03 August, 2010

No Rest for the Wicked

I can't tell if nothing or everything is happening. The lead up to Everything looks suspiciously like Nothing so far.

My time in London is coming to an end. In two months time I will find myself once again flying through the air with the greatest of ease watching socially acceptable films on a tiny screen, and wondering how many of my shipped belongings will break in transit between London and San Francisco.

My feelings about the impending move vary wildly, but the overall feeling is dread seasoned with genuine eagerness. Two months is not enough time to utilize the connections I made while here, so I feel like my time to make the best of London has already passed. That being the case, part of me just wants to have it over with and move back to avoid the two months worrying that I wasted my two years abroad.

After returning from Paris where I spent three days with my girl Jany, I fell in love with London all over again. I nearly kissed the Underground on the way back to my mine (I held off for fear of disease). I will be heartbroken to leave to London; it's become my second home. But maybe it's time I take a step back and really look at the last two years. See, I've begun to wonder if this city has worn me down. One of my British expat friends in San Francisco recently told me she found it very hard to be optimistic in London. And she's not the first to say that to me. For a city with so many open doors there are an awful lot of glass doors to slam into. I've hit my fair share, and I have all sorts of bruises to show for it.

That is not to say I don't appreciate the opportunities London has offered me. But the realization that's been dawning on me this week is that I am not yet ready to make use of those opportunities. I have ideas, I have drive, but I don't have practice and skill or the organization required to make things happen yet. Yet.
I have found myself with a small but growing list of people I could contact when I have questions about shoe design: two teachers, my mentor, a designer or two, a shoemaker who offered me his US contacts, a teacher at Polimoda, etc. I have contacts within the leather industry, and a whole host of amazing people who will be ready to help me make more contacts provided I stay in touch. I have people who will help me publicize what I do, and friends I can count on when it comes time to put on my first show. Now all I need is self discipline and time to learn the ropes. Yes, much to my dismay, I need to learn quite a bit more before all of these contacts can be put to use. London has presented me with these opportunities, but I need to be ready to take them. That half of the work can be done anywhere- that half is up to me (god help me).

So what will my 25th year look like? Fuck me, I have no clue! I see no clear path ahead of me, just obvious barriers. It's easy to focus on those instead of remembering that there is no way to anticipate chance opportunities- and I am *very* good at finding those.

So who knows? Maybe in six months time I will be talking to manufacturers in Spain while helping a friend design the interior of a flat and working for kink.com. Or maybe I'll be working as a bartender to pay rent, teaming up with some other designers to launch a new line of latex clothing and metal shoes. Maybe I will be hiring a seamstress to help me bring about my lingerie line and taking millinery classes. Maybe I will be traveling to take shoe design courses around the world and taking language classes. Maybe I will be in and out of London and Brighton, working for Irregular Choice. Maybe I will still be interning with a designer somewhere in San Francisco, or maybe I'll be setting up my own little studio space to share with a friend.

Just remind me to not sit on my ass and play video games. I need to get off that plane in San Francisco and hit the ground running. Sprinting, even. No rest for the wicked, and I am quite, quite wicked.


(Addendum: Right after posting this, the teacher from Polimoda suddenly showed up in the doorway. Turns out he's in town and when he heard about my plans to design for Coco de Mer he offered to help!)

2 comments:

lipsticklori said...

Your time in London hasn't been wasted. You met me, dummy :-p

Now stop blogging and get some work done ;-)

The Redhead said...

Very true! And don't think I forgot that ;)