think on it!

  16. I am being rendered further speechless by the outpouring of all these encouraging messages. Thank you all so much...I am humbled and blessed and riddled with hope at this moment.

    "Studio"...I am amazed already at the support this universe is showing! Thanks for your wise, wise, words. :)

    Tula...sometimes I think "ain't it the truth" and then it all sounds SO dull. (No offense to accountants...if that's your thing.) We'll tawk!

    Ju...I here you loud and clear!!! Thanks for your kiwi well wishes :)

    Mary...I will think on it. And, aw shucks, thanks for offering! What an honor! I'll be in touch :)

    And...I'll say it again...THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! :)

  17. If there is such a thing, I experienced commentus interruptus and somehow lost whatever brilliance I was about to post that certainly would have been the key, I mean surely the answer to point you in the absolutely positively right direction - damned tea whistle!

    Ha, I did lose my original comment and can't seem to recall it, however, I just wanted to say that if the world of creatives were to comment here, they would echo your struggle. I vacillate between moments of feeling wildly brilliant to moments of What-The-Flourless-fudge-cakes am I doing here?!!

    All my best on your next adventure!

  18. Ha! I wrote you a truly BRILLIANT comment and it doesn't look like you got it. I shall email instead....

  19. Hi,
    Awhile back you posted a nice comment about my DIY medallion rug on designsponge which is how I discovered your blog! As you gave me a boost, I'm hoping I can do the same for you. In light of your current circumstances - look at it this way - here's some time for you to discover yourself and what you love to do. Maybe this is your time - you'll come up with something that you love to do and that pays the bills! I'm anxious to see some of your work - will you peddle your wares on etsy? Best of luck - hang in there!

  20. Dearest Beefcake,

    I'm a little late to this entry, but I have some thoughts to share...

    We are so hard on ourselves, aren't we? The failures ALWAYS loom larger than the successes, and that is such a shame.

    I wish there were absolute truths about keeping a job vs. working for yourself, but it is entirely dependent upon the individual. I held on to crummy, low-paying, self-esteem crushing jobs for years because I was ALWAYS so stressed about money. The idea of not having a steady paycheck gave me hives. Of course, the universe tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Um...QUIT. Quit now." so I did. It was (and CONTINUES to be) terrifying, but at some point...money has lost its power over me. I am SHOCKED at the person I've become in just a couple of years. Everything in my life - my marriage, my home, my relationship with my cat - is better because of my leap of faith. Well, my finances are worse, but I couldn't care less! ;)

    There's something else that I've been thinking about a lot lately, and I think this pertains more directly to you. The internet has changed everything. And in many ways, I think it is returning power to the common person...it's leveled the playing field, so to speak. In this new world, things like personality and "good"ness have started to come to the forefront once again.

    This is going to get a little hippy-dippy here, so bear with me:
    When I think about someone's online presence, I think about this complicated web of blog posts, websites, comments, etc, that spread alllll over. Someone like yourself has deposited little dabs of kindness, generosity, and good taste all over the darn place, and that's impossible to ignore. I honestly believe that - consciously or not - people respond to that. I think, by just being the delightful Bradford that you are, you're going to find that there's a whole WORLD of people out there who want you to succeed, and who are willing to support you. It's like that sleepover game, "Light as a feather, stiff as a board." With so many people willing to lift you up, it's far easier to float.

    Hooo-kay. I'm going to stop typing before I really embarrass myself. ;) Much love comin' your way from Boston...

  21. I'm on my reading myself up to the moment tour around the net...so this is a bit late ;-) But I can truly relate to your post. Especially when sick I had alot of time to think about my life...I think we all have days like that, or even weeks, or months...Life goes up and down, but always forward in some way or another ;-) Its difficult trusting in one self, and finding the path to fulfillment. Maybe this is more difficult for the artistic mind, as our passion often lays outside the secure path of society. Its difficult to take that leap out of security and stability...I've not done it ...but often dream of it ...and for every brave person who do, I feel more inspired and closer to taking the leap myself :-)I'm sure your heart will show you in the right direction, just take the time to listen, and I must say I'm really looking forward to follow you on this journey!

  22. My event was actually filled with some great words of inspiration including sometimes when you lose, you win, even if you don't see it for awhile. Its really all about the why - why do we do what we do? If you're doing something that isn't necessarily your passion, but you have a reason for it, it becomes a lot easier to tolerate rather than doing it because you can't bring yourself to do something else.

    Find intention and you'll find some satisfaction. And if not, drink good wine with good friends - that's my cure all.

    My two pennies! MUAH


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