First, in October, after many months of waiting, my mother received a liver and kidney transplant. The roller coaster of her recovery was considerable, and news would filter in on occasion with breakthroughs and setbacks. Being broke and in Kentucky while she was in Indianapolis meant that I couldn't visit her often (and really, shouldn't due to her suppressed immune system), and for a long time she was unable to speak due to the tubes. Every call I got from my family created a sinking feeling that this was "the call." Skype helped us to connect, but it wasn't perfect.
It was around this time (including one being posted publicly while I visited my mother the weekend after her surgery) that several people alerted me about some of my models having problems: epoxy lifting, stickiness, etc. Stuff that I work very hard to actively avoid. I make each model to the best of my ability, armed with all the knowledge that I currently know to prevent such disasters. The fact I had failed killed my motivation just because I still couldn't pinpoint *why* it was happening. Was it my epoxy? The new Breyer plastic that's softer (with more cellulose filler)? Breyer's paint? My primer? Something I was doing/not doing?
|One of the affected models: his mane apparently "popped off" which I've never had happen before or since.|
In December, I got a new job in a call center... it is not my first love, in fact I'm still not entirely happy with it. The learning process was intense as I learned the software (the best that 1993 had to offer), the codes, the protocol and started gaining experience as a sales person. I'm not the best salesperson, but I am EXCELLENT at customer service, but the stress was pretty overwhelming as I shifted gears to this new "career." It was quite a change that I'm still adapting to.
Not entirely accurate, however...
The reason I got this job was after Breyerfest 2013 I was kicked by a horse and dislocated my knee. To save my knees from wear and tear, I took this desk job, plus it was likely time to find a job with a reliable paycheck and health benefits. I truly miss being physically active in a job, especially working around horses. It was a dream job, working at the Kentucky Horse Park, but it didn't pay much (barely above minimum wage at them time) and was not very reliable (being seasonal). Still, being happy at a hard, low paying job felt pretty good, but I guess being able to pay for groceries and gas is a good thing too... but if I ever won the lottery, fairly certain I'd just work there for free.
Then in January, my computer crashed. After a LONG 3 month saga with the absolutely terrible Computer Repair Place, they finally got it fixed to where it worked, but not without loosing a year's worth of archived emails and giving me a computer with less RAM and processing power than I had before (after I specifically told them they could replace part only if they were equal or better than what I had). I like to game on occasion so this was a bummer, but not as much as not having access to my regular routine and reference photos during that time. My computer time is my "escape" and it was hard to escape and de-stress (during a VERY stressful time for me) when my main source had been taken from me, and as much fun as customizing can be, it is NOT my de-stresser.
|*sigh* First World Problem, anyone?|
If I could go back, I wouldn't have said it, but after everything that had happened already that year for me, I just let myself get a little too comfortable in my escape. I had an unprofessional moment when I needed to be "on." To me, a model horse show is usually a fun time with friends who "get me" and a reunion with those I don't get to see often. They are my people. I am still incredibly sorry that I hurt this friend and it still stresses me out (at the time, it literally kept me up at night). Add in to my already stressed situations, and I was starting to feel depressed.
April thankfully brought some joys: I met a new guy who would eventually become my boyfriend. Dating had been disappointing for me in the past and it's great to have someone who shares a genuine interest in each other, common views and interests (geek outs!) etc. Obviously, this meant that my spare time now included him a lot, but ya know, I feel this one is justified. Everyone deserves to be happy and not alone.
|"Family" movie night|
Then of course along came July which means Breyerfest where I volunteered and taught Equine Color Genetics in the Hobby Info Booth. I also entered in Breyer's first Custom Contest with Prowler in the "Most Creative" category... and WON!
I was so excited and feel it is the biggest honor I've ever received. Judged by some of the hobby's best artists, the prizes being so beautiful...
And for once I was in a place in my life where I could afford to keep them and not sell them to the highest bidder. I plan on treasuring "Anahi" and "Agueda" for as long as I can. I picked up an Enchante as well to act as the "daddy" of the family, I think they go well with each other!
And finally, in August, things have settled down. Perhaps now I can work on the models again. First thing's first, commissions will be given primary focus, but as I've shared in the past, sometimes I need to do something else to "freshen things up" and keep me from getting in a funk. I have a general priority list and will try hard to keep to it, and I want to thank everyone who does have an order with me for their continued patience and understanding.