Everything Old is New Again
Have you seen the ten-year photo challenge that’s making the rounds on social media? It’s where you place a photo of yourself from a decade ago next to a recent photo of yourself to see how much—or little—you’ve changed. The side-by-side photos that have filled my social media feed combined with the oh-so-many articles encouraging people to reflect on the last decade got me thinking.
January 2010 was 13 months after I took the introductory FontLab class in New York; at that point I was still muddling through the first phase of digitizing the typeface. If you had told me a year and a half later I would have the first of Marcel’s letters translated, and that would morph into an obsessive quest for answers, followed by a trip to Paris, then a book, I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. I would have never believed the project could consume the rest of the decade.
During the two and a half years the book has been out, I’ve met amazing people, talked with 47 book clubs, and given 50 presentations, culminating in a TEDx talk this fall (check out my behind-the-scenes blog). It’s been an honor and privilege to share this story. It’s been exhilarating. And, at times, exhausting.
If you measure this project from January 2002—which is when I found Marcel’s letters at the antique shop in Stillwater—this project hasn’t consumed just a decade of my life; it’s consumed 18 years. The legacy of Marcel’s precious love letters will always be a part of my life; I’m profoundly grateful for that. But for the last few months I’ve also felt an itch to move on to what’s next.
So, what’s that?
I don’t know.
People have asked if I’m writing anything new. I’m not. Not right now. Others have inquired if I’m designing another typeface. The question is usually accompanied with a snicker, so I believe they expect me to say no. But I am!
So, here I am at the beginning of a new decade, with a font in progress and no clue what else might be in store. In that regard, January 2020 is eerily similar to January 2010: full of potential, open to possibility, and oblivious to the ways the Universe might meddle.
Thank you for being part of this journey. I hope you’ll stay with me for what’s next—whatever that turns out to be.
I send you my best wishes for an amazing decade. I hope it is filled with peace, delight, and wonders beyond your imagination.
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