So yeah…11 hours to drive to San Francisco. We ended up breaking up the trip in Redding at around midnight, sleeping in a that’ll-do-it hotel, where the very sweet woman with missing teeth and a tone that made it seem like she’d been smoking for more years than she’d been alive didn’t know how to process a priceline purchase; so we had to wait another 20 minutes before we could actually get in the room. We woke up at 4 am (yes, that’s only 4 hours later) to get on the road for another 3.5 hours of driving straight to our 10×10 square of a pop-up street fair city where we would live for the next 2 days.
That was the start to one of the most challenging shows I’ve ever done. So while I was dealing with some major feelings of joy having just landed the new shop space, I was battling everything inside me that just wanted to quit the show and go home and sleep.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when we arrived in San Francisco, it was raining. But not the Portland kind of misty, non-committal drizzle rain, the kind of rain that’s accompanied by these thoughts, “Not a soul should be outside right now.” These thoughts were butting up against the expectations that this show (which boasts around 100,000 attendants every year) could possibly be the most successful show we had ever done. And at a time when we really really needed it. So yeah…no one should be outside and yet we were standing there trying to set up a booth, with fabric for walls, in the pouring down rain.
There was no sign of any of those 100,000 attendants, Will had put our new beautiful display boxes together backwards, we quickly discovered that those fabric walls had tiny holes all over them, and the tarp we had set up to protect us starting acting like a sail when the wind started blowing. Oh yeah…the wind. We had weights on our canopy, but since none of our neighbors in the street fair city had shown up that day, our booth sort of became its own wind tunnel. When people actually did come out (and they did), we had to stand there like pillars of our own home and hold the tent down. One more thing—it was the first weekend in Portland (in months, no less) when the sun had decided to come and play…full on, no holding back, play…the kind that brings out all the birds and the people and 85 degrees of warm happiness. You better believe that was on my mind.
Pitiful. That’s how I felt about the situation and myself. If it wasn’t for Lupe, I think I probably would have had a breakdown in the booth that day. In fact, I bent down behind the tables because I felt the tears coming on. I started tooling around on my phone to distract myself and there, waiting patiently for me, was one of the best emails I have ever received from a friend. It actually brought the tears on, but they changed from darkness to lightness and I felt that everything was in its right place.
It went from challenging to character building. JW said amazing things about how she thinks of me (things I didn’t quite feel I deserved) and it made me feel so grateful to have what I have…amazing friends and family like her…and I realized that sitting in my own pool of sorrow was trapping all of the nice things she said about me. And I wanted to prove her right.
So with Lupe’s amazingly generous help and all the beautiful gracious hospitality along the way, I pulled myself together…and we ended up having an amazing journey through California. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone (you know who you are) who played a role in making our trip so sweet. The first show even blew me away, people’s willingness to come out and support an artisan-based show in the middle of compromising weather—our numbers were way higher than what I thought and we’re pretty sure that in nice weather it really would have been beyond our expectations.
JW was the first person to put the idea of “blooming where you’re planted,” into my head. When we first became friends, we told stories to get to know one another. After I finished my stories, she said that I was that kind of person. It made sense to me. Everything in my life almost starts happening before I even know what it is or where it will go—dancing, college, theatre, grad school, music, Will, love, betsy & iya…almost all of it knocked on my door and I said…”okay!” This is not to say that it’s been easy—in fact, I’d say that it’s been really tough. But it’s that digging deeper and deeper that simultaneously opens the opposite side and then I look up and I’m like…WHOA! There’s so far to go up there! And then I jump real high and it feels really good.
Bloom where you’re planted. Just try it.
so much more to share with you…p.s. we’re completely into our new shop and we’ll keep you posted on the door opening!
happy weekend to each of you!
Song of the Moment: Everything in its Right Place, by Radiohead***