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  • Writer's pictureTina


I have butterflies in my belly this morning. I pride myself on my ability to stay calm, remain level-headed, and rationalize my way out of nervousness, but I am not succeeding this morning. Tomorrow, I have The Handmade Arcade Show and Sell at The Construction Junction in Wilkinsburg. This afternoon, we will go down to set up our display and ready everything for tomorrow’s sale. Eric and Jordan will go with me this afternoon, and my friend, Jess, who helps us out, will go with me tomorrow. It should be a good show. I have heard wonderful things about Handmade Arcade events, and it is very well organized. I am, however, unnaturally nervous about this event.

After several years of setting up our display and going to different events, one would think that I would be relaxed and casual about it. I do feel like we have our setup routine down to a well-choreographed dance. I did a dry run of my display yesterday. I created a backdrop for my table, steamed my fabric, and worked out the details. Eric and Jenna made sure I am packed and well stocked with all our inventory. I have my change and cash box organized and ready to go. I have business cards packed, bags filled with cards, extra bags packed if I need them. In all regards, I am prepared and organized. I have gone through the checklist in my head dozens of times, and I feel well prepared.

This does not seem to be quieting the voice in my head that I often battle. You, too, may know that little voice as well. The voice that tells you that you are not ready, you’re forgetting something, and worse, you’re out of your league and will look like an unprepared bumpkin in a setting of talented artists where you have no place. Sigh. Self-doubt is a constant companion. I will go about my day, take care of the small details, and check and recheck my physical and mental lists. I know, once I arrive to set up, I will be okay. I know that people are generally kind and helpful, especially in the handmade world. I also know that I will do my best, and that is all I can do. However, this does not quell the sick feeling in my stomach.

I believe part of my nervousness is due to driving to the city. I hate to drive in the city. It’s odd, when I was young, I skipped school almost every Friday. This was before truancy officers and phone calls home when one was absent. I would drive to Pittsburgh and hang out. Often, we went to Oakland and had lunch at The O, went to the Cathedral of Knowledge, and explored all the little shops. I was a good city driver because of my aggressive driving skills. Now, I stress for days about driving to the city. I suppose it is just one more indication that I am getting old. Sigh. I am not familiar with Wilkinsburg, and that adds to my nervousness. At least Eric will drive down with me today, I will have an idea of where I am going, and tomorrow morning should be much easier.

I hope that tomorrow’s show is everything they say it will be and more. I am looking forward to a new audience and making new connections. However, this, too, adds to my nervousness. I am so comfortable with my soap family in Ligonier. I have my friends I look forward to seeing every week. I am used to the friendly faces and support they offer. What if no one likes my products? What if people aren’t nice or, worse, rude? I will miss my support system. This concern adds to that fluttery, watery feeling in my stomach. I need a chill pill.

If you happen to think of it, send me some good thoughts, they will be appreciated. I am grateful for the opportunity and the potential this brings. I suppose it is a good thing to be nervous. Nervousness means I still care a lot. I do care a lot; this is true. I hope the care and love I put into what I do shines through to everyone tomorrow. Wish me luck, dear reader. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, stop in at The Handmade Arcade. I would appreciate a friendly face. The Handmade Arcade Show and Sell is open from 9-4 at The Construction Junction; 214 North Lexington Street, Pittsburgh, Pa 15208. If you love handmade, locally made, or small business, this is a lovely venue. It is also an opportunity to get a jump start on Christmas shopping. I know, I know it’s early. I have begun my shopping for The Bean. After one disastrous Easter, I have vowed to be prepared. Anyhow, I digress.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear reader. As always, stay safe, be smart, shut down the self-doubt if you can, and wash your hands.

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