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Wednesday
Nov232011

Gertie at STC Craft: Feeling Thankful

Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday, is all about reflection for me. I was walking past Penn Station today, and it brought back a memory from exactly one year ago.

It was the day before Thanksgiving, and I had a half-day at work. I used to edit books for a big publishing company. While it was an interesting job, it gradually evolved into just a “day job” as my sewing blog took off and I wanted to devote all of my time to it. After I left work that Thanksgiving Eve, I had to get downtown for an appointment, but I had a couple hours to kill. I decided to walk to the Borders bookstore right by Penn Station to browse the craft section. When I got there, it became very clear that I had picked the wrong day to do that. 

“What kind of idiot decides to take a leisurely trip to Penn Station the day before Thanksgiving?” I wondered. Apparently, I was that idiot. As mobs of travelers rushed by me, yelling and jostling and ramming their suitcases into each other (and me), I had quite a dark moment. Sometimes I really hate New York, I thought.

Fast forward to today, the day before Thanksgiving. I no longer work at my day job. Many factors came together to make it possible for me to switch to a combination of sewing and craft-related freelance work. This afternoon I met with the illustrator for my book at the sewing studio where I teach. After we finished, I walked uptown to the Garment District to pick up a few supplies. Can you guess where I walked, readers? Right past Penn Station and the holiday travel hustle and bustle. Again, I was that idiot.

But this year, I barely noticed. Things felt calmer. Yes, people were yelling and smoking and taking up the whole sidewalk waiting for the Bolt Bus, but it didn’t occur to me to feel annoyed by all this. Perhaps I’m just having an unusually serene day, but it did really highlight the differences in my life between last year and this year.

Melanie and I were chatting on the phone earlier this morning, and she reminded me of a conversation we had when we traveled to Palm Springs together last January. She had recommended me to teach at Heather Ross’s weekend sewing workshop there, and Heather obligingly agreed, even though I was a very small name in her lineup of star-power teachers. As Melanie and I chatted the entire way out to California, she told me that she had a fantasy of me coming to work at STC Craft with her. I was incredibly flattered and agreed that was indeed a great fantasy.

Amazingly, it did happen. Not exactly the way we thought it would, but what in life ever does? Earlier this year, many people came together to support my big career move. Melanie gave me regular freelance work to make the transition easier, along with many words of wisdom as a friend.  My amazing husband, Jeff, continues to work at his “day job” so I don’t have to--and has been nothing less than supportive and optimistic. I have an amazing readership of passionate sewing enthusiasts who have made my blog what it is. A couple readers have even become my “interns,” working for me for free to help me juggle all the amazing things going on in my life.

To make a long story short, there’s a lot to be thankful for. I can’t believe the way my life has changed in the past year, and I’m grateful to all of you reading this for being a part of it.

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Reader Comments (3)

Remember that everything happens for a reason! That was a thrilling experience!

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGerard Brightman

Hi Gretchen,

I sure am happy for how well everything is going for you. You are a big name in my roster of super star sewists!

xxx

Jean (and Butter, perhaps your biggest fan!)

December 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCurlypurl

Wow! These books look just fabulous. Where can I get one?

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHillie

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