I am officially portable now. Yesterday, my dad came out and picked up all of my stuff (it’s now living in the shed behind his house). And with all the boxes went my beautiful workbench, my partner-in-crime for all of the jewelry and headbadges that I have made and all the experiments that have gone terribly awry.
A few years ago, when I started getting into metalwork, I asked my dad (who is ever-so-handy) to build me a workbench for Christmas. It was great fun to work on it with him and we created this beautifully simple, solid oak bench that has been the cornerstone of my studio as I’ve built my way toward my own artistic style. Yesterday, we took it apart and I waved goodbye.
And, honestly, I was side-swiped by how sad I was to see it go. I truly believe that I need this time of being portable to push me as an artist and allow me to move in the direction I want and try out some new designs. But, wow, watching it leave the building (with all my boxes) and then seeing the big gaping empty space in the apartment made everything feel very very real and these thoughts of “what am I doing? did I really make the right choice?” flooded into my head (for the first time since we decided to go).
Russ and I have been talking about how we feel like we’ve been in a bit of shock over all of this for the past few weeks. Just working on cleaning stuff out and not really able to focus on what we’re actually doing. Yesterday, as my stuff was hauled away (and then Russ’ later in the evening), the minor shock gave way to major shock and we both sat in our now-very-empty apartment and openly wondered if we were actually going to be able to do this. I’m feeling more calm about it today, so rest assured that we’re still going and we’re still determined to explore every ounce of this experience. But I have to be honest that there was a lot more emotion in letting go of my stuff than I ever could have imagined (I think because I hadn’t really realized just how much of my identity is wrapped up in these physical objects).
melt July 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm
That process of shedding allows you to see what’s important. It’s ok if some “stuff” is important, especially when it’s linked to your creative work and your family. It’s a sign that all the other “stuff” isn’t important that you’ve been able to let it go.
When you (eventually) get back, enriched and with a new perspective, that workbench will be ready to accept another layer of meaning.
skater July 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm
Hey you two,
Just discovered your trip yesterday and am really impressed with your virtual presentation of things here on the internets. So much info, how do you find time to get ready?
Anyway, don’t worry about your decision. You’re excited and scared, you’re alive! It will prove correct when you’re out on the open roads and you realize all you really need in the moment is right there on your bike!
I am looking forward to the video updates. I need to vicariously tour through you guys this summer because I just had a baby! An adventure of a different kind…
Kim July 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm
What you are feeling is normal! Clearly your desk is very meaningful to you. Sometimes our “stuff” is what contributes to our sense of home, heart and helps us stay grounded. Have you considered what will help you feel centered out on the road?
Conny Karman January 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm
Do you have a plan for your portable jewelry bench? I’d like to make one for myself. Thanks.
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You know, it would have been really bizarre and strange if you didn’t have the “What the hell am I doing?” thoughts! It’s totally obligatory, it’s part of the big adventure. Then when the trip begins, those thoughts will transform into “Why didn’t we do this sooner??” I’m so excited for you guys!!