This week, I found my way home.
I moved into my very first, and very own studio. It’s been a long time coming, but, it has been so worth the wait.
To my people: you got me here. You held me up when I couldn’t stand on my own. You’ve been there, through it all. You’ve seen my darkest moments. And as I write this, I know I’ll never be able to repay you for all the times you’ve picked me up and pieced me back together. But, I love you. I love you with all of my heart. To the moon, and back and back and back.
I loved you yesterday, I love you still. Always have, and always will.
When Caitie met Soda started as a day-dream; as a way of escaping from the difficult parts of my life.
It was born in some of the darkest moments of my life; moments that I’d never want to go back to, but now am so very thankful I had.
I never knew I wanted to make jewellery, until that moment I was doing it. I remember the very first time I made something. And, it was magic.
From the kitchen table in mine and Paul’s first home together (a flat in East Sussex), my first creations were born. They weren’t perfect; they still aren’t; they were clunky, and told stories of the endless mistakes I made as I learnt. But, they were mine. And they were magic, coming out of my fingertips. They were little parts of me.
It wasn’t until we moved to our second home that I was brave enough to try and sell some of my designs. I’d never have done that, taken that leap, if it hadn’t been for my people. The ones that saw in me something I’d never been able to see in myself.
My designs have grown with me; and have continued to tell stories; some of them my own, and some belonging to the people I love.
I never, ever imagined that I would be lucky enough to do this, this thing I call magic, full-time.
Two years ago I didn’t know where I’d be today. I’d lost my way. And, I’d lost hope. I lived a life of chronic-pain, worsened by crippling depression and anxiety. It was like someone had turned the lights out on me. And every time I tried to find my way back, I tripped over another monster, hiding in the shadows.
My life revolved around trips to consultant after consultant.
And between those trips, more symptoms would appear.
And so too, my unhappiness deepened.
I started to believe that some people (well, really only me) were destined to be unhappy. Destined to fail. Destined to disappoint the people around them.
Those days were so very dark.
But in those moments where I got to sit down, at that kitchen table, and make things – even if the final product was so shoddy it would never see the light of day, in those moments, I found peace. I found my way back to me.
I found a way to say the things that I couldn’t verbalise. I found a way to hold on, and hope for better days. Because that’s all any of us can do, when the shit really hits the fan. You hold on tight, on this white-knuckled ride we call life. And you hope, with every single part of you, that it will get better. And, I promise you, if you hold on for long enough, it will. Just keep holding on, little fighter.
This week, as I moved into my studio, I was overwhelmed by it all. Overwhelmed by the journey that has led me to this very moment, and, overwhelmed by all of the dreams that are so very big even the biggest rooms can’t contain them.
And I’ve cried; I’ve cried so hard, big chest-heaving sobs, but, for the first time in so long, it’s okay. I know now, it will be okay. Because I’ve got this. I’ve got this thing I call magic, and a place of my own to let it happen in.
And you, little warrior, you’ll find your patch of sunshine, too. No matter how long it takes to find it, you’ll find it. And when you do, hold onto it tightly. Because you deserve it. And no one can take that magic away from you.
Until next time, beautiful friends,
Caitie, and, of course, Soda xxx
*** A huge thank you to my beautiful friend Rosie, who took these beautiful pictures. I will cherish them forever.