Thoughts on making a home
Winter is here. The snow is in fact falling right now while I write this post from inside my small cozy one bedroom apartment in Chicago. As a weaving studio + textile brand that focuses on textiles that warm a home, the thing I am always thinking about is how my work fits into different types of spaces and what, to me, makes a home. In a short few months, I will turn 37 years old. A life-long renter, (my family never owned a home) with a transient sense of home, I have been feeling a deep desire to put down roots and guide Studio Herron into it's next ten years with some foundational stability in a physical sense.
While I consider Chicago to be my home and where I am from, I grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, which is known for it's wineries, gorges, hiking and breathtaking lakes shaped like fingers that were carved out eons ago by the glaciers. As I consider life transitions and building a permanent home for Studio Herron and myself, returning to my early home state has been on my mind. I've lived in Chicago for 19 years; I went to college here, I had my first adult relationships here, I found an artistic style and voice here, I became part of a rich and nurturing arts community and built a life here. I love my city. I feel at home and connected to my community and neighborhood. As rental prices soar into territories where it is harder and harder for me to maintain a decent quality of life, I find myself either being backed into predatory leases that are not appropriate for me or rents that are just out of my comfort zone. That ever shifting hustle of city life. I find my anxiety rise every year as my lease terms end, rents raise and I am forced to take on work that does not represent my studio just to pay the bills.
While I was in Iceland last month weaving new rugs, I did some personal soul searching and solitary contemplation. A question keeps arising in my mind; can a single woman approaching her late 30's uproot her city life and relocate to a small town--smaller than the size of her city neighborhood? It feels bold, feral, almost ludicrous, while also simultaneously calm and empowering spiked with a sense of relief and manageability. Less to take in, more breathing room to spend on what matters; making thoughtful choices for my studio and my adult life.
I think there is something that happens to a woman when she reaches her late 30's. A shift. For me that shift is a quietness in my heart but an even deeper desire to focus on my studio and cultivate a lifestyle that seamlessly integrates my work with my life. I see my work taking a new direction and want to put my resources and time into that. In the city I feel hyper vigilant and constantly treading water, from contract to contract, rental to rental, boyfriend to boyfriend. I'm ready to take charge of each of those categories and cultivate them in ways that are right for me with slow, strong and decisive steps. I believe, nothing can be built without a strong foundation; homes, relationships, businesses, art practices. So the question is, where will I plant seeds to root? I have a few ideas. For now the thing to do is be still and listen for the wind of change.