Felicia's Notebook, Knitting

What I did on my Gap year

It was exactly one year ago today when I started on my trip to Fiji. I didn’t think that I’d be away from work, friends and family for so long. In fact, the idea started out as just a three-week vacation… which became a hiatus from work wherein I declined all new projects and clients and explored other avenues of creativity, design and content development. Two of my closest friends got married while we were in Fiji and, outside of sporadic wedding planning, we did a little bit of surfing and a lot of sunburning.

Traveling ended up being a very small portion of my year. Although I did travel to London several times, I think my travels and explorations were mainly internal. I started a couple new business ventures (because you can never have enough new ideas), looked back at the last ten years and looked forward ten years, discovered new friends and old souls, snowboarded during all my spare days this past season, uprooted and moved my possessions three times, and got divorced from my husband of six years. I tearfully sold my childhood and family home in Kitsilano … the one housing my entire dye and design studios… and am joining the hoards of people looking for a place to live in Vancouver.

My internal travels still take place every day. I question and I doubt. I look at different paths and avenues and simultaneously get inspired and despondent. These travels never end but I am just grateful that I don’t need to walk these paths alone. My family and friends have been an unmeasurable support and I am very very grateful for them.

Yesterday, I received news that I’m back on the practicing registrar for pharmacists… so I’m returning to practice in a field I thought I’d never go back to. I’m learning to see that not everything is black and white… and adjust to seeing all the shades of grey in my life, appreciating all the subtlety. And I’m also starting to knit again. Finally.

Pieces of the Central Park Hoodie... just need sleeves now.
Pieces of the Central Park Hoodie… just need sleeves now.

The back and front pieces are done. All I need are sleeves now. Why does it always feel like “All I need is ‘fill in the blank’ now”? I don’t know. But at this particular moment, all I need are sleeves now.

Here’s to the end of my gap year and to a most beautiful fresh start.

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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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84 thoughts on “What I did on my Gap year

  1. debbie says:

    what would life be without changes and growing – welcome back!

  2. kate says:

    Welcome back. I’m happy to see you. I hope that we will still have the opportunity to work together one day.

  3. Dee says:

    OH, welcome back, Felicia. How I have missed you. A pharmacist too? wow.

    Hope you are rested and feeling fine.

    Best wishes for the reopening. I expect to be there in cyberspace at 9 a.m. PST.

    Dee

  4. Dee says:

    OH, welcome back, Felicia. How I have missed you. A pharmacist too? wow.

    Hope you are rested and feeling fine.

    Best wishes for the reopening. I expect to be there in cyberspace at 9 a.m. PST.

    Dee

  5. yahaira says:

    it sounds like it was a wonderful, painful, bittersweet, beautiful year that was all for the better.

  6. yahaira says:

    it sounds like it was a wonderful, painful, bittersweet, beautiful year that was all for the better.

  7. monique says:

    I’m looking forward to welcoming more of your yarn into my collection! I don’t envy you your house hunting in Vancouver. We have just decided to renovate our townhouse in Kits to avoid getting into this market. My yarn collection (and our kids) are outgrowing our place but we’re going to try and make it work for a few more years.

  8. monique says:

    I’m looking forward to welcoming more of your yarn into my collection! I don’t envy you your house hunting in Vancouver. We have just decided to renovate our townhouse in Kits to avoid getting into this market. My yarn collection (and our kids) are outgrowing our place but we’re going to try and make it work for a few more years.

  9. Darcie says:

    What a year, indeed. Sounds like you could write a book better than “Eat, Pray, Love” about everything you learned about yourself this past year. It’s great to have you back. Good luck with your new beginnings!

  10. Darcie says:

    What a year, indeed. Sounds like you could write a book better than “Eat, Pray, Love” about everything you learned about yourself this past year. It’s great to have you back. Good luck with your new beginnings!

  11. Michelle says:

    Congratulations on your fresh start! Here is to a new day!

  12. Michelle says:

    Congratulations on your fresh start! Here is to a new day!

  13. Meg says:

    You go girl! I feel empowered through your rejuvination. Welcome back!

  14. Meg says:

    You go girl! I feel empowered through your rejuvination. Welcome back!

  15. Peacock Chic says:

    Hear! Hear! To a new year! May your future be even better than you past!

  16. Peacock Chic says:

    Hear! Hear! To a new year! May your future be even better than you past!

  17. SamLaTricoteuse says:

    New starts are just the end of a long previous process – but the bad is left behind (or the not-so-good depending on the shade of grey you are talking about !!) Anyway, I am glad that you are back – I so loved the pictures you were taking of yarn and fiber !!

