Hello there lovely Buttoneers! We have officially moved house! Hip, Hip, Hooray!! (If you are reading this then I either have internet set up already or I went on an adventure to find some in our new town!) I have more news on that later in the post, but today I wanted to share a bit of a story time/lesson learnt with you all and to be honest document it for myself to look back on in times of need – I rarely take my own advice but maybe if it was written down…here’s to hoping anyway!
A few weeks ago I launched my ‘Just want to nap’ print as number 15 in my Create 30 blog challenge. I had made the print ahead of time because of the move and also ahead of time, had photographed it, edited the photos, written an Etsy shop listing; created a blog post…yadda yadda yadda…you get the point. I had the post sat in my drafts folder for a while and was pretty darn pleased with myself for finally getting a little bit ahead of myself to be able to pack the house up etc.
Just for some context, the whole of the few weeks surrounding this were mega, uber, t-rex dinosaur proportion stressful.
We almost lost the offer on our house, the chain got really messy, no one could agree on a move date, estate agents and solicitors were all in the mix and it was a Mess – with a capital ‘M’. Anyhoo, I had read and re-read that blog post, I checked for spelling and grammar, you name it, I checked it.
I was so excited to launch this print. I had worked hard on colours and getting the right mix of typography and hand lettering, picking the right angles of the felt flower photographs to fit perfectly into the corners – If you know me at all, you will know that I am a total perfectionist.
I released the print, the blog post and launched the Etsy listing into the wild and sighed with relief that another Create 30 blog challenge make was done and dusted and I was super proud of it…
That is until my personal (and not actually a paid job) quality control manager (my sister) emailed me to tell me how much she loved my print but was the quote meant to read “Some Days I Feel like Super Women, Other Days I Just Want to Nap”? or was it meant to say ‘Super Woman‘?
I felt sick. That pit of your stomach sick. That pit of your stomach, freeze-on-the-spot-mid-carrot-stick-chomp, don’t-take-another-breath-until-you-have-processed-the-words-in-front-of-you sick.
You know the one? I couldn’t move. I felt paralysed by the shock and fear and panic whilst at the same time my head was buzzing with thoughts trying to make sense of it all, un-ravel the messy ball of wool in my brain, do something that involved DOING SOMETHING!! I had already gotten 50 likes on Instagram – 50 people had seen it GODDAMMIT!
Then the magic happened…My inner organisation-freak, get-to-it-systematic-minded, problem-solving-fairy-brain kicked in…
I got to work. I sniffed a bit and blew my nose, I took a deep breath and my shaky little hands sprang into action. I started with some damage limitation by deleting the social media posts and Pinterest pinned images. I threw the print back into Adobe Photoshop, erased the problem (I wish we could do this in real life sometimes!) and re-drew the hand lettering to make it say ‘Woman’ instead of ‘Women’. Then I realised that I didn’t only have to erase the problem on the actual print but also go back and re-edit the photographs of the print, the framed set up of the print etc etc not only on my blog post but on my Etsy listings too. Yikes!
Within about half an hour all was rectified and the world hadn’t been hit by a failure rock the size of the sun and no one had died because of my silly little mistake.
But for that milli-second (I swear it felt like I had aged a whole decade of my life) it consumed me. I was so scared that because of a simple, correctable error, that everyone would think I was a total sham. A failure. A fraud. I felt like people would judge me on my mistake and deem my art and my work not worthy of buying. That my sales would hit rock bottom, that no one would read my blog anymore, that someone wouldn’t trust me enough to buy from my Etsy shop because I couldn’t do a simple thing like check my wording on a print. This all, of course, was not true. It was made up by the little anxiety gremlins in my head that like to rear their ugly little heads when I am scared or panicking or overwhelmed.
I didn’t let them win. I think that this is the one thing I will take away from this lesson learnt (apart from now triple checking my work) I will never let them win. I will pick myself back up and make it right. I will take a deep breath and do my very best to fix the problem, and most importantly not beat myself up too much about it.
I will not unpack and live in that place. I will allow myself to have a little cry, a few little sniffles and then I will move forward.
I mean, I am not saying that I felt a huge deal better after rectifying the problem – Don’t get me wrong, I was a mess and felt truly frazzled. I felt burnt out from everything that was going on around me that made me make the mistake in the first place. I hauled by bum back upstairs to bed, got under the duvet and watched Disney’s Peter Pan for the rest of the afternoon. I Instagramed about my day and chatted to my lovely Etsy group on Facebook and I was bowled over by the support. Which is when I realised that it is not just me.
People mess up every day. Sometimes they are small, fixable silly little mess ups, sometimes they are bigger and more damaging but either way they (hopefully!) survive to tell the tale.
Once I had stepped away from it all I could get a bit more perspective and by the following morning I realised that life definitely goes on. What makes me so important to think that anyone even cared, let alone noticed!? I don’t even mean that in a self-deprecating way, just that in the grand scheme of things, in this big wide scary world, the only one who cared about the mistake and judged me was…Me (and possibly the 50 people that still went on to like that photo before I deleted and re-posted it) Phew! Lesson Learnt.
To be honest it was a good little warning sign that I just needed to step away from things for a bit, get into my blanket fort and relax away from the world, even if it was just for an afternoon.
The funny thing is, in hindsight obviously, is that my ‘Just want to nap’ print actually went on to be featured on the fantastic creative lifestyle blog Live It. Love It. Make It. in their latest ‘New in Handmade’ blog post. Funny how things turn out isn’t it! You should check out their blog too – It is super fun and inspiring – they are really lovely ladies too.