Asheville, North Carolina,
October 18
Super Hero
Artwork for banner adapted from "Mister X," by William P. Marks, Vortex Comics • Blog Title from "Serenity" by Joss Whedon _________________________ A fiber artist making wool felt garments and local wool fleece and yarns on the side, Previously, I have been all these things: • architecture office manager • department store clerk • restaurant: waitress, bartender & barback, cashier, busboy, dishwasher, prep cook, line cook, manager • architecture student • engineering draftsman • graphic designer • advertising art director • magazine publisher • fanzine: publisher, editor, writer, photographer, designer • garage band manager • web designer & programmer • database (FM pro) developer • software trainer • non-profit organization staff member • ad salesman • fiber artist: weaver, spinner, tapestry weaver, dyer, feltmaker • reader • writer • sailor • runner • drinker, toker • big sister • oldest child • wife (2x) • swinging divorcee


JUNE 24, 2011 10:43AM

Unfinished: Taking stock of my decade

Rate: 11 Flag


This is number 2 in my series of unfinished, un-posted posts. This was supposed to be a New Year Eve's post, and it doesn't quite make sense here in the middle of the year. In fact, it IS finished and I don't know why I didn't post it - just forgot, I guess. I am posting it anyway, because I am crawling through a depression right now and I need that positive viewpoint, i.e., things are far better than they have been. Hope it works. 


Just before the last decade started, I became motherless and fatherless, in August 1999 and November 1999, respectively. At least the first half of the last decade was spent in a search for who I am without their expectations.

Just before the last decade started, I found out I couldn’t have children, I was too old and it was too late. I started back to school in fiber arts instead of having kids. It was a conscious choice. 

In 2000, I started menopause, my constant companion since. I could say that was my decade of change and mean it in all contexts. 

In 2000 I moved to Atlanta, away from Asheville, to make it easier for my husband to travel for his work. In other words, I sublimated my needs for my husband’s. That’s a sacrifice I still ponder. 

In 2000 I started a four-year working relationship with a non-profit that reminded me that having a job may give you a secure income, but it doesn’t necessarily give you peace. That was the hardest job I’ve ever done, for the least amount of money. 

In 2004, I left that secure but stressful job to finally achieve my lifelong goal of being a full-time artist, while I destroyed my lifelong commitment never to be supported by a man. I made that bargain with myself with misgivings. I told myself that very little art can be made without patronage, and my husband continues to be my number one patron.  This despite the fact that I’ve never made him anything. His choice.

In 2004 I started the gypsy life of a music festival vendor, got an RV and pretended that it was still the 60s and time travel worked under certain circumstances. Except it wasn’t, it didn’t, and travel in general was tiring me out. Plus, I was doing it alone, a portent that I didn’t see in time. 

In 2006 my husband left me and I was left with art. That wasn’t the intent when I chose it, but it was all I had left.

I found OS in 2007, in the midst of a limbo called Tampa, Florida. 

In 2008 I moved back to Asheville to reclaim and re-dedicate myself as an artist.

In 2009, I started to feel like I belonged somewhere again. 

In 2010 I am myself. 



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It may have been tuff on you but your story inspired me.

Great happy ending.
D, I have to remind myself that it's the journey, not the destination.
Until we are dead, we are all unfinished! I know your first year of this new fiber art gallery/workshop/giftshop is stressful, and I hope you can find a way to have joy in it and the people that come to you. Your words here seem to be blaming yourself for being yourself. Maybe the new decade will bring love for yourself for being yourself.
Diana, it isn't blame, it's overcoming the training I had from childhood of deferring my needs for other people. It hasn't been til lately that I do things for myself, and not necessarily from choice. Given the opportunity, I'd probably give it all up again for someone I loved.
Ardee, you have been involved in so many interesting jobs and activities over the years! For me the start of '00 decade will always be marked by what happened in the presidential election and the consequences we still face today because of what happened that year.

Many people never follow the path of things they would like to do but you clearly have taken the time to pursue your talents such as fiber art. It is so satisfying to do this and know that it was a part of your life!
That is a truckload of change, ardee. Whew. Takes a strong person to do it, so I'd say 2011 and beyond look pretty sweet. Thanks for posting the story.
It must feel satisfying in some ways to see it all in progression. Funny how thinks carry portent, we don't see the signs, I've done that myself at times too.
Honest and self effacing. I have wondered about how your shop is doing, if you have a website up, would love to see your work now.
Designanator, don't even get me started on politics! Though politics does have a lot to do with my current depressed state. It's true that I have followed up on my goal of being an artist, it's all I ever wanted to be. I should note that I didn't get there til I quit being a graphic designer.

Thanks Candace, 2011 does look way better and I hope it keeps going that way!

Rita, thanks, interesting isn't it that age brings such perspective, also know as hindsight! The gallery is doing pretty well, we broke even last month, and hopefully will again this month. I'm being cautiously optimistic. The website isn't much right now but here's the address: We've done a better job of keeping up with our Facebook page (search for Nice Threads.)
The idea of taking stock of my decade made me wince. Too painful for words.
Fine writing on the journey of self discovery. I hope that 2011 has been a wonderful years.
Willie, I think it made me wince too - since I didn't post it originally. I guess now that things are better, I can stand to look at it.

Scylla, it's starting off to be lots better. Thanks!
"Given the opportunity, I'd probably give it all up again for someone I loved."
When do we rise above that one, Ardee ?
Kim, is it a bad thing? I've only gotten hurt badly this last time. I guess I haven't learned it yet.
We never know what the "destination" is; we only try to get there as content and in one piece as we can. Each little turn or step we take offers a new possibility and a different outcome. I'm happy to read that you feel you are back to being you again within a decade, after so much change in your life. Many get lost along the way. Happy travels.
I don't think it's a bad thing at all.
I think it's the break we need, where we are now.
Just your line struck me : how vulnerable we are.
I don't know what to do about that myself, either.
Fusana, I like the perspective you have on that - "back to being you again within a decade, after so much change in your life. " Like a decade isn't that much time. Whereas I tend to think of it in terms of: "the lost decade." Thanks for the more positive view.

Kim- I actually surprised myself that I was willing to put that idea in print. I'll have to think about whether I really believe that.
luck on the journey, I can relate