  18. SamLaTricoteuse says:

    New starts are just the end of a long previous process – but the bad is left behind (or the not-so-good depending on the shade of grey you are talking about !!) Anyway, I am glad that you are back – I so loved the pictures you were taking of yarn and fiber !!

  19. debbie says:

    what would life be without changes and growing – welcome back!

  20. pat jarvis says:

    HEY FELICIA – so glad you are ready to open your shop – its a fact of life , that if you are an introspective person [ and I think you so are ] you will never stop searching , never feel you are ever really ready, and always be looking for something more – hope though that the search will be with contentment as well as turmoil as you travel life

    all the best , and will eagerly await the shop opening---pat j

  21. pat jarvis says:

    HEY FELICIA – so glad you are ready to open your shop – its a fact of life , that if you are an introspective person [ and I think you so are ] you will never stop searching , never feel you are ever really ready, and always be looking for something more – hope though that the search will be with contentment as well as turmoil as you travel life

        all the best , and will eagerly await the shop opening---pat j
    
  22. farmgirl says:

    best of luck, and three cheers to a brand new beginning! hip-hip-hooray! i am looking forward the the unveiling of the shop!

  23. farmgirl says:

    best of luck, and three cheers to a brand new beginning! hip-hip-hooray! i am looking forward the the unveiling of the shop!

  24. Carin says:

    So nice to have you back! Good luck returning to your pharmaceutical career. And it’s so great to see you knitting again!

  25. Carin says:

    So nice to have you back! Good luck returning to your pharmaceutical career. And it’s so great to see you knitting again!

  26. Terry says:

    Yippee!!!! Cheers to you for doing what you had to do. Thanks for coming back to your fans! “See you” Friday!!

  27. Terry says:

    Yippee!!!! Cheers to you for doing what you had to do. Thanks for coming back to your fans! “See you” Friday!!

  28. mari says:

    I am so excited to see you back, not only for your yarn (yay!) but for your beautiful photos and for YOU! Sweetgeorgia was one of the first blogs I ever visited and I’m always inspired by your work. Here’s to a grand re-opening of your yarn enterprise and the beginning of a momentous time in your life. :)

  29. Elise H says:

    May all your travels bring you back to the ones you love the best. I wish you nothing but success and hope that you see your journey as a move forward. I am sorry to hear that you had some hills to climb along the way, but without a chance to stop and survey, how would you ever know where you had been. May life always be a constant journey and may the road be a little smoother from now on.

  30. mari says:

    I am so excited to see you back, not only for your yarn (yay!) but for your beautiful photos and for YOU! Sweetgeorgia was one of the first blogs I ever visited and I’m always inspired by your work. Here’s to a grand re-opening of your yarn enterprise and the beginning of a momentous time in your life. :)

  31. Elise H says:

    May all your travels bring you back to the ones you love the best. I wish you nothing but success and hope that you see your journey as a move forward. I am sorry to hear that you had some hills to climb along the way, but without a chance to stop and survey, how would you ever know where you had been. May life always be a constant journey and may the road be a little smoother from now on.

  32. Donald says:

    To the first blog that has kept my attention, even during the Gap (growing) Year, just want to say welcome back. Looking forward to more yarn.

  33. Donald says:

    To the first blog that has kept my attention, even during the Gap (growing) Year, just want to say welcome back. Looking forward to more yarn.

  34. Julia says:

    Wow. That is quite a year. I know how it is, because I’ve had similar years of travel, self-exploration, and loss, but it still sounds like so much when someone else writes it. I hope and think that you are feeling grounded once more and that this year can be a quieter one in which to grow.

    xox, J

  35. Julia says:

    Wow. That is quite a year. I know how it is, because I’ve had similar years of travel, self-exploration, and loss, but it still sounds like so much when someone else writes it. I hope and think that you are feeling grounded once more and that this year can be a quieter one in which to grow.

    xox, J

  36. Natalie B says:

    you know, for so many friends of mine (including myself), 2007 has been a tumultuous year of change. I applaud you on all that you have gone through, and I hope that 2008 bring you some “good fruits” as I like to say… “fruits” being the result of all the change and labour!

  37. Natalie B says:

    you know, for so many friends of mine (including myself), 2007 has been a tumultuous year of change. I applaud you on all that you have gone through, and I hope that 2008 bring you some “good fruits” as I like to say… “fruits” being the result of all the change and labour!

  38. Kathleen says:

    Wishing you all the best in this next phase! Glad that your journey has come around again dyeing.

    Looking forward to seeing what is in store.

    Kathleen

  39. Kathleen says:

    Wishing you all the best in this next phase! Glad that your journey has come around again dyeing.

    Looking forward to seeing what is in store.

    Kathleen

  40. winnie says:

    I’ve been an avid reader for the last few years, still keeping your blog feed in my bloglines to await your return. What a dramatic year it has been for you. I am glad you’ve returned.

