Anybody out there?
It has been a while hasn't it? I’m sure everyone has probably gone home to roost by now.
A lot has happened since I last wrote. I've had some heartbreak, some discoveries and begun new journeys. So, I guess as long as I keep moving forward and not backward, I'm on the right path. Right?
For starters, I guess the biggest difference has to do with a major career change in April of this year. I am no longer running my local newspaper. I have walked away from my career as newspaper journalist, marketing manager, GM, publisher, webmaster, composer and all around Jill-of-all-newspaper-trades.
Initially, the decision was not my own, ultimately, I walked away from an industry that I had worked hard to master. I take that first part back, I was given a choice to keep my job. I was told I could stay on doing the same thing for less than half the pay, resign or accept a letter of termination. Yeah, that really was the offer folks. I worked for years getting my education, paying my dues and working my way up the ladder to learn the ropes, and run a business in that particular industry. I knew as a kid that I would run a newspaper someday. And I did. I was even contacted by other papers with some great opportunities. But, it was time to move on. I was not killing myself any longer for someone else to continue to profit from my sacrifices. Selfish? Maybe. Probably not. Telling my new boss to eat his offer? Priceless.
After the loss of my job, I made the decision, with the support of my most AMAZING husband, to take advantage of various opportunities that were knocking and we both knew that if I work as hard for myself as I have for others, how could it be anything a success!
So far, so good.
While the type A part of my personality gets a little frustrated with progress at times, my common sense side reaches out, gives me a good slap, stops the panic and makes me take a look around at all the changes, little successes and forward movements that for many, never happen as fast as they have in the last 9 months for me.
One would have thought that with walking away from a corporate career, life slows down. Wrong. At least not for me. As someone who ate, slept and breathed what I did, my abrupt and unexpected job loss was a total atmospheric upheaval. I remember waking up the next morning at the same time as always, watching my husband getting ready for work as I sat on the couch, in a daze, drinking my coffee and telling him, “I don't know how to not get up and go to work. How do I just not go to work?!” Well, that was just a stupid question. But legitimate.
My job loss was God kicking me in the ass I think.
Over the years, I had slowly lost myself in the rat race of taking the paper from point A to point B and letting go of my own identity. My health was declining, relationships were declining, I really was a workaholic and everything else took a backseat. I tend to do that with any job I've had, I get the blinders and just start moving forward to get the job done.
That particular affliction has been doused....at least for this moment in my life. I am going in so many directions, each of which seemed to have been placed naturally at my feet by the hand of God, that I alternate between times of frantic chase and frantic peace regularly. None of which seem out of place, all of which seem perfectly natural.
Let me explain.
The Frantic chase. For years I have had to maintain some sort of creative outlet to allow for a mental release from the hectic day to day stuff we all have. Everyone deals with things in their own way, my sanity saver was creating things. I used words when I wrote, pencils when I sketched, fabric and thread when I sewed. It was my restoration process. Basically, it was the only way to take my foot of the gas pedal. Over the years, my creative outlets built themselves into a pretty nice stash, from writing projects to items that sat in an off the wall, online store for anyone who happened to stumble onto it and buy something. (You can only give so much of that stuff away)
One of my more recent writing projects dealt with developing generational relationships between women and the effects on younger generations, domestic violence etc…etc…. I developed the manuscript, a workbook to go along with it and even happened to be in final stages of completing the pilot workshop itself.
I had three other serious writing projects taking their turn at my creative process, all full length book manuscripts and none having to anything to do with the other’s subject matter, or even in the same realm as one another. I have a play, a two fictional novels, and a non-fiction project all fighting for time with me and the magic keyboard.
After righting myself from job loss, I thought I would focus on my writing projects. Within about 3 days, I spoke to several key players that, once finished, would help bring my play to fruition as a major fundraiser for a domestic violence group and was met with nothing but support.
Remember that silly little online store I spoke of earlier? In the first week of my unemployment, my online store had two international sales (Ireland and Denmark) and within a week and a half, sold out. I soon had some custom orders and discovered a market for aprons (who in the Hell would have guessed that?!? Not me!) So, over the next month, I set aside my writing, re-launched the online store, built up some product, made some new contacts, had a great opportunity to work with my sister-in-law in her very successful business, developed a workroom for local home décor designer, take on private clients for custom work and voila! A sewing hobby has become a small entrepreneurial project with legs of its own and a good future for success.
In the weeks that followed my job loss I also finished my pilot workshop, started the rewrites from that project and began a search for an agent to support that writing particular project. Had a few successes on that front and continue to write and work on other projects.
My frantic peace comes because mostly, this new process seems to be all or nothing. I do great when it is time to juggle all the balls at once. My struggle comes when I am supposed to take the moments of nothing and peacefully contemplate what I have achieved. Those are the times of my panicked search for the next all-in moment.
I’ll be the first to admit, patience is not one of my virtues…but I may be learning it.