As I construct this post, the déjà vu does not surprise me. I’ve been here before, which is either a bad omen or a promising turning point.
Despite the possible bad omen, I know this is a turning point: I’ve made momentous changes in my life since my last post, and I am pretty darn proud of where I am headed.
Three months ago I quit my restaurant job because it was crushing my soul. Someone made a bad joke that I was a restaurant-lifer and reality punched me hard in the gut: I realized that I was incredibly unhappy.
So I quit. I had some dough stashed and I lived off of it for a while. I applied to some legitimate jobs — I didn’t get them despite my kick-butt resume and $60,000+ college degree*. (*Rough estimate: I try not to think about the daunting amount… it breaks my heart.)
I had to pull something together, and had to do it quickly because ‘fun-employment’ was coming to a close.
I had to take a few risks: I applied to a Craigslist ad for a job, which is dangerous for anyone. I also applied for an unpaid position at an up-and-coming literary journal. I figured Craigslist job or bust; if I busted, I could go out in a blaze of glory working free-of-charge for a literary journal and living out of my single-cab pick-up.
At that low, everything changed.
The Craigslist ad led to a really great position managing an online tea business, and assisting in writing a book. The literary journal took me on as Assistant Art Editor. On top of that, I have another publication in the works with a great group of local ladies — again unpaid, but totally awesome. AND I have agreed to be a beta reader for a fantasy author for her next book — I’ll receive a bit of a return investment for my time, but the experience will be great. Don’t worry Mom and Dad, it looks like I won’t have to live out of my car… yet.
So right now, I am happier than ever. And it is excellent.
I am living minimally; I’m not making the coin I had been making at the restaurant, but my soul has been able to stretch its loving limbs and get involved in my life again. And that is all I was really hoping for, anyways.
I have been writing more — you’ll see some regular posts (I’ve made a schedule and I’m sticking to it), and when publication #2 gets cranking, you’ll see some there, too (don’t worry, I’ll link you).
I’ve been knitting more — soon you’ll see some of my hand-made jar cozies and finger puppets, with some sewn creations thrown in. Within a week, I’ll also be figuring out the specifications for providing my services as an editor, beta reader, ghostwriter, writer’s assistant — what have you — and begin freelancing SOMETHING.
I’ve bitten the bullet, and jumped into the deep end; I’ve been living the “yes” lifestyle and it is so refreshing.
It really takes a lot out of a person to be grumpy and unhappy all of the time…
My next big adventure: a trip to the west coast in October. A good friend asked if I would consider traveling with her; I considered it and realized that the answer had been “yes” from the start.
I’ve been counting my pennies and pulling together my resources. It’s going to be tough, but it’ll be worth it.
I want to hear your success story: was there a moment in your life when you slammed on the breaks and changed the direction of your life? What inspired you to make the change and what did you learn from it?
Thank you all for sticking with me through every creation lull. Check back soon for some hand-made creations!
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Much love and happy art-making!