(Cautious) Reset: Back to Default Mode "Optimism Always"

Posted by Nicole Duranton Sigl on

Hey Folks,

How are you feeling now? Hardly any time seems to have passed since I last wrote here but well… so much has happened. Or not. Depending on which way you look at it, I guess. True, it’s only just April, it’s most definitely still lockdown, it’s still not allowed to go places (or, in my case, market trade) but hey, I went somewhere anyway: onwards. I simply kept going despite an all time low [see previous post] and moved on from the worst of my negativity and dark thoughts. That’s not to say I’m not still feeling very tired and drained from all that’s going on, mind, but at least I’m no longer feeling so totally stuck and hopeless as I did.

In a slightly different context, Maeve Higgins wrote that “despair is a luxury” and I feel she’s right. I also know that I can’t afford to wallow in self-pity for too long without losing whatever little of my brain capacity and spirit are left. So I simply wrote a lot and I keep writing. I’m also keeping it simple, not asking too much of myself, not demanding to produce specific types of things. I’ve stripped myself of all that’s been clogging up my creative veins and am letting everything that comes out flow freely… be it jewellery, art, writing, movement. Creation for no specific purpose other than to bring joy. Looking at my random assortment of creations, it seems that they all capture aspects of beauty that has been trapped inside for too long, held back by constraints and a [perceived] sense of what needs to be done and when. Turns out the world doesn’t care much either way, so I might as well do as I please and see what happens.

For now, a lot of writing, reading, and drawing, but also a lot of dreaming and planning. I had a remarkable dream last night. One of those that make you feel alive, even when you wake with a pang of slight disappointment for it having been “just a dream”. This morning though, as I reluctantly woke up, I felt the repercussions of that dream so acutely that I know, deep down in my heart of hearts, that it was going to be ok. That it wasn’t “just a dream” but a promise from me to myself. A reminder from my subconscious to hold on to my hopes and to not stop believing in the magic of it all. After all, to paraphrase Roald Dahl, if you don’t believe in magic you will never find it. [Who says homeschooling is only teaching the kids something, eh? Life-long learning, dear readers…]

A good friend of mine, who happens to be way more spiritual than me, recently told me to believe in myself and have confidence (something I keep struggling with at times, despite my best intentions). She told me that my voice will be heard and today, I truly feel that it will, one way or another. It’s not clear when or in what form even but it will be, eventually, and I know that’s a good thing. I find it a bit easier again to trust in the process and to put all my creations out there. They’re just one way to put my wishes and thoughts and hopes out into the universe. My creative offerings for you, dear readers and friends, to spark joy (ha!) And give you a sense of recognition, or the will to live on when the going is tough.

Yes, I am well aware that some of you may think at this stage that I have lost the plot but that can’t be helped. You can read this and come to your own conclusions, or bear with me as I give you an honest account of my thought processes as regards my work. You can judge and criticise me, or you could simply sympathise and believe (in) me. Your choice. If you have read this far or are reading this at all, chances are that you care, perhaps more than you’d like to admit. Even though I will probably never know your motivation, I am grateful for you being here. For filling the void into which I send my thoughts and words, always with the hope of reaching someone and speaking to their own sense of self. Perhaps making you laugh a little, or think a bit harder, or even give you an incentive to support small, local businesses in any way that you can. [more on that coming soon!]

So, I have come to realise just how much the endless daily “must do lists” have suffocated my creativity, how my attempts at “doing the done thing” as far as business goes are not leading me anywhere near where I want to be. On the contrary. In fact, I have realised two things:

  1. The more I struggle and force myself to be more “business savvy”, the less it seems to work out for me or make any sense on a personal level. I am spending too much time trying to do everything better, optimise etc., yet in a way I get less done overall and am feeling like a miserable failure to boot. Why, because I do a little of everything but do not have the time/capacity to fully implement my freshly acquired knowledge, and to engage meaningfully with the process anymore. It all just became a blur of “business skills” that amount to one huge, unsurmountable pile of “stuff I don’t fully get (yet?) and can’t effectively do”.
  2. In many ways, gasp, I already am where I want to be. Yeah, you read that right. I never set out for world domination! Whilst thriving to do my best and grow in a way that makes sense to me is only natural, I do not wish to create for myself a new kind of “un-win-able” rat race when the whole aim was to escape from that to begin with. I do not mean to limit my potential by saying this, but rather to remind myself of what it actually is that I mean to accomplish with my work.

Where does this leave me and NDS Jewellery? For starters, I am not giving up. Yay! I will continue my workshop renovations and hopefully will get there in due time. I will continue to slow-make individual and precious jewellery by hand. My work will become more selective though, in terms of what I feel it is that I truly want to put out there. That may mean making less than previously but it will also see me more consciously focusing on my original narrative: creating only meaningful pieces that stand out and speak for themselves. To complement my range of jewellery creations, I will gradually introduce more of my “other” makes, things that I feel add value and may be of interest and relevance to you. I appreciate that not everyone is constantly in a position to invest in precious jewellery but may still wish to take home something that speaks to them, something that I made with care, love, and thoughtfulness. In short, I will offer you more accessible possibilities to dive into my little world of daydreaming, creativity, and imperfect beauty. I will invite you to explore the not yet discovered corners of my creative mind and I will share with you new ways to bring a little NDS into your lives.

I hope this resonates with you, and adds a new dimension to the ways in which we can (re)connect once we are let loose into society again. For the time being, rather than feeling down for all the obvious reasons, I will be making every effort to be thankful for the time the situation has afforded me. Time to reflect and, yes, stepping back and away from a way of working that seemed right for a while. I won’t pretend it’s been easy nor that it’s getting any easier anytime soon… Just, as is often the case, how I choose to see something and react to it makes all the difference.

With this in mind, stay with me as I continue to navigate my way through uncharted waters. The main thing is that I’m not drowning any longer! It’s all part of a story that hasn’t been fully told yet. Who knows what the next chapters may bring… For now, let’s all try and tune in with ourselves, find what we can do, and let go of what no longer serves us well. I am thinking of you all, sending strength and courage your way. Above all, patience! We’ll need it…

With big love and gratitude,

Nicole x