2012 – “A Daring Adventure”January 2, 2013
“You can’t connect the dots going forward; you can only connect them looking back.” Those were the words of Steve Jobs at the 2005 Stanford University commencement speech. He spoke of how certain events and circumstances created the person he was. That said, I’d like to tell you of a few events that helped me to arrive where I am now as a calligrapher.
The year started off interestingly enough. I worked as a chemist in a rather stressful environment. There were days where upon crossing the thresh hold going into work my stress levels would rise exponentially. Upon leaving work, my stress levels descended, as though a rock was dropped off a cliff. January 23 was one of those days. Trying to get through the day, I tweeted this picture, with the caption: What I’d rather be doingThis was about 9 am that morning. I carried on with the remainder of the day, clock-watching until it was time to leave. The time came. The stress descended. I could not and did not know that my words would be prophetic.
The next day as I prepared for my tasks, my supervisor called me up to his office. He then said, “Let’s walk to HR.” Upon arrival at the office, details notwithstanding, he stated, “We’re going to have to let you go.” I was initially stunned. Thoughts of how to earn money to care for my two sons and cover basic necessities ran through mind. I gathered my things and left.
I worried. Whenever I am really worried, I start reciting appropriate quotes to ease my mind and spirit. In this case Helen Keller came to mind: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” My mood improved. Little did I know that the rest of 2012 would be just that: A Daring Adventure.
I searched for chemistry jobs. Nothing materialized. I took calligraphy jobs as they came. Fun to do, but I have to admit it was not meeting all my financial needs. I worried still but kept the quote in mind. In the middle of May I received an email regarding a calligraphy job. In essence the client asked “Can you complete 1000 envelopes in two weeks?” WHHOOOAAAA! If you know me you know my response: “Nothing beats a try but a failure.” (I did tell the client that). We made an appointment to discuss the devilish details of the job. I received the envelopes on May 22. The couple wanted to mail the announcement of their wedding from the wedding site: Hawaii. They would be leaving on June 8 to be married on June 15. I delivered the last set to the Bride’s home only hours before they left. The Bride was beyond thrilled! “This is more beautiful than I imagined!” I told her the only thing I thought about while doing the envelopes was how happy she would be when they were completed. It ended up being 870 envelopes in two weeks. TWO WEEKS! WOW! (I am still astounded as I write this). Discussing it later with my friend and mentor Michele Papineau, she told me: “You NEVER would have completed that if you had a ’real job!’” As one twitter friend tweeted to me during the journey:
The daring adventure continued when I lost my 3rd job in 1-½ years. Realizing this, a line from the book the Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo sprang to mind:
What happens once will never happen again. What happens twice is sure to happen a third time.
That being the third time, I decided I would “follow a dream guided by Providence, navigated by fate, and steered by faith.” I decided to do calligraphy full time. THAT, was the highlight to the beginning of my daring adventure that was 2012! The honorable mentions list of 2012:
- I earned the nickname “Magic Hands” from my friend Loyce Wheatley. Owner and exceptionally exquisite Gown Designer at Grace Bridal Couture, Loyce bestowed the name on me after seeing my calligraphy. She felt the words came alive on the pages and spoke to her. “It’s like magic!” , she proclaimed. “Magic Hands” was born.
- I graced the blog of Crane and Co. “Post Script.” I was thrilled beyond belief to be featured on their blog. Most of us are aware that Crane and Co. is the premiere paper maker. To be featured on their blog was an incredible thrill. I was even more thrilled to learn in the intro that they followed the two-week long journey on my blog! Epic! as the kids today would say!
- I won “Best Calligrapher – Utah” and was a 2nd place finalist for “Best Calligrapher – Nationally and Worldwide! Wedding Industry Experts held a contest this past summer for many categories, including best calligrapher.
- I graced the blog of Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom – While having a chat with Erin Kate, she expressed to me the idea of photographing me dapperly dressed and doing calligraphy in a wide up field. ”I love the idea. Let’s do it!” And we did! Erin spectacularly and exquisitely photographed the shoot. SL/PC B&G posted the photos with a thoughtful intro and interesting questions on their blog. Thrilled again!
- My calligraphy was featured in the 2nd and 3rd issues of Salt Lake/Park City Bride & and Groom – This was the year for sweet treats in SL/PC B&G, as my calligraphy was featured in “Icing on the Cake” (Spr/Sum2012) and “Rainbow Brights” (Fall/Win2012). Jacque Riehl of Riehl Events was the architect of the gorgeous and colorful layout of sweet treats. I am hopeful for more opportunities to work with many more Wedding Vendors in the future!
2012 was indeed an adventure. Crowned with a beloved nickname, 2013 is “The Year of Magic Hands”! The adventure continues… Happy New Year everyone!