However my interview pattern doesn’t change, my guest answers make the difference^_^.
Terry:I am 58 years old and have lived in the United States for 10 years. I am originally from Canada, born in Montreal and having lived in Toronto for 25 years or so. I am a product of the sixties, and didn’t find my direction until the age of 29, which is when I decided to get my life together. Up until then life was about fun. At 29 I went to University to study psychology. I loved the learning and I never looked back. By the time I left Toronto for the US, I had a psychotherapy practice and was a tenured professor at a community college in downtown Toronto. My specialties were sexual orientation, trauma and addiction. It was both difficult and extremely rewarding, and required much personal growth to try and stay grounded. I did burn out after 15 years and when I fell in love with an American I took the plunge and gave up my career to move to the US.
I now live in Western Massachusetts with my partner Elaine, our two dogs, and I am going to be a grandmother in July – very exciting times. It has been a huge culture shock moving from a city of 3,500,000 to a town of 16,000. I love the slower pace to my life.
I have been collecting rocks and beads since forever. I am particularly drawn to the shapes, colors and designs found in stones. By the time I moved to the US I had quite a collection. I have created jewelry on and off through the years, mostly making things for friends and myself.
In 2004 I decided to expand my love for making jewelry into a small business. I registered as a business and after much discussion with friends, came up with the name Magical Beadstalk. I had been in business before having been a part of an antique clothing business in the early 70’s called Bygone Threads, and an antique shop, specializing in Art Deco called The Ageless Attic.
Things progressed from there. I lost both my brother (2005) and my mother (2007) and realized that life was fragile in a way I hadn’t considered before and that it was time to start living what I was teaching. So I took the plunge and started my business full-time. It is sometimes a struggle, but I’ve never been happier or more content.
Me:Where do you get your inspiration?
Terry:I don’t believe there is an easy answer to this for me. Inspiration comes in many forms. Nature is often a catalyst for my creativity. Or sometimes it’s as simple as finding a strand of beads that I look at and know what needs to happen with them. Other times, inspiration is more connected to what is going on with me internally. I am studying Reiki and Buddhism and am focusing inward more, and my pieces seem to reflect this – softer tones, natural stones, not as much flash. I used to work with Swarovski Crystals a lot, and find that I no longer use them much. I am inspired more by natural vs. manmade. Except for sterling silver, that is. I love working with silver.
Me:What are your goals?
Terry: Do I have goals? Of course I do, but it’s not something I think about much. On a practical level, I want to make enough money to support myself. On a personal level, I want to continue to feel the joy and contentment I get when creating. Have I said it before? I love what I do.
Me: Do you believe in your lucky star?
Terry: I don’t know about a lucky star. Most of my life I believed I was guided by something outside of myself that led me where I needed to go. Was that a lucky star? Maybe. I have tried to be compassionate, honest, open and generous in my life, and often I receive the same from others.
Me: Do you have periods of doubts?
Terry: Yes I do. I can have doubts about my choices, especially trying to survive in this economy as a jewelry artist. I can doubt my skill, having heard more than once that I’m “just a stringer”. But these periods of doubt seem healthy because they help keep me grounded and motivate me.
Me: How do you deal with those periods of doubts?
Terry:I deal with periods of doubt by just letting them happen, trying not to dwell or hang on to them. At this point in my life I feel that whatever happens will happen and I don’t need to try and control situations like I did when I was younger. It seems to work, and the periods of doubt come less often.
Me: What method do you use to find back your energy?
Terry: Sometimes I need to get out of the house and connect with friends. My studio is in my home and I can spend days with little social contact. I don’t push myself as much as I used to. If I’m not feeling creative I will focus on something else that needs to be done, for example putting new pieces up on my website, calling my consignment folks to see if they need new stock, applying for craft fairs, etc. There is always something to be done.
Me:Is it effective?
Terry: Seems to be. Knowing when I need to change gears sometimes eludes me but I think I am getting better at it.
Me: What is your motto in life?
Terry:When I was younger my motto was “I am my own Guru”. I always believed that I didn’t need to look elsewhere for strength and direction – I knew what I needed to do if I looked intently enough.
I’m in a different place now and that is no longer my motto, although my way in the world is still similar. What guides me is believing that I get back what I give - to cherish the little things - trust that the right things will happen if I pay attention - and to let those I love know it because things can change so quickly.
A Gestalt therapist named Barry Stevens wrote a book in the 70’s, I believe, called Don’t Push the River. How I love that title. So maybe that is my motto – don’t push the river.