Yes! I have news! Sorry to leave you hanging in my last post.
First of all, the flower business is going strong. I’m averaging 2 to 3 bouquets a week, which is really all I can handle because my business is based in San Clemente, and I still live in Irvine, which is a 30-minute drive. I do plan to move to San Clemente but I’m locked into my lease here in Irvine until April. I’ve been trying to find someone to take over my lease but that is not really going anywhere. So it’s good that I can learn the ropes, establish my reputation as a florist and keep things kinda slow until I can make the big move, AND OPEN UP A REAL FLOWER SHOP!! I’m so excited. Baby steps though.
The Big NEWS is I’m going back to school for another completely new career. It was early days last time I blogged, so I was afraid to mention it too soon. I’m studying to be a behavioral therapist for autistic children. Plot twist, I know! But it’s something that has interested me for a long time, and when I put the word “creative” on a job board, it came up! Who knew? It turns out that being creative is a highly sought-after trait when it comes to being an effective behavioral therapist. It’s a really new field for me, with lots of *science* and data collection and a whole new dictionary of jargon, BUT I am loving it so far. I love learning, and this job is paying to train me. I’m going to school (online) and getting paid, and I love it. The classes are long, though, and if I don’t watch my schedule, I can get stuck watching videos and taking tests long after my bedtime, so it’s lots of coffee for me and drawing while taking notes to keep me alert and paying attention.
In other news, I’ve set up a fundraiser to get Florita some brakes. As you know, this is the little Cushman one-wheeled truck I’m hopefully converting into a little flower shop truck. Unfortunately, she’s just sitting in the Rasta Rita parking lot, rotting right now because she has no brakes, and no one knows how to get her to a mechanic