4/23/14

thoughts on failure




Here's the thing. No one likes to fail.

And I really don't like to fail.

I'm sure it's a product of my type-A, first-child syndrome. It's also due to to the fact that I am prone to giving up too easy when I feel like I'm not great at something.

Quick story: In first grade, we began doing math. One day, we were learning about money and we had cardboard punch-out dimes, nickels and pennies. I hated these serrated little discs because I did not know how to make 85 cents with just dimes and nickels or how to make 50 cents and then give change in just dimes.

I decided then and there that I hated math.

My reason was simple: I was a failure at it. Time to give up. Unforunately, to this day, I still carry the weight of that decision I made over 20 years ago. I struggle with doing any sort of accounting for my little shop simply because I have told myself that I am a failure at math and therefore, I should just give up. Let those receipts pile up until tax season when I'm forced to do something.

It's not just math. Lately I feel like a failure. Work has been hard and to be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing. I am tempted to check out and cash out as if I'm six again -- to put my head on the desk and declare myself done.

I tell others to forge through on challenges but when it comes to my own life, I'm pretty terrible at following my own advice. But aren't we all bad at following through with what we tell others?

If you were struggling right now, I would tell you: chin up. It's hard -- it feels like fire, it feels like an uphill battle wearing lead shoes and carrying a slippery load you cannot grip. But, I believe a fire is refining. The challenge is defining you and making you stronger. At the top of the hill, after the ashes cool, you will be you, but only better. If you need help carrying the load, ask for it. If you need a breather on the side of the hill, take it. But don't give up. Don't drop what you're carrying and turn around. The challenge will be worth it, I would tell you.

So now the only issue is taking those words I would speak to others, and believing them myself.

What are your thoughts on failure and struggles?



4/22/14

what i wore in wind + rain


Oh spring weather. Just when I think you're balmy and sweet, you come roaring in with wind and rain, and I'm forced to drag out the sweater I just packed away. When will you make up your mind, dear sweet fickle spring? It's about time for consistency.


dress: made by me
sweater: thrifted

boots: dsw
necklace: c/o l'avenir design

4/21/14

dear husband


Dear husband,

Thank you for making me laugh. Thanks for texting me weird things in the middle of the day, like when you texted me last week to ask me whether I would give up our future childrens' naming rights for a million dollars. Thanks for giving household items ridiculous names, like Lucas or George, even when I roll my eyes at you.

Thank you for being the one to jump up and offer to get my ice cream -- drive to the store, even.

Thank you for knowing when to be silent, when I've had a rough day and when to offer advice. Thank you for challenging me, often, when you know that what I am doing isn't healthy.

Thank you for holding my hand, thank you for praying for me, with me, when things are so good and when things are so bad.

Thank you bringing me cups of tea when I stay up late sewing -- for not questioning my blog, my small business or the stress it brings me.

Thank you for your patience with my grand ideas.

Thank you for cooking dinner and for never questioning why we need to eat kale or read the back of food labels to make sure it doesn't have high-fructose corn syrup.

Thank you for working so hard and for loving so well. Thank you for insulating the basement walls, for teaching yourself how to fix plumbing and for taking the dog for a walk when it's pouring rain and I'm running late for work, again.

And thank you so much, for not being upset when in a typical fashion, I invited you to your own surprise birthday party. Thank you for just taking it in stride and going right along with it. You are the best and there's no one else I would rather share a birthday with.

xo, erika

4/17/14

I (still) read blogs



Just a few posts I read + loved this week. Swing by and read through them-- leave a comment or two-- I know they'll appreciate it.

... clockwise from top left

>> a post from haley at the tiny twig which is a lot like the post I wrote yesterday

>> a right-on-the-mark post on inner beauty from latonya yvette

>> a post from annapolis & company about designing your home or rental to fit you

>> a post about why we need beautiful things in this world-- like a cake topper -- from oh hello love

other things I've stumbled across and loved:

>> cats + vulnerability by shauna niequist

>> strawberry lavender scone recipe by m loves m

>> should vs. must by wit and delight

read anything good lately? please share.

also, happy good friday. and happy weekend + easter. I am hosting easter dinner, which makes me feel like a grown-up. the husband kindly reminded me that, unforunately, although I don't often feel grown-up, my age and my house do, in fact, make me kind of a grown-up.

xo, erika


4/16/14

why i (still) blog


Someone asked me the other day how long I had been blogging and I realized that it's been over four years, much longer than I realized.

Of course I've only been over here at rouge + whimsy for three-ish years. I started blogging at another blog just about the husband and I. Then it transitioned and I changed the name and here I am... still blogging.

I started the blog because back then I had a tough job. I was working weird hours -- 4 p.m. to 2 am. -- I was newly married and I was lonely. I needed something to fill my time while my husband and friends were at work and I was at home in a tiny apartment. So I started the blog. Started sewing. And here I am, today.

Today I have a good day job with "normal" hours and my handmade shop keeps me as busy as ever. But I keep blogging. And the thing is, unlike the other two things, blogging hasn't gotten necessarily better for me. I feel like I used to have a lot more engagement here on this space -- more comments, more interaction. Now I feel like people are more apt to comment or tap a heart on instagram. I mean, I get it -- we're busy and reading blogs and commenting is a lot more effort than scrolling through pretty images on ig.

So why do I blog? With less comments? Less engagement? Truth be told, I do it because I like it. I know this is not how I am going to get famous, how I am going to make money, or get a book deal or anything. But while I was in Uganda and writing there, I was reminded that a big part of me is a writer. I love to write, I love to share -- even if it's only just for me. A bit part of it is processing. I work through things while I type and there's a part of me that hopes some of the words I write help others work through things-- even if it's just working out what to make for dinner or what to wear the next day.

Blog posts still run through my head -- I have yet to run out of things to say. I'm typing this now at 10:30 at night. I turned off my light, put away the computer but lay awake, because this exact blog post (and two others) were rolling around in my head. They needed to be written out. I needed to blog.

Do you blog? If so, why?

no matter your reason, write on.

xo, erika


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