The basic tenets of the Amy Reinvention and Reconstruction Project of 2012 are:
1. Get off my ass and exercise. Finally get the ol’ body healthy.
2. Explore what makes me happy. Find my bliss. In work, in life, in everything.
3. Put myself first. Stop trying to take care of everyone else. Let them figure it out.
4. Stop limiting myself. Let go. Have faith.
5. Stop isolating. Be more social.
This last one is harder than it should be, but not because I don’t have plenty of friends who extend lots of invitations. I am fortunate (and grateful) that so many people enjoy my company, despite some of my lapses in sane behavior over the years. No, if I am isolated, it’s all on me.
Gradually, over the course of the past two years, I have become somewhat of a hermit. I work, I go home… and I like it that way. I participate in a couple of activities that include social elements during the week, but I don’t feel any need whatsoever to see and be seen at hot spots or swanky events on the weekends.
Since June, I have quietly reawakened to the idea that there are way too many fun things to do in this town, and I am missing out on lots of opportunities to not only connect with my friends, but also to meet some new ones. So I’ve decided to seek out activities that force me out of my self-imposed seclusion and are fun simply for the sake of being fun. I do have to admit that I am gravitating toward ones that will still allow me to get to bed before 11 p.m., but hey, a girl’s gotta start somewhere.
Last month, I met up with some friends at the Flea Off Market and had the best time I can remember in a good long while. According to the event’s Facebook page, Flea Off is a monthly outdoor bazaar that takes place off Market on Shelby Street, and the next one is this Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. I really enjoyed shopping, eating and chit-chatting with the other patrons. Of course, I ran into tons of people I know, which made the day even better.
I will say that it’s not your typical yard-sale-meets-swap-meet flea market, thank God. The clever name alone sets it apart from other events. It's an eclectic mix of vendors, with live original music and tasty treats thrown in for good measure. Sure, you’ve got a few booths that look like the vendor emptied her closet or garage, tagged it and threw it in her trunk, but for the most part, Flea Off featured true artists and artisans from a varied spectrum of fine crafts. And the eats were at a MUCH higher quality than your normal festival food.
The event’s Facebook page puts it thusly: “There will be dozens of vendors each month offering a wide variety of tantalizing wares. There will be books, records, bicycles, kittens, antiques, cool old junk, used tools, fine arts and crafts, fresh-cut-flowers, esoterica, live music and entertainments for all ages.”
For the record, I didn’t see any kittens in September, but I did see live chickens for sale. I got a giggle out of that, especially since it turns out I knew the sweet lady who was selling them.
Anyhoo, I am really looking forward to wandering around on Shelby Street again this weekend. Two of my BFFs will be selling their wares, so I have to go support them. Rebecca Simpson will be selling her gorgeous artwork, and Whitney St. John Morris will be peddling some fabulous handmade scarves. Look for the booth they’ll be sharing. I'll be standing in front of it, waving you over.
I am also going to bring my mom with me to check it out. I think she would enjoy its kitschiness, but I also think it might be a great venue to sell some of my grandmother’s (her mom’s) vintage costume jewelry, hats and clothes. Who knows, maybe you’ll see us in our own booth in November.
I encourage everyone to check out Flea Off. Stop by, take a look around and grab a bite. This is Louisville at its best, for sure. Say hi if you see me!
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After nine years, she's still just saying.