This is where the story gets a little more boring. Because this is where it just becomes about the mundane. The day to day. The list-making and figuring it out.
This is where those crazy "Who do you think you are?" thoughts start to invade your mind like aliens from another planet.
And because you are tired and a little weak and exhausted and fragile, you sometimes believe them. You sometimes think it would be easier to just go back to what you know. (The familiar pain.)
I've been playing with watercolors. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don't. Always inspired by my friend, the fabulously talented Danielle Donaldson. Incredible sweetheart and phenomenal artist...
But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that if you sit and overanalyze everything, you will talk yourself out of all of it. There are a MILLION and one reasons not to do something crazy and risky and big-dream-y.
So, in some ways, it's better to just DO.
And that's what we did.
I mean, we thought a lot. And I had panic-stricken moments. And Adam talked me off many ledges, but we didn't then and don't now have everything figured out. We are still, in so many ways, getting our bearings, but I'm convinced there are many people who start businesses feeling the same way.
I know because I've talked to them.
Sometimes, you can't have everything in order before you begin. Sometimes you have to give yourself the grace to make mistakes and figure things out as you go. And let me tell you...there was a lot to figure.
First of all, we needed a name. I have pages of words and descriptions and possibilities. Finally, after agonizing (I do still over-think SOME things...but this was a biggie...we wanted to get it right) we landed on "The Studio."
Now we needed a logo. More agonizing. But we liked what these thought bubbles conveyed, so this was our final choice:
Then, there was the website. Building websites from the ground up is expensive and kind of a pain in the butt. It's hard to figure out how things should work and how they should run and how they should look...and we are still learning. Daily.
But we launched our website early this year. And we kind of love it.
Then came our announcement video:
It was our chance to share our hearts. A chance to share the tip of the iceberg of where we're heading...and after that then we were off and running.
No turning back now.
We did studio sessions (like classes but fun):
(Yes, that is Adam singing all those parts.)
We had two sold out summer camps:
And most recently, we were able to put on a production of Seussical. Which was, by far, the highlight of our year.
I'm not going to tell you everything we've done has been off the charts successful, we're still getting our footing, but we are paying attention to what works and what doesn't, and always, at every turn, seeking out God's will for our lives and our business.
Adam asked me yesterday why I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I suppose it's the residual effects of a really horrible experience. But during Seussical, I started to realize that none of our excitement, none of our successes or our dreams or our hopes would have been possible if it hadn't been birthed in pain.
It's taken a full year, but I am finally at the point where I can see the purpose for what we went through. What we had to go through in order to pursue the thing God had for us. We wouldn't have stepped out. I know that now, because we are not boat rockers.
But what I've discovered is that when God calls you to do something and you are continually asking to be led by Him...you cannot for even one second allow the voices of the world to set you on a different course. We always said we were working for an audience of One, but now we had to prove it.
I know some people have misunderstood our intentions. I know there has been talk because, let's face it, when you say mean things about people, generally they find out. And we've found out. (Yay.)
But those who know us know we've never aimed to be spiteful and up until now, have rarely discussed what really happened with anyone but our closest friends. I've had so many of our parents email me this week and say "I had no idea."
Good. Because before, I couldn't talk about any of it without the bitterness seeping in.
And now? I can.
There is a purpose for our pain. Always. There is a reason good things end...because better things are on the way.
And God doesn't leave us. Even in the darkness. He loves us too much to allow us to remain comfortable.
That is what I cling to.