It’s been so long since I have updated my blog, mainly because my life has been completely turned upside down and I’ve been milling over if I should post about it at all or just continue ignoring that I’ve all but taken a three year hiatus from my business. For what I do I’ve always felt there was a fine balance between sharing too much about my personal life in regards to my business and needing to share with people what is going on. A big portion of this struggle for me stems from the fact that a lot of what Snowflake Hoops is all about is my journey as a hooper, circus artist and creative. It’s not just about the items I make, but the process of getting there as well as the adventures I experience along the way. So the following post may be quite lengthy but I will try my best to explain what I’ve been up to since my last post without going OD with TMI stuff. So let’s start from where I left off. I returned back to Brooklyn after Burning Man 2015 and decided to completely uproot myself. I realized during my travels something which had been nagging me for the whole year. I was unhappy and dissatisfied with the path I saw my life taking.
Don’t get my wrong, I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I was given and loved doing what I was doing, but something was missing. So I made the decision to move out of my previous living situation which had been the same for the previous six years of my life and start re-focusing on myself and my goal to move to California.
When I made this choice I thought it would be easy, there are a lot of things which I had not previously considered and in my mind this decision meant that within a year I would be on the west coast. It was about a week after moving out and taking up residence with my sister that I came to the realization that my situation was much more dire than I had previously though. For one I had almost no money, and credit card debts. It was then that I realized in order to make my plans a success I would have to get another job besides Snowflake Hoops.
I was devastated, for me this meant that I had to admit to myself that I had failed at my business. I left the retail job I disliked to persue my dreams and now I was in a place where I was returning to this job to help pick my ass up off the floor. I had just turned 30 and I was single, sleeping on my younger sisters couch, in debt, and about to return to a job I held when I was 19, which I knew I’d be underpaid for just to get my feet back on the ground.
Did I make the right decision to leave the life I knew behind in pursuit of something different? Did I just make a huge mistake? Will I ever make it to California? I had no idea! But I was certainly willing to give it a try!
In my desperation to get myself to the West coast ASAP I worked two part time retail jobs at the same time. It was exhausting! You know that song “Work” by Rihanna? That became my anthem! All I did was work. There were no days off in sight! I put my shop on an extended vacation mode, unsure of weather I should just give up on the whole thing. One thing I did not give up on or sacrifice was my Tribe.
In 2016 and 2017 I was the Shin of Empire Fire Collective, a 50 person strong fire performance troupe which had the privilege of performing at Burning Man that year.
During my time away from Snowflake Hoops, managing a fire performance troupe, camp and juggling two retail jobs my health began to decline. As it turns out I was having major issues with my lady bits which resulted in a laparoscopic myomectomy, in which a robot named the DaVinci (technology is amazing! Click the link to see the robot in action!) removed a tumor which had grown to be the size of a lime via my belly button. I was extraordinarily depressed. This health complication and surgery had really done a number on my self confidence. I was unable to dance or really move leading up to the surgery, was in excruciating pain, became anemic, and then was unable to dance, spin, or do any aerial arts for at least 3 months post surgery, not to mention my belly button was all jacked up!
Watching videos of people doing aerials/hooping usually gave me inspiration to continue dancing, giving me new ideas on what to practice next. Now I found myself feeling a bitter resentment. I had gained a ton of weight and felt angry and upset. I used to be able to do all those things and now I was back at square one. Instead of finding inspiration in things I felt despair that I would not be able to re-gain the skills I had lost and was getting older.
I felt angry that women’s healthcare is not taken more seriously in America and that it had taken so many years to diagnose my problem even though I had been complaining of pain and excessive symptoms from my monthly visitor since 13 years of age. So what did I do to combat these feelings? I drank… a lot. Not what I had intended, but it happened. I used being in a fog as an excuse to ignore my problems and shift the blame to things outside of myself.
It wasn’t until a close friend called me out on my actions that I realized I had to get my shit together. It could have been so much worse and I should be thankful that I am still alive. In addition to that I realized that I was using my hobbies to identify who I was. What I mean by this is how I identified myself as a hooper, yogi, aerialist, and fire artist. When I was in recovery and unable to do the things that I identified my personality with it felt like there was nothing left. Who was I? What was I even doing with myself anymore? During this time I remembered that all those things were just ego. I am not the sum of my hobbies. Those are all things that bring be joy and if I couldn’t learn to separate those things from my personality I may never be able to enjoy those activities again. So I started from the beginning (More or less) and started to re-teach myself all the things I had forgotten, or was not physically capable of any longer.
Was it frustrating? Hell yea! I am a year past surgery now and still working on re-building what I had lost, but you know what? I am happy. I might not be as strong as I was before but I learned so much about myself, and what is really important in life. Life is filled with ups, downs, triumphs and challenges, but it is up to us to identify the qualities and things which make us unhappy and work towards changing those things. It is okay that your life is not perfect, it is okay that you are not where you thought you would be, and it is okay that you are still working on things. Never let anyone or anything diminish your light for too long, just remember that all it takes is a small spark for things to re-ignite!
With that being said I’m back at it! I finally made my move and now live in Oakland CA, loving life and re-building things in the way I want. Is my life perfect? No, far from it, but that is all part of the excitement of life and creativity to me! Keep an eye on your inbox and my shop for new items and tutorials coming your way!