The obstacle becomes the way

Today I enquiried about a horse! And it was already sold. Which is probably just as well as I’m not quite ready to buy, but I have started to feel that I should be looking, to get a sense of what’s out there, how far your money goes, all those sorts of questions. And though you’d think a buyer is the one doing the inspecting, I rather feel like *I* would be the one under inspection. So I almost need to practice enquiring, in the way that you might practice job interviews, ha. 

Who knows which way things will pan out. Because my income varies I know that I want to have a decent chunk of costs saved (beyond purchase price, easy enough to get cheap horses after all) before I move ahead on buying anything, so it’ll be a while off yet. Got to be sensible and responsible. But at the same time, I realised today (hence making an enquiry) that I’m in danger of falling into a trap that the new corsetmakers I meet fall into…

Waiting for conditions to be perfect.  

You need to be responsible, yes. It’s possibly not realistic if you’ve got five children, a dog, a mortgage, etc. to entirely ditch your reliable income streams in pursuit of “a dream”. Not without a plan in place, anyhow. But there are ways and means and options between every extreme. The number of incredibly talented craftspeople I meet who hold themselves back is ridiculous. They wait for “the right time” and it never comes. Something else always pops up in life. One shouldn’t hedonisticly throw everything away in pursuit of personal happiness… But neither should one say, year after year, that they’ll get going “soon”, once things have changed, once they’ve got more skill or knowledge, etc. etc. 

Things will change, for sure, for the better and for the worse. You, largely, can’t control that. And it’s too vague. What “changes” would really make that much of a difference? Are you working towards those changes? Or just waiting for a vague sense of “now’s the time”? How will you know? In terms of wanting to be more skilled or knowledgable before you begin… is that a legitimate concern? Most of the craftspeople I meet are well beyond the level necessary to begin sharing their work with an audience, they just can’t realise it, normally due to a lack of confidence. And sometimes, truly, being comfortably static is the worst trap to fall into. We need to be comfortable with at least small amounts of risk. 

There will always be something in the way. But as Marcus Aurelius said, the obstacle becomes the way. Begin now. Even if only in a tiny manner. 

For years I’ve met and known craftspeople who lack the self-belief to realise that they absolutely can share their work with the wider world. And then, there’s me doing the same thing with regards to wanting certain things in my personal life. Ever since my childhood neddie began going out on loan when dad fell sick (coming back, going out, coming back, etc.) I’ve subconsciously convinced myself that I’m not the right sort of person to have animals, don’t have enough money, shouldn’t be allowed, and so on. That’s the best part of 20 years that I’ve been doing that. If I’d had the self-belief to do something about it, instead of waiting for the “right conditions”, I’d have been saving money the entire time. If I’d had more confidence and been less shy, I’d have been going hacking every weekend during university. If, back then, I’d started being involved with horses again instead of waiting to “get fit” before doing so, I’d have gotten fitter through the doing of it and have less work to do now, in that regard. If if if.

Whatever the thing is that you would like to do, if you can do it without causing harm to anyone else, just crack on and begin. There will always be a reason not to. Until the reason not to is so absolute that there’s no way around it. 


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