Back to Life...(Restoration)

ray’s blogs -

Back to Life...(Restoration)

Life is a trip.

Follow me. If I were to tell you that I was an athlete who became a prolific graffiti artist, who then went to trade school to become a web/graphic designer but came out a hip hop artist would you believe me?

How about if I followed all of those things up with...I then became a booking agent who started a podcast that lead him to becoming a furniture restoration guy? Would you believe me then?

Yea, me either. Something has changed for me over the course of the last 3 months. I have long prayed for something to bring me peace, fulfillment, purpose and a strong steady income. I had no idea it would be this. Up until this point, I have never in my life had an interest in restoring furniture. I wasn't very skilled with my hands (always wanted to be)...but never had the male figure in my life to show me how.

One day, I am literally uber driving (yea, I do that from time to time too)...and I come across a nice piece of what looks to be antique furniture. It's a little end table, with a couple of drawers made out of wood. Someone was giving it away, they had placed it on the curb. I don't know why but I asked the gentleman at the house if I could take it? He said, yes...that's what it's there for. So, I loaded it up.

Something you need to know before I tell you the rest is...I used to have a very small vehicle (a little hatchback). It had some issues after having it nearly 5 years so I moved on from it and was blessed to pick up an SUV from a church brother. This SUV has a ton of space. (Remember my prayer from above)

So, I took this piece...cleaned it up. Noticed the rail on one of the drawers was missing a screw so I replaced it. I then searched for a similar piece online to see what they go for. I found out it was nearly $ I took some photos, got online and posted it for sale. Boom, it sold. I was taken were as if someone gave me $100 for free (meaning the previous owner of the piece).

Once that sold, I then began looking for and driving around nice areas to see what people were putting out. Now if I didn't have the SUV, I couldn't do this but I now I was picking up large items; heavy items. Items that if restored could bring a nice bag. The vision started to get more clear. 

As I said earlier, I was never good with my hands. But, we live in the YouTube era now and there are tutorials on almost anything you can fathom. So, I went to class on how to repair broken wood, cracks, chips etc. How to replace wood, how to sand wood and what types of sandpaper to use etc. I learned how to clean wood, how to paint, stain and varnish. Then...I let my imagination go to work.

I would pick up pieces and stare at them before I do anything to them and envision what they could be, what they could look like and then take the necessary steps to prep for the work. When I tell you I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace and proud accomplishment...that would be an understatement. To see something come to life from the dead (nearly going to the trash)...there is nothing like it. This may sound crazy but I would take photos of my final product and want to share them with my friends because I was so proud.

We all have days that are tough right? For a myriad of reasons some days can just suck. But, when I come home and I work on a new piece and get to painting...that all disappears. A cool, calm feeling takes over me. I've never felt anything like it and I have done a lot of stuff to earn an income. This takes the cake. 

The topper for all of this is when I deliver a piece I've sold to someone and I watch them look at it, smile and tell me they can tell I love what I am doing. I don't recall anyone ever telling me that about anything else I've ever done which is wild. I meet some great people and although they are paying me for the work, it's like I am providing them something that brings them joy as well. A piece that will liven up their home or offices.

If you are looking at your life currently and you feel you've maybe chosen the wrong career path and it isn't fulfilling a deeper need for you...don't lose hope. Keep trying new things...the world is full of things that can change your outlook really fast. I am living proof. Oh and by the way...

Stay Stupid, that way you're always learning...