April 11, 2018
This is a hard one to write because vulnerability wasn't something I occasionally take around the block for a casual walk. I've thought about returning to where I last closed the curtain, peel it back and act as if nothing happened. But there's been far too much time in between, and I needed to be honest with myself, first and foremost.
Failure is the F word that now appears more taboo than the other F word. I set out to follow a path that made me feel alive - I felt good every step of the way. I met kindred spirits that made the journey oh, so heart-warming and I've made some good strides. I have started Letter Parade with little expectations of where it was going to take me. It wasn't clear where I should've stirred the wheel but the one thing I made sure was that I put out the very best of what I've got to give. That every product I churned out was a big resounding "yes!" and I stashed away the ones with even the slightest "meh." I think where I lost my footing was thinking I had enough credibility to go for gold and not realizing that before I get to that pedestal, I needed to be at the level of bronze then silver. I was naive to think that I was exceptional enough to have a shortcut. I let the magazine features go to my head.
No matter how much pep talk I gave myself that I welcomed failure because they made me more sure of the next steps I had to take and that I needed to make all the wrong moves because I anticipated these were my best teachers - nothing could've prepared me for the version of myself that I met when my first wholesale trade show wrapped up. I felt defeated and my arm only had enough strength to wave the white flag. I could see myself in the eyes of my dearest friend, Lisa Sarmento of Tiramisu Paperie and I didn't like how I've let myself succumbed to failure made only worse by how I wholly embraced it. And God only knows what I'd done if Lisa wasn't there with me every step of the way. I simply cannot thank her enough for keeping me standing and to finish with grace. Her resilience, humor and impeccably good heart saved me many times over. Thanks, Lisa! I love you to the moon and back!
It has been eight months since that curtain call. While I've kept my days busy with my day job, at night I was inconsolable as my husband would tell you. I hadn't designed any more products, I hadn't posted anything on social media on behalf of Letter Parade. One could say I've simply left the playing field but I sure wasn't at peace. Failure was a stranger I didn't know how to entertain and whose acquaintance I should've made the most of. But no, instead I was nurturing towards it and it brought me the self-doubt I thought I'd fought hard to eradicate. I let failure convince me all the things that I now found easiest to agree to - yes, I'm not good enough; yes, I don't have what it takes; yes, I am better off doing the barest minimum with the littlest of risks... the all too familiar voice. I've let it drag me on for this long before I realized that there is no fault in getting back up, moving on and admitting to the world that I let failure get the best of me. I've also learned that the very definition of resilience is becoming unstoppable to what it is that you truly love to do and that to me is clear - designing.
So yes, I'm going to give this my second, third, fourth, fifth and all the infinite shots I could for as long as I can see ideas in my head that I need to put on paper. Yes, I will now focus all my energy to turning failure into the teacher that I expected it to be. And yes, Letter Parade is back and oh, my I've missed it so.
Thanks for reading.
Love & Letters,