Never Stop Learning

My dad was always exploring new avenues of knowledge. When I was 7, he sold his thriving accounting practice and moved us from south Georgia to New Orleans so he could start over and attend seminary. It was a drastic, life-altering move for our entire family. But one that shaped my own perception of self, education, and the risks we might take in life.

Now, in my mid-40s, I have a bachelors (communication), masters (higher education leadership), and more academic credits than are easily compiled – and I’m still on the hunt for new disciplines. I went back to school a few years ago and earned enough credits to sit for the CPA exam, thinking I would follow in my dad’s footsteps. I passed three parts of the exam before he passed away. All of the enthusiasm that I had for that particular path died with him. I just couldn’t cross the finish line after that.

My oldest son is now in college and it’s been so exciting to witness his mind growing in new ways – obviously, it’s contagious and now I’m itching to go back to school or pursue new interests. My sweet, very supportive husband is encouraging of it. Bless him. He has no idea how obsessed I become with the availability of new skills and information.

(Be aware that this post has no conclusion. It is largely a mind-dump and the processing of the thoughts swirling in my brain.)

With his encouragement, I applied to a fashion design program at a nearby university. Coming from a background in higher education, it was not the experience that I was expecting – from beginning to end. Despite being accepted and offered a scholarship, I was never treated like a prospective student that they desired to have on campus. It was a very, very disappointing experience. Maybe ageism played a factor? Ultimately, I accepted it as a sign that their fashion design program isn’t the path for me.

So, what now? My whole being yearns for a new challenge. My interest in fashion design stems from a desire to be more independent in my own making. I also have a very entrepreneurial spirit (thanks to dad) and I feel like I can do more with my 30 years of experience in sewing, without compromising my value. I’d love to own a fabric store with a creative space, but am unsure of the viability of one in my area of Georgia. I love to teach others to sew, too. It is so gratifying to see someone’s creative inspiration grow and take off. So many thoughts…

Quickly adding… I’m primarily talking about passion projects, like HippieShine and Retro Mofo. I’m deeply committed to my professional work.

Here’s what I HAVE done that is a bit outside of the norm for me… I’ve created a storefront for Yonder Couture and have listed some items that I’ve made for sale. I have never really sewn to sell before. It makes me feel very vulnerable. I’m a hardcore perfectionist and nothing I make ever seems “good enough.” Regardless, I’ve turned out a few bags that I’m super proud of and have made them available to you!

Also, peep my newly redesigned logo. It feels like next-gen Rachel to me.

If these items are well-received, I’ll likely keep the flow going and figure out how to grow from here. Small steps towards an unknown destination…

Even once my dad earned his Ph.D in theology, he never stopped pursuing new interests. While he was never officially diagnosed, my brothers and I all have ADHD so it’s very likely that’s what kept my dad bouncing around – and probably what keeps me going as well. Haha! I guess it’s not all bad. If he is the model, I’ll be pivoting towards new interests for the rest of my life.

So, let’s talk! What’s your story? Please share stories of passion projects that you’ve pursued. How did you arrive to where you are today? I’d love to hear all about your journey.