Life is full of ups and downs. I’m not the first one to say it, nor will I be the last, but I say it because I have metaphorically finally been able to come up for some air and breathe, and stay there! I accredit that to giving myself time to breathe. Taking time off to take care of myself, which was surprisingly  difficult.

I decided I would take that time for myself, but mentally thought “I have time to do stuff again!” and I jumped into other projects immediately. Nothing wrong with that, but I wasn’t able to give the projects my all because I actually hadn’t taken “me time.” Not intentionally was I giving less than I could, I was just exhausted and didn’t remember what “me time” was. When I finally realized I still wasn’t taking time for myself I had burnt out! Eek! Time to slow down. I didn’t allow myself to dive into any more projects, and that was possibly the best decision. Almost a year and I had committed to making no plans, finding my personal groove, getting back to the foundations of wants, needs, responsibilities and commitments. It was great!

So, the reason I say that is that during that time I discovered a lot of amazing and not so amazing things about myself through trial and error, read: MISTAKES. I’ve always been afraid of making mistakes and have always worked hard to be the best I could be. But I confused mistake and error for something negative, when actually it was growth. I was getting somewhere and couldn’t see it just yet, I could only see failure.

I was definitely pushing a lot of my own personal boundaries. Trying new things, making commitments to myself like going to a music or art show as often as possibly by myself, giving my ideas a go just to try it out regardless if I knew they could totally work. That was the most frightening – seriously, how unrealistic is it to try something without doing all the research?! Darn I failed a lot, but darnnit I learnt even more, mostly that what I want and need will change and evolve and that I can’t become stagnant with comfort.

So, what is it that spawned these new projects I haven’t mentioned yet? I discovered that I actually prefer the art of fashion and not the industry of fashion. I want to work for my community and with my community. I don’t like commodity. I love stability and research. I love art that is beautifully purposeful. I like talking and thinking about complex ideas even if I’m not a scholar.  I am incredibly curious but incredibly personal when it comes to the work I create. Fashion is sculpture and but it’s easy to get stuck in the commercial idea of fashion. In learning those few things I realized that I need to be wholly present to learn things like that.

The projects? I’ve co-founded a fashion incubator that works with and for the Indigenous arts community, specifically with young Indigenous women and mothers! It creates space for us to create work without limiting the type of research and development we want to do. we get to create fashion that is ART. The Incubator gives purpose, and has revived a drive to create new work. Second project is I’ve been invited to be a part of a music talent agency, which is still under wraps, but it also serves the Indigenous music community and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll also be helping with some wardrobe this summer and will be welcoming a little nephew this spring. I have energy now to wholly think about these things and everything happening around me. I am excited, curious and inspired!