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Taking Unusual steps

Firstly – when you look at this blog post you suddenly see that the lay-out of this blog has entirely changed. Surprise! Indeed, several pages have been added and the blog is now just ‘part’ of the whole rather than what this website is all about. I have spent many, many days mostly thinking and experimenting with what’s next for us as a couple as well as for my own personal growth

Something unexpected & confrontations with the self

In many ways, I have simply received an unusual but great gift and that is the gift of time. For the first time in years, there is no pressure to deliver a paper, no tens of job applications that still need to be submitted this week, no threat of not being able to pay your rent or save money to be able to go and see your partner. In fact, even if I decided to watch TV all day, we would still have a roof over our head and money coming in thanks to my husband’s income. Something I consider weird but also revolutionary and has really, really allowed me to sit down and go a little deeper than answering the ‘immediate threats’ surrounding me. A situation that 2 years ago, I would have considered unacceptable and a huge blow for my own development and dignity. It’s true that as we grow older, we do change our minds on even the things we considered fundamental to ourselves.

No, I will definitely not wither away in front of the TV, in fact we don’t even own one! But these months I have been shamelessly letting my creative spirit take the upper hand and see what comes out. Out with the academic, analytic and critical, in with the creative, intuitive and quieter parts of the brain. In just these last two months, I have taken up the hobby of block printing, which i LOVE, designing interior spaces, writing here and there, teaching part-time, tending a vegetable garden and providing my Iranian surroundings with the necessary French pastries. I am making an okay income, learning a ton of new hobbies and indulging in the little satisfactions of life such as a perfectly ironed white linen dress or grapes picked from our own garden.

Of course, doesn’t hurt to say that I totally failed to keep our green beans alive and that the Tehran heat kills me at times, or that I still throw a tantrum because this sudden space and quiet time for people who are used to the ultra-busy (sundays are for deadlines, right? not for enjoying….) can be extremely existential and confusing. I still oftentimes see a free day not as a nice day to enjoy, but rather as a day I should use “productively” or “can’t waste”, a mind set I heavily dislike but frequently find myself trapped in… Relatable? Sometimes I think stress is something, just like sugar or cigarettes, that we get addicted to without knowing it. We loathe it, we wish we didn’t have it, but at the same time cannot let it go.

I have found that my cat is the best teacher in relaxation therapy… as you can tell

I also really feel like I degrade by sitting behind my computer for many hours on end and require natural stimulations of smell, touch, outside air and sounds. I crave food sovereignty, the capacity to go outside in nature and the ability to be able to provide in many more ways than just monetary. Not to mention the devastating effects of chronic stress on your risks of various forms of cancer, and that those risks are even transferred to your offspring through epigenetics. Therefore, refusing to engage in the stressful rat race and engaging in a way of working based on love for a trade, kindness for the earth and each other, is not just for yourself but your children and grand children. Again, revolutionary.

A new kind of perspective

Now, more than ever, we should make room for the creative, the communal, the supportive. Not for the expoitative, individualistic and competitive. When I go to the carpet bazar together with my partner, it strikes me every time how these ‘competitors’ come to each other’s shops to talk and have a tea or even a lunch. It’s not about outcompeting each other, it’s about finding the right harmony and ensuring everyone can, in their own right, provide for their families and make their businesses flourish. A way of doing business that is far more enjoyable, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t feel like it would be great to have a little more camaraderie in the corporate world? Sharing strategies, giving tips and even buying from each other. The carpet bazaar is the place to learn. Never expected that, but totally love it.

A car stacked full of freshly dyed wool, quite a different sight from a law textbook

What I was aiming at with all the previous, is a common thread, namely that of learning to live life differently, VERY differently from what we previously might have expected, or what we thought we wanted, and learning to find contentment in that. I am not currently thinking about pursuing a masters degree, though I was always told my brains are “too good to go to waste”. Who says they go to waste? Who says I can’t use them to learn about companion planting, the different stitching methods of a sewing machine or on nnatural paint making and perspective interior sketching? I am loving that for once, I am not using just my brain, but rather my hands and my muscles and my heart. My brain, instead, takes a rest and only fires up momentarily with a new idea, a nice memory coming back up or even just registering the task at hand.

Many of these ideas, are currently being developed on this blog and -hint hint-, have to do with antiques, and interiors. If you’re excited, please do follow along 😉

Some of our amazing ladies working hard on a commisioned rug in Isfahan

Rather than this blog entry being a random string of thought, I invite you to see it as a trigger to think about the way you live your life, whether you are content with it, how you can bring more beauty around yourself and whether you see opportunities in unleashing your creative self by making little changes all around?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

And I will definitely be writing more about this, in a more specific manner.

One thought on “Taking Unusual steps

  1. Wow Andrea ! I’ve read your long story not once, but twice and it is very difficult to comment on it but from what I read , you have changed your ideas of life enormously ! I’m sure you show the picture of your cat with a purpose: relax and enjoy and take it easy and keep busy with what makes you and your husband happy !
    Succes with the carpet business!

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