When I lost my job in June I felt confused and unsure about what my next steps would be. I am 39 and it felt like a very inopportune time to start over. Everyone else was planning their “Turning 40” trips and I was figuring out how to apply for unemployment.
But, in a way, it was fitting because my life up to this point had been a series of unexpected happenings. While difficult and unexpected, each left me stronger and better somehow.
My life so far had consisted of a divorce, and the revelation that you can know someone but not really know them at all. Discovering the reality that during my marriage my ex-husband was having a long-term affair was heartbreaking. And, not only that, but an affair that produced a child. These revelations left me feeling broken and like everything I once thought would be my life were now completely different. It was a hard pill to swallow.
I had always had a sense of humor, but it was this period of my life that truly made me realize that we have to laugh to keep from crying.
Seven years after my divorce I had moved on. I had sold the house that I lived in with my ex and was now “shacking up” with my boyfriend of two years, John. We lived with my two dogs and had a pretty fantastic, routine existence.
And then I lost my job.
It’s now September and I haven’t found another opportunity, but sometimes we just have to make our own opportunities. Am I right? Can I get a “hell, yeah?”
In my 20s I had dabbled in a few professions. I was a teacher for 5 years and then had a hankering to go back to school for massage therapy. After a few weeks of massaging big hairy dudes (and even some hairy women), I decided that was a really fun distraction, but not my calling.
After that, I jumped head first into the corporate world and worked my way up. Within four years, I worked my way from entry level to supervising a team of 10 people. Not only that, I was a design supervisor so I got to have graphic designers and content designers reporting to me. I got to nurture their creativity and develop my own. It was really fun . . . until it wasn’t.
And now here I am starting over again. Since my life has never really gone as planned why should this chapter be any different. So . . . what’s next?
I’ve always been a writer, but just as a hobby. I loved teaching, but teaching other people’s children was exhausting. I had kind of found my niche in being a supervisor because it had provided an opportunity to provide training and support just like being an educator did. It “filled my bucket” as my best friend Melanie would say. But there were things about it that I hated, so I am going to choose to be thankful for all the amazing people that I met during that time and work to move on.
My first step was to make an inspired home office for myself. I picked up a desk off of Craigslist for $30 and I am repurposing my boyfriend John’s pinball machine as the other part of my desk. My office also has a slot machine too. (Did I mention that my boyfriend comes from a family that has been restoring and selling pinballs, jukeboxes, and coin-op games for almost 60 years. Their fun overflow equipment has now found a new home with me.)
And, as my office came together, my new endeavor also began to take shape.
In the last few months, I have developed several websites and have started a small but mighty graphic design freelance business. I’ve also decided to incorporate my love of reading and writing and add “blogger” to my unofficially, official title. I’m a “small business owner, creative director, and blogger.” (Try fitting that on a business card.) I’ve even started helping small businesses with social media as well.
And . . . I love it!
Bottom line is that just when one door closed another opened. And I feel like this door opened and confetti shot out at me and a mariachi band came through the door just a strummin’ away. I finally feel like I am finally living the life that I was meant to live. I have time to spend with family and friends, but I am also working my fanny off to make my new ventures successful.
Ultimately I am feeling truly excited about what is in store for me. Perhaps it takes the unexpected moments to make the great things happen. And when one door closes, well, you might just have another one open with confetti and a mariachi band. Olé.