  41. winnie says:

    I’ve been an avid reader for the last few years, still keeping your blog feed in my bloglines to await your return. What a dramatic year it has been for you. I am glad you’ve returned.

  42. blossom says:

    glad to see you back! it takes courage to distill one’s own path, and i’m glad you did and found what’s important to carry on. looking forward to reading more of your journey as a crafter!

  43. blossom says:

    glad to see you back! it takes courage to distill one’s own path, and i’m glad you did and found what’s important to carry on. looking forward to reading more of your journey as a crafter!

  44. kate says:

    Welcome back. I’m happy to see you. I hope that we will still have the opportunity to work together one day.

  45. caitlyn says:

    Welcome back, Felicia.
    It sounds like you had a very intense year, and I wish you all the best as you start down new (and old-but-new) paths.

  46. caitlyn says:

    Welcome back, Felicia.
    It sounds like you had a very intense year, and I wish you all the best as you start down new (and old-but-new) paths.

  47. LisaB says:

    I’m so glad your back blogging. So sorry to hear you’ve had such serious stuff going on but you seem to be forging ahead which is awesome. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you on the home hunt in Vancouver – I made a move in December…. it’s rough out there! Hope you find a place with enough space for the dyeing and weaving! You have to keep weaving!!

  48. LisaB says:

    I’m so glad your back blogging. So sorry to hear you’ve had such serious stuff going on but you seem to be forging ahead which is awesome. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you on the home hunt in Vancouver – I made a move in December…. it’s rough out there! Hope you find a place with enough space for the dyeing and weaving! You have to keep weaving!!

  49. Meredith says:

    Wow, that sounds like a really volatile year for you! I hope you managed to get through it relatively unscathed. :) I wish you all the best in the coming year and I hope that it brings much happiness and inspiration to you. Glad to see you back! You were missed!

  50. June says:

    Oh, my dear, I am some parts sympathetic and delighted for you. I am sorry to learn about the divorce, of course – you had hinted about that one some months ago. But at the same time, you sound like you are on the path to renewal. I wish you nothing but happiness and success on all of your personal and professional levels.

    I am not surprised to learn that you have a background in pharmacy because you are so technically inclined and proficient in your approach to fiber. In fact, I have a funny technical favor to ask of you…

  51. June says:

    Oh, my dear, I am some parts sympathetic and delighted for you. I am sorry to learn about the divorce, of course – you had hinted about that one some months ago. But at the same time, you sound like you are on the path to renewal. I wish you nothing but happiness and success on all of your personal and professional levels.

    I am not surprised to learn that you have a background in pharmacy because you are so technically inclined and proficient in your approach to fiber. In fact, I have a funny technical favor to ask of you…

  52. Dani says:

    Oh my gosh – what a year! I am so happy to hear that you are moving foward, doing some exploring, knitting, snowboarding and really seeing the colors in it all :) Wishing you all the best in every way possible….

  53. Dani says:

    Oh my gosh – what a year! I am so happy to hear that you are moving foward, doing some exploring, knitting, snowboarding and really seeing the colors in it all :) Wishing you all the best in every way possible….

  54. Elemmaciltur says:

    Welcome back! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I usually wonder what happens to bloggers/podcasters, etc. who went on hiatus. I don’t know you well enough to say much…but I’m just glad that you’re moving forward in a way…and that you’re back. :-) All the best for everything to come and hope that we’ll be able to keep you company like before.

  55. kittykitty says:

    WB… I know we all have really missed you. I wish you the best with your continued travels to find your way. It sounds like the past year has even been more packed than any of us realized.

    Best wishes to your always and good luck with the launch on Friday.

  56. Kim says:

    Welcome back!

  57. Kim says:

    Welcome back!

  58. Meredith says:

    Wow, that sounds like a really volatile year for you! I hope you managed to get through it relatively unscathed. :) I wish you all the best in the coming year and I hope that it brings much happiness and inspiration to you. Glad to see you back! You were missed!

  59. Elemmaciltur says:

    Welcome back! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I usually wonder what happens to bloggers/podcasters, etc. who went on hiatus. I don’t know you well enough to say much…but I’m just glad that you’re moving forward in a way…and that you’re back. :-) All the best for everything to come and hope that we’ll be able to keep you company like before.

  60. kittykitty says:

    WB… I know we all have really missed you. I wish you the best with your continued travels to find your way. It sounds like the past year has even been more packed than any of us realized.

    Best wishes to your always and good luck with the launch on Friday.

  61. spider says:

    glad you are back. may you enjoy the growth that you went through.
    can’t wait for your yarn!

    and what yarn did you use for your hoodie?

