Life has changed a lot since I started writing in 2008. I’ve published a romance novel, Hot Blacktop. I’ve written a vampire series that still needs some work, and I’ve also started WjK ARTiSAN DESiGNS LLC and am selling my art and jewelry creations. It’s quite a balancing act between family and creating the stories and art I love. It’s a dream that I’m making come true. I’m striving to be successful, focus on the outcome I’ll have. I’m letting my imagination dream up all kinds of things. Doing something I love is worth the time.

Wendi Knape

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Blog

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WjK ARTiSAN DESiGNS

Becoming WjK ARTiSAN DESiGNS

When I was young, I always wished I fit in more with the crowd, that I would grow up to have my dream job as an architect and make a lot of money and that my family reaped the benefits.

Becoming the responsible business owner, I am today though, I had to travel many precarious roads of emotional turmoil, making decisions I thought I would never have to make. But I wanted to say I was happy with myself and what I did for a living, creating a harmony that was an innate part of my being. I wanted to be able to shout to the world that yes this is who I am, this is what I’m supposed to do, and I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. But growing up wasn’t comfortable, and outside influences were always pushing me onto a road I didn’t know I shouldn’t be on. I was sabotaging myself by not seeing what I kept repeating throughout the stages of my life.

As a child, my parents told me what I should wear, what didn’t look good on me (when I thought it looked awesome) and finally let me make my own choices as my teen years swept me up in an emotional tornado. Peers, like most teens, balked at my choices if I didn’t follow the trend. No, I shouldn’t wear black all the time or wear my favorite black, leather and suede boots, these things weren’t in style. My inner voice in a lot of those years was often silenced, which continued in the years that followed.

Later, teachers told me to listen to a computer’s idea of what I should major in once in college. At the time I thought what it picked for me was the right choice, architecture. But as the structural weight of that world failed me, the dreaded words, “We’re going to have to let you go,” verbalized, I had to find another path to take. It didn’t seem like a blessing at the time. I’d followed all the rules, did what people asked of me, but the approval I was looking for never really came. The power to say, “Yes, we like that.” Or, “No, we don’t like that. Do it again.” belonged to someone else.

Looking back at the sporadic days of depression, the struggle to find some way to contribute to my family, make them proud of me, it was being laid off that redirected me down a road where I could see the potential for a new career. I would set my own rules, be the architect of my own designs. But, it would take years for my world to open to these possibilities.

I can say, now, I embrace me. I’ve grown into a uniquely beautiful and confident woman who’s comfortable in her own skin and is doing what makes me happy. I took a leap and said, “I’m going to start my own business. I’m going to use my artistic talent differently. I’m not going to let other people dictate what is right, what is trendy. I’m going to make beautiful pieces of art that someday will be put up proudly in someone’s home or given as a gift because they choose it.  I’m going to make jewelry that appeals to my uniqueness, that makes me feel beautiful and confident and I hope that other people in the world will feel the same way, they’ll tell themselves that they’re worth it.

I’m on a road that I chose for myself. With all the past mountains of pain I had to climb, all the failure that was the rocks in my palms, there was always a bridge to traverse to get to the other side of the mountain and the success that awaits me. I just had to cross it to find me.

I am WjK Artisan Designs!

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