I moved around to different positions in the organization. All the way up to a department manager. Then back down again. I couldn’t find the right fit. And between the challenges of life and work I was overwhelmed and lost.
I had been working at the agency for 9 years now. I was conflicted because on paper I was doing good work, but still felt miserable. My husband remembers this time as the daily unloading period. Everyday after I got home from work and fighting traffic, I had a meltdown.
A Forced Break
One night we found a lump. I remember getting out of bed and sitting in the living room and Googling symptoms of breast cancer. It was painful to have to wait until the morning to phone my GP's office for an appointment. My anxiety was already pretty bad, and this brought it up to the next level. But somehow I managed to get some sleep that night.
When I saw my awesome Nurse Practitioner she reassured me that it was probably nothing, but we are going to send you for a mammogram to be sure. After several inconclusive tests (“Inconclusive” is still a trigger word) and a lumpectomy the diagnosis was confirmed.
I am one of the lucky ones. My surgeon (a superhero with a scalpel) got it all!!! But I still had to go through 29 rounds of radiation. It stripped me of my energy leaving me feeling depleted in a way I have never felt before or since. By the end of treatment, my energy level was so low that it was hard to walk. I remember the daily fatigue that knocked me out. I would wakeup not knowing what hit me until I realized I was asleep. It was a powerful fatigue that came without warning. I felt out of control. Eventually, I surrendered to the process knowing that it would end and produce healing.
When Lightening Strikes
When I finally got a bit more energy I decided I wanted to do a long term project that I could put down as needed. My initial quilting attempt didn’t survive the wash. I was apprehensive, but couldn’t think of another project. So, I bought a small batch of 5” squares and decided to sew them together. I didn’t use a pattern. I just sewed. A spark was lit!
After the first quilt I quickly moved on to the second. This time I used a design for inspiration. Success. Third quilt, I created a design based on blocks that I made, inspired by the work of another quilter, Libs Elliot. And then the next and the next...
Recharge, Play, Dream
With the time + space + the need to create and do, I found my passion. At 38 I found it. 38! Sure there were signs that I was creative but nothing ever stuck. I thought my creative endeavours would forever be a hobby to do on a bi-annual basis. Eventually ending up shoved in a closet somewhere.
What I am getting at is that I didn’t see it coming. I found my passion at 38 in a place of rest and recovery. Playing with fabric and curious about what was possible. Curious about what I could build. Playing led to dreaming. And Rox Creative was born.