Friday, March 11, 2011

On a very serious note

and very important announcement...
Warning: Very long post.
Brace yourself for some intense emotions on this post. If you don't like heavy drama, you can always stop reading. And this post is image-less. I don't think it's necessary to post images here.

I know most bloggers choose to avoid the topic and stick to their own little perfect world. I don't have anything against that, it is their blog and they can doing anything they want but I, on the other hand choose to talk about it. I want to talk about what's happening to the world today. All the wars, the earthquakes, the storms.
I am afraid. Very afraid.
As a mother of four, it is a big responsibility to keep a family safe and sound at a crazy time like this. Just the thought of dealing with such a disaster like what happened to Japan tears me to pieces. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived a 7.7 earthquake in July 16, 1990.(You don't have to read the link or this post if you don't want to) I know 8.9 is a lot stronger than 7.7 but the Philippines is not equipped to handle such a strong earthquake. I remember everything like it was yesterday and I've never forgotten. I've thought of it every single day since then. I would not go into details as I don't want to disturb my readers of such a horrific experience but what happened in Japan struck me to the core. Last night, I saw the tsunami on CNN as it tore through parts of Japan like a child playing with his toys and I was dumbfounded and just cried like a baby. I called my daughters, their bedroom is way at the back of the house and asked them to sleep on the couch in the living room instead. We prayed, watched CNN together and I shared some bits and pieces of what I went through on that fateful day in 1990 and then they fell asleep. I watched them as they slept and reality struck me.

What am I doing? I asked myself over and over. My children need me.
Every minute spent together is very important and what was I doing giving them only what time I have left over after working on my website? I don't have any knowledge whatsoever on html codes or building a website and whatever I do on the website takes 10x longer than someone who knows how. And I do it while I cook, while I do chores, while I take care of a toddler and among other things. It is exhausting and most of all it takes time away from my kids.
I've always carried a dream in my heart ever since I was little but you know what, whatever dream we have we can achieve no matter what as long as we want it enough, as long as it is for us.. It doesn't matter if I wait a little until the kids are a bit bigger and independent, if it is for me, it will happen.

As artists, we all have dreams of making it big, famous, and admit it, where money comes easy. We all want that even if we say we don't or else we won't have our online shops but if it means taking away time from your kids who are only young for a few years (which fly by way too fast, by the way) then please ask yourself, is it worth it? It's great if you have a lot of time in your hands and all you have to think of is yourself but if someone is desperately asking for your time ( a mother, a husband, a boyfriend, a sister, a pet...) and you choose to ignore, then please think twice. I've thought twice and here is my decision. Here are my thoughts. Here are things I've came up with that I want to share with you because you my readers, specially those that have stood by me in the two years of my blogging are very important to me so I want to share with you some of my deepest thoughts and new plans.

I am closing my website for an indefinite time.  Why?
I don't have the time to make new inventory as of now. Each piece of clothing I make takes hours and hours of designing and sewing and not to mention taking photos of each and everything in the shop. I do everything myself. I don't have a team who I can just assign things to. I do everything from the building of the actual website, the inventory, the design, the concept, the photography, the pricing and on top of that... a family to tend to!

I don't have the money to spare to promote it. Lucky you, if you have $800 to spend on placing an ad on a famous blog but I am a stay at home mom and my husband is the only one who works for a family of 6. Every dollar counts.

The website can wait. Honestly, I am not ready. I have a ton of ideas that would always stay inside of me and would still be in me when I begin again. I constantly have new ideas and if someone else comes up with the same idea, I can always begin something new.

The competition for clothing/vintage is enormous. How can I compete with someone who has the resources and all the time in the world to spend on building a website, adding inventory, promotion and still manage to look chic? I can't do that. So that dream is over.

I am keeping my etsy shops. Why?
I can just list what I have on hand and sit back and let it promote itself. Someday, somehow, someone who is searching for what I've made will find me. I don't have to promote it as much as I would if I had a website. I don't have to have hundreds of inventory to look like I'm serious about what I do. One page is enough. No stress, less pressure, more time with the kids.

I will spend less time online. Why?
Because life is beautiful!!! Ever since I've been working on my website, I've rarely gone outside and enjoyed a sunny day or played outside with the kids. Spending time yesterday at the park was so much fun and I want to do more of that. Go out more, meet new people and do stuff away from the computer. I rarely open my mouth and speak. I type more than I speak. It is amazing how technology works. We speak without opening our mouth, we make friends without ever meeting most of them (or any of them for that matter), we laugh in our mind, we cry in our mind and we type, type, type away. We are people. There are so much to love about reality. I want to run outside and live life to the fullest, instead of spending hours looking at how others live a full life. Yes, I do read blogs for hours. I would still do that but will only do it on my spare time, probably when the kids are all in bed.

I am setting a bad example to the kids. When you come to our house, all you would see are computers and people behind their laptops. My mister is a computer programmer so we have a lot of monitors and laptops around the house and we are all busy doing our own thing for hours... without talking to one another at all. Even the youngest person in the house is always in front of the computer. 
He started using the mac since he was only 2. And he would rather play games online or surf on you tube than play with his toys.

I am keeping the blog. Why?
Blogging is really important to me. It makes me feel good that someone out there visits my blog and checks out every now and then what I am up to. It makes me feel special, worthy of someone's time.

I love taking photos and I am able to share them with you here. Photography is very important to me.

I've always kept a diary since I was a little girl. Only now, I do it here on my blog. It's nice to go back on a certain day and relive that day through photos and what I've written about it.

I will spend my extra time thinking of what I really, really want to do.
As a Jane of all trades, master of none, I really have to sit and think what I am really good at and I will focus on one thing, the one thing that I can do for the rest of my life. I know I can't do everything I want to do and expect everything to be successful. I really need to choose one and stick by it.

So that's it. It's out of my chest and I feel lighter. Tonight, the shop will close and url will be directed to this blog.

I don't know if anyone has read through all what I have written but If you did, I thank you for hearing me out. It took a lot of courage for me to expose my weaknesses, my mistakes. fears and uncertainty but I know that there are good things ahead for myself, my dreams and my family. It's just a matter of setting priorities right now and for now, I choose my children over anything else.

Thanks for reading and I hope you come back here again tomorrow. I'll be waiting here.


deannaburasco said...

This post resonates with me. Although I only have one child, I feel the constant pull and stress of what to create to put in my shop, cooking, cleaning, etc. I am so busy stressing myself out I rarely stop and just breathe. My daughter is also hooked on the computer. It is much harder here in Kansas, though, to enjoy the outdoors. Winter is just now coming to an end. We haven't been able to enjoy the park since early November! However, as the weather warms up, I am going to make a real effort to focus more on my family and on just treasuring life. Thank you so much for this post!

aiz kim said...

i totally feel you on this. Last night my mom asked for prayers as tsunami signals were sent out to countries including the Philippines after the quake in Japan. With Heaven's mercy it passed. However, we cannot deny that what happened to Japan is truly truly heartbreaking. It is true that we want the best for our children and yet sometimes we lose sight on what is important. I applaud you for sharing such honest thoughts. It is a wakeup call for us who got too involved into making it big in the online biz at the expense of the people we love. You are truly admirable!