I love blogging, don’t get me wrong. But it has been incredibly difficult to keep it up this past year. In many ways 2012 was a year filled with worries, stresses, and sadnesses, none of which are conducive to writing about vintage history and taking pretty pictures for the blog. If I had been through, say, one week where I felt worried, stressed and sad, then I might have written a post about it to clear my mind and then got back on with things. But what about a whole year of worry? You all would have become bored very quickly if I’d spent twelve months writing constantly about the tumultuous and depressed states my mind has been in!
Much of the sadness has also been best kept private. In mourning those who have gone, I’ve had to really think about what I want from my life, and what is important, and whether I am even on the right track. Some days I feel like I am being pulled from all directions, while other days I don’t feel like there is any direction at all. Confusion reigns supreme.
Nice things have happened too, of course. A long time ago I decided that New Years Resolutions only ever seem to make people feel bad, and I would prefer to start each year by appreciating all the good things that have happened. This year, there were some moments of true loveliness in amongst the general miasma. I enjoyed trips to York and Paris with my vintage friends, a hen weekend with new friends in Bath, spending time with my brother in London, seeing Richard III, Singin’ in the Rain, Crazy for You, The Marriage of Figaro and Tori Amos, being nominated for a Company Magazine blog award, three weddings, a fun Jubilee party, visiting the Chislehurst caves for a friend’s birthday, a day trip on the Orient Express, dinner at my favourite French restaurant with my oldest friend, attending the Chap Olympiad, going to the War and Peace show with Lena, holidaying on the Isle of Wight with my friend and her lovely family, checking out the James Bond and 50 years of British Design exhibitions, a good friend coming to live in London, meeting Barbara Hulaniki at the Biba exhibition in Brighton, a week with Mr D sunning ourselves in Barbados, as well as lots of good books read, good movies seen, and quality time with Elsa the cat and Mr D.
Most of all, I appreciate how patient and kind and understanding my friends have been with me while I’ve been struggling this year, even though at times I must not have been much fun to be around (and at other times haven’t been around at all).
As for the worries of the past year… well these are ongoing. In addition to the big life questions I’ve been pondering, I have struggled to run Penny Dreadful Vintage all by myself in such a difficult economic climate. Running a sole business with no back-up support is a challenge for anyone even at the best of times, and my goodness, these are certainly not the best of times! I work days and nights and weekends, and my brain is constantly thinking about what needs to be done, what could be done better, what is the future of the business, what could go wrong, and what is absolutely vital to do right at that moment. There is never a moment when I can shut my brain off and simply relax. It is mentally exhausting.
This has all made me question why I am doing what I do. I love my work, but I don’t want it to be the only thing in my life that I spend any time on. And although I thought I was happy to live on a lower income in order to do what I love, I have come to realise that I miss the ‘extras’ a normal salary provides – meals out, weekends away, occasional trips home to see my family in Australia, and freedom from the constant, pressing worry of ‘will I have enough for this months rent?’.
There has been much soul-searching, and I have found it hard to keep writing the blog when I had so many questions crowding my head. Finally, though, I decided that if the business I started to give me a better quality of life has actually made it harder to spend time doing things I enjoy with friends and family, then something needs to change.
I plan to keep on running Penny Dreadful Vintage, but as a part-time business while I work a regular job. The hunt is now on for a role in social media, which would allow me to keep on doing my favourite parts of running PDV, but just for another business. If things are still quiet on the blog front for the next little while, you’ll know it is because I am knee-deep in applications! Wish me luck guys, and best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy 2013!