‘Farewell’ is a funny word that invokes so many different emotions. No, this isn’t the end of Tommydoll or my blog – but I will be on an indefinite break as I transition to the North and to my new career. It’s been an interesting circle the last 15 years, and one that almost seems to be scheduled – for the timing is uncanny.
In October of 2000, I left my first career to join the staff of a small doll company in New York’s Hudson Valley – perhaps you’ve heard of it – Tonner Doll Company. The choice to leave my career and friends in Washington, DC was mine. It was ten years of dolly bliss, creativity, friendship, conflicting ideas, and personal challenge.
What happened after that I wouldn’t wish upon my own worst enemy. The fallout wasn’t the fault of Tonner, it was merely the result of my poor life planning, and not being prepared that I could lose my job to a ‘business decision’. That was five years ago – almost to the day (November 10, 2010). Very few will understand the profound effect this has had on me. I’ve had five years to ‘get over it’, and yet – it still stings. Some people just feel more strongly than others. And quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of people trying to advise me to ‘let it go’. No one understands this concept more than me – it’s my own little drama, and I’ll act in it.
Be that as it may, I am finding a more peaceful ground. You see, struggling financially for five years relays a constant reminder of what your life has become – not just by the catalyst of a business decision and those who made it, but also inward as you punish yourself for creating the situation that followed through unfortunate decisions where I can blame no one but myself for the consequences. Anger is addictive – you see it everywhere on faceless social media – and once you have grown too tired to beat yourself up anymore – you either succumb, or you ascend. I chose to ascend.
Sewing has always been therapeutic for me, and dolls have always filled my dreams with playful ideas of characters, stories and remarkable clothing. Despite losing my vast doll collection, I was able to make peace with my sewing machine and perchance to dream once again. Oh yes, I can hear the critics rolling their eyes over the melodramatics – so to you I cast a simple, ‘fuck you.’ You will never be able to do what I do. Yeah, that’s a little ‘Miranda Priestly’ – but it’s warranted. I have over 20 years of solid doll world accomplishments in print, notoriety and awards. I’m me – I certainly don’t have to explain it to anyone…be gone before someone throws a house on you, too.
In these last five years, I’ve struggled, screamed and dreamed with others. Some took advantage of me – some tried to help, and some succeeded in bringing back my sense of purpose along with a strong confidence to make it happen. For those that gave me a chance to make something wonderful happen, I thank you. To those that supported me through all my drama because you truly accept me as I am with all my frippery, wonder, whining and wine – I applaud you. And to those that just want to be a be a part of that world – be careful what you wish for…
I refuse to apologize for who I am. After all, we’ve all done less-than-savory things we later regret. There is nothing wrong with regret as long as we choose to not dwell on it. I am thankful so many hold me and my work in high esteem. Therefore, I embrace what the future holds – though it’s kinda writing itself. I’m not going away, and one thing you will discover after wounded animals heal, they become even more formidable with knowledge and strength. Toss in a very strong salary, and God help you all, Puddings.
If you make a decision to purchase one of my available designs, please have patience while I get relocated. And by all means, please use this time wisely to catch up on past posts that will bring you enlightenment and laughter, mixed with just a tad of pain and drama. No one does what I do, and no one ever will. If you think that’s an egotistic statement to say, you’re absolutely right – so…what’s your point? It’s not bragging if you can do it…right?
As I stood near a metal garbage can out in the sticks of Northwest Florida burning the last reminders of my failed life in the Hudson Valley (I don’t have a shredder – sorry for the carbon foot print I left behind) – the shadows of it still haunting my sleep (I’m not kidding about that – I still have dreams that I am still working at Tonner, knowing that I have already been laid off – what the fuck does that mean?) – I stir the embers and mutter to myself, ‘ashes to ashes – dust to dust’. This is what I am listening to on my headset (specifically at about 1:50). Poignant perhaps – silly at times – but my life has always taken significant turns here and there to advance me to the next stage, where a future stills looms uncertain. I will look upon these last five years as perhaps the most troubling and edifying of my life – where you learn who your friends really are, and perhaps the most profound lesson – that none of us are immune from tragedy. Stuff may be just stuff – and there used to be a solid reason why I never threw anything away. Nevertheless, the memories are all in my head now – though the ‘stuff’ is gone. I hope none of you ever have to experience this type of lesson – even if some of you might deserve it for how you treat yourself, and those around you.
I’ll see you online soon after I get settled, and please feel free to comment and write as I make the move back to a real job…one that has former friends and supervisors who worked hard for years to get me back. If that isn’t a vote of confidence, I don’t know what is.
Thank you for being there – and for making Tommydoll so widely read. You can only reward that type of loyalty by continuing to offer more, and a sincere ‘thank you’. I do hope you will always remember to always glow brightly – your light keeps others going – people like me.