Unknows….Failure….Paralyzing….Learning & Choosing

Greetings on this holiday Monday. I hope you enjoyed your weekend thus far….

I’ve been having a tough time sleeping these last few nights – other than the obvious – me possibly losing my income, insurance and security I’ve been processing lots of other things also.

Nothing too earth shattering, but it’s a topic that Joe and I chat about often.


Fear of failure, fear of change, fear of the unknown….

A few months ago I was chatting with a new flower farmer – she shared with me that she was thinking of growing her own flowers. She is an amazing florist, she had taken a very expensive course on how to grow flowers….but she hadn’t jumped yet. I thought to myself…. “it’s seeds and dirt, what’s the big deal…” me being me….actually said it out loud, but not different words. I simply asked why she hadn’t done it yet, what was she waiting for? She said she was afraid….when I asked her of what, she said failure.

Joe and I have known countless men and women in bad marriages, unhappy with the situation they are in, but afraid of being alone, afraid of the unknown what is on the other side of being on their own. Even though the situation they were in was not good, they chose to stay – because they were working with a known quantity.

How many people do you know that are in jobs that they hate…each and every day, they loath going to work -yet for some reason they put their feet on the floor day after day, to go to the job they hate – because they fear stepping onto the next step – it’s the unknown, they might fail, it’s scary!

Unfortunately , sometimes things happen to force us to face our fears, and often times the fear we had was unwarranted and things work out just fine.

This is a deep topic that could go on forever – but what I’ve been specifically thinking about isn’t as deep, it is as simple as this new hobby of mine that I’m learning about. This new venture that I’m embarking on involving mud….!

I’ve jumped into several hobbies – head first. One of the things I love the most, is learning, hands on – being creative and producing, not just consuming.

One of them was machine embroidery, I took a three hours class and decided I wanted to start down that road. We tooled up with an machine, tons of thread, stabilizer, new software all the works that comes with that. I had a bit of a background in sewing, but really knew nothing about that new hobby. That one looped around a few years later into vinyl work.

One of them happened to be resin work; I had seen a few things on Instagram and watched a few YouTube videos and decided to tool up for that one. That one looped around to working with soaps, salves and lotions.

I’ve always grown some sort of garden, so when Joe gave me a book about being a flower farmer I thought, why not give that a try. So, we tooled up for that adventure…..which looped around to working with dried flowers.

I pick up new skills with each attempt at learning something new. I don’t move on because I get bored, instead, I know life is short and I have things I want to learn and to experience. Often times I will loop back to the hobbies I’ve tried to do a certain project – impressing myself each time with the outcome, because at one time – I didn’t know how to do that task….I didn’t let fear of failure stop me, I just jumped in and did it….learned some really neat things to add to my toolbox of experience and skills.

And now my latest exploration, playing with mud. I actually did research on this venture – research that has lead me down several roads. Wheel thrown, hand built, glazes, production pottery, functional pottery, under glazes, over glazes, clear glazes, stoneware glazes…..the list goes on and one. So many choices, so many ways to fail, so many things that can go wrong. Oddly, unlike all the others, there’s a bit of fear lurking….fear of failure….there’s always the possibility I won’t be able to center the clay, the walls will be too thin, I will trim too much on the bottom, it will fly off the wheel while trimming, it will break in the firing…the list goes on and on. But now here I am at almost the final step – glaze.

I’ve watched videos, read Facebook posts, read information on different blogs, chatted with the staff at the studio….and now I’m paralyzed with fear of what glaze to try. Besides the fact of the investment of money to tool up for yet another hobby, how in the world do I choose what glaze to use? There are a lot of things that can alter a glaze…the clay body, the kiln, other glazes….it’s so overwhelming and scary. What if I pick a glaze that’s ugly, or it runs on my shelf and I have to chip it off, what if I totally hate it….?

Unknows and failure….paralyzing me – I just keep looking at the glaze options, read more blogs, read more Facebook posts, watch more videos…..hover over the buy now button and move on – not making a decision. I’m tired of consuming information, I’m ready to jump and do. I’m tired of walking around the pool, it’s time to jump in.

The one with texture is the one that’s giving me the most anxiety!! It’s already ugly-so what do I have to lose?!

This entire post….just to say “I’m going to buy glaze”??!! Another thing I really enjoy – thinking about things – from every angle…and trying to figure out why I’m thinking something, trying to figure out how to get passed things….and here I’ve arrived at my conclusion – there’s nothing to fear, but fear itself. It is better to fail, then to have not tried at all my friends.

Don’t be afraid…..there is another side, and that other side, might be better than this side. There’s lots of angles to consider! I hope you face your fears…. Until next time, hugs to you!

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