That's what I did. I stopped buying. I went so far as to even hate all of the perfect things I had amassed over the years.
I talked before about how I had to sell some of my stuff to keep our house. It was a blessing that I am grateful for but I am a dynamic human being – I can feel angry at some facet of a situation at the same time I feel grateful another facet of the situation. Though I was able to keep my house, I was so drained and angry after selling my stuff, in addition to suffering some attacks from mean girls. I guess they see a wounded animal and the hyenas come to feast. I actually thought I wasn't going to craft any more. I was going to quit. I thought it all was for nothing, a waste. I did not blog regularly for months. I thought the act of quitting was sending a message that I “let them win”, whoever “they” are, but I got to a point that I did not care about that any more either. I felt out of place in the industry. I hated all of the craft products I owned. I did not set foot in my craft studio without incredible nudging and lots of sadness.
My idea of the craft industry was at odds with who I had become.
How could I do a job where I tell other people to buy all kinds of stuff that I won't buy so they can make a bunch of useless crap that they will throw away in 6 months anyways?! Trending things were alarm clocks with junk glued all over them, slathered in gesso, then inked all to hell, and I would sit looking at this thing online scratching my head and thinking about how much of a pain that thing would be to dust. Or super kitschy crazy stuff out of soup cans and bottle caps because everyone needs a hot pink lantern from a soup can for their next barbecue. Ugh, why?! Why we were telling everyone to make all this terrible trashy, disposable stuff? So we could sell them more supplies? Because we had run out of practical ideas? Because we were trying to concoct some new idea of perfection to sell people. Luau parties are old – now you need a kitcshy DIY 70's party!
I didn't want to make trash or absurd stuff that I needed to dust. How could I tell other people to make something I would not actually use? I didn't want to use half of the products companies were sending me. Really, more paper?! I know it sounds ungrateful but that really was my sentiment at the time. I was completely OVER IT.
I didn't know how to trudge forward so I asked a friend who had been in the industry for a long time, for her sage advice. I felt like a hypocrite writing about any craft on my blog at that point. I don't even buy 80% of what I use – how can I sit here and tell people to buy this product so they can make something when I don't/won't buy it? If I told people how I really felt, would anyone still follow me or bother to read my blog? Did anyone want to hear about that? I mean, I sound like a completely ungrateful brat. Wahhh I don't want any companies sending me more stuff, waaaaaaaaahhh. Really, JP? Yeah, I know exactly what I sounded like but I was having a heck of a time pulling myself out of it.
As I talked to more people I realized alot of people feel this same way but we all had gotten on this hamster wheel of craft and buy and craft and buy and buy and buy! How could we get off the hamster wheel without great injury? Some people still want to see scrapbook pages with one tiny photo and $96 in flowers glued to it. We're not for each other. Some people like gumball machines with flowers and buttons and randomness glued all over. We're not for each other. At least not yet. I'm here for them if they ever feel the way I felt and want to craft a different way. There's nothing wrong with those kinds of crafts. They're just not for me. Just like hot pants are just not for me. At some point in life, you want something different. Some people still rock a side pony. Me, I stopped that in 1989. On to a new era, entering a new room now.
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