There are many things I have learned in building and running a business for 10 years and many things I of course still need to. There are also things that I am trying to figure out how to learn such as allowing myself to have a life. For eight years, I worked full time and ran Manic Trout, so working essentially dragged me out of the studio. It also gave a bit of perspective for example if I wanted to travel, I felt I could take off from MT the same amount I took off from my day job and that was reasonable.
However, when I finally reached the point where I could leave my day job, I also reached a point where I was terrified to leave MT. Usually, if I am gone for 4 days, all is well as orders still get out in time and thanks to wifi, most things can be handled from my laptop and phone wherever I may be going. Even in Mexico a few years ago, I was able to happily work away for a few hours on the balcony of the suite while gazing at the ocean. Admittedly the downside is that the first few days home are a bit rough as I have to play catch up, but for the most part, nothing bad comes of my leaving the studio. And yet, try telling that to my brain the thought of planning a trip comes up.
Last week Adam and I went to NH to visit my dad and his entire side of the family…I visited with my dad, stepmother, niece and nephew, grandparents and my dad’s 4 siblings, spouses and some cousins. It was the first time Adam met my dad (I will be finally meeting his in March) and a loooong overdue trip. We booked the trip about 2 weeks before leaving and I don’t think one day went by that I didn’t have a panic attack about going. These panic attacks were not about anything in particular other than the fear that my not physically being in my studio for 4 days would result in an armageddon or something. This is kind of bizarre as I have done big shows here in Austin which have required me to be away from the house for just as long only I would come home to sleep each night. But my brain is really stubborn and refuses to acknowledge all of this logically.
I’m sure it’s all about letting go (something I struggle with) and relaxing (also a struggle) but I really need to get over this irrational fear…and that’s what it basically is. Fear. Such a nasty little 4 letter word, but there it is. I am trying this year to work on this fear. I will be participating in the largest fashion trade show in the world in 1 month overcoming my fear of not only taking a big financial risk with MT but I will at the same time be tackling my fear to be gone for 1 week (I want to throw up just thinking about it!). Right now my course of action is to book shows and flights when I’m in a caffeine and sugar-fueled rush and then freak out later. So far it’s working pretty well…we’ll see how it’s going after the next 2 trips.