I sorted through old pictures today from before we had digital cameras, from before we had Charlotte. For hours, on my entryway floor, I flipped through picture after picture of Elijah as a small child, then left to pick him up from school. When he opened the car door to sit next to me, I swear my peripheral vision blurred into quick streaks of bright colors and I fell forward into one of Wheeler's 'wormholes.' When did my son become a young man, all angular and grouchy? When did my hair grow long? And have a full ten years really gone by since I invented Trash Ties?
There's a great article in this month's Go Gilbert! magazine outlining my personal history with my children's hat company, Noggins, the invention of my Trash Ties hair accessories, and later finding my passion for art and surface design. If you're in the Gilbert, AZ area, pick up a free copy at a nearby salon, office, or restaurant, or click here to browse through the issue online.
Interviewing for this article really took me back to the sweetness and the struggle of my life ten years ago. To the tiny city apartment we shared in Hollywood where Elijah and I spent all of our time together and often did not get outside for days on end.
After living in that apartment for a few months, I began to feel unexplicably uneasy about it and to feel strongly that we needed to move. I loved living in Hollywood, but there was something wrong that I couldn't pinpoint. Drumming up money for a new apartment fell to me and I had meager resources. Isaac worked till late into the night and took with him our only car. I had toddler Elijah with me at all times and the internet was pretty useless back then.
As time went on, the prompting to get out of that apartment grew steadily stronger. It was a problem I tried to fix alone, but could not. It was a difficult, dark time. One night, after sitting about in a stupor for weeks, I knelt in desperate prayer for help and within half an hour of that prayer, was handed Trash Ties. It wasn't a literal handing-over, but spiritually, that's what it felt like. Like a gift tied in silk ribbon, with a note saying, "You are loved. Everything will be okay." At 23, that was my first hugely spiritual experience.
With a little experimentation, Trash Ties were invented in the late evening of January 25th, ten years ago last week. In the months following, I worked around the clock, squeezing every ounce of hope and will power into patenting Trash Ties and preparing it for market. It was a raw, tender time, but man am I grateful for the adventures we had back then and for all that we learned!
In digging through old photos today and in reading over this new Go Gilbert! article, I realized that I have yet to tell that early story. The struggles I went through and the help I received along the way are an integral part of my personal journey and I need to keep that history.
Yes, Trash Ties enabled us to move from our Hollywood apartment. It wasn't till a year after we left that I learned why I had felt so strongly about moving. It's a crazy story, involving one horrifically sick little boy. I'd like to continue telling that story here and there in future posts if you can go easy on me for getting emotional at times. The reflection does me well. Some old memories seem like forever ago and some seem like yesterday. I have learned a lot and I have a lot to be grateful for.