  62. spider says:

    glad you are back. may you enjoy the growth that you went through.
    can’t wait for your yarn!

    and what yarn did you use for your hoodie?

  63. Jagienka says:

    Oh boy, what a year… when I read on your blog, a year or so ago, that you need a break, I thought, damn, lucky girl, can leave everything behind and travel for a whole year. wish I could do that! But now I see, that that year wasn’t as pleasant. Hope everything turns out all right and all the pass year experience makes you a stronger person.

    Can’t wait to visit your shop. I got to be quick, have a feeling your yarn will fly out like a fresh cookies. Please check shipping to EU, pretty please ;o)

  64. Jagienka says:

    Oh boy, what a year… when I read on your blog, a year or so ago, that you need a break, I thought, damn, lucky girl, can leave everything behind and travel for a whole year. wish I could do that! But now I see, that that year wasn’t as pleasant. Hope everything turns out all right and all the pass year experience makes you a stronger person.

    Can’t wait to visit your shop. I got to be quick, have a feeling your yarn will fly out like a fresh cookies. Please check shipping to EU, pretty please ;o)

  65. lolly says:

    a true journey – and quite a year. like so many others have said, i am happy to see you back. i wish you the absolute best with all of the new ventures and the new outlook.

  66. lolly says:

    a true journey – and quite a year. like so many others have said, i am happy to see you back. i wish you the absolute best with all of the new ventures and the new outlook.

  67. Cara says:

    Welcome back!

  68. Cara says:

    Welcome back!

  69. Ann Ross says:

    Welcome back, indeed. The “family” that supports you and your work is bigger than you may realize!

  70. Ann Ross says:

    Welcome back, indeed. The “family” that supports you and your work is bigger than you may realize!

  71. Suzanne says:

    I’m glad you had the opportunity to take the time and gain some insight into what was important to you and where you wanted to take your life. Good for you! It sounds like a very full year.

    I can’t wait to see the new yarns now!

  72. Suzanne says:

    I’m glad you had the opportunity to take the time and gain some insight into what was important to you and where you wanted to take your life. Good for you! It sounds like a very full year.

    I can’t wait to see the new yarns now!

  73. Bee says:

    Glad to have you back. What a year! Looking forward to a bright future for you.

  74. Bee says:

    Glad to have you back. What a year! Looking forward to a bright future for you.

  75. KellyD says:

    I am thrilled that you were able to take this last year and make some amazing changes in your life. Sometimes an all over ever-changing reassessment to get yourself in gear for the rest of your life is exactly what is needed. It just takes the courage to begin.
    I have done the same after some major surgery (change jobs, move again, downsizing and upgrading)and will be a better, happier person for it.

  76. KellyD says:

    I am thrilled that you were able to take this last year and make some amazing changes in your life. Sometimes an all over ever-changing reassessment to get yourself in gear for the rest of your life is exactly what is needed. It just takes the courage to begin.
    I have done the same after some major surgery (change jobs, move again, downsizing and upgrading)and will be a better, happier person for it.

  77. Lee Ann says:

    Wow, Felicia, that’s a hell of a lot of change packed into one year. Here’s hoping that the outcome of all the changes wrapped together is what’s right for you.

    Got to say, if the photos of your new stuff and the descriptions of your thought processes about them are any indication, you’ve come a long way, baby.

    Good luck on the housing search, and here’s to your new beginnings!

  78. Lee Ann says:

    Wow, Felicia, that’s a hell of a lot of change packed into one year. Here’s hoping that the outcome of all the changes wrapped together is what’s right for you.

    Got to say, if the photos of your new stuff and the descriptions of your thought processes about them are any indication, you’ve come a long way, baby.

    Good luck on the housing search, and here’s to your new beginnings!

  79. Faye says:

    you’ve been such an inspiration in bringing me back to the “fibery” world! Thanks for coming back and sharing all your talents. I wish you continued growth and luck in finding the best place for you!

  80. Faye says:

    you’ve been such an inspiration in bringing me back to the “fibery” world! Thanks for coming back and sharing all your talents. I wish you continued growth and luck in finding the best place for you!

  81. MJ says:

    I know this comment is late, but I want to say welcome back as well, and what a year you’ve had. I’m curious to know why you’ve turned away from graphic design. I’m currently on hiatus from it myself, spending 2-3 years in Europe, and lately I’ve been thinking about whether or not it’s still my calling. It seems there are so many other things to do!

  82. MJ says:

    I know this comment is late, but I want to say welcome back as well, and what a year you’ve had. I’m curious to know why you’ve turned away from graphic design. I’m currently on hiatus from it myself, spending 2-3 years in Europe, and lately I’ve been thinking about whether or not it’s still my calling. It seems there are so many other things to do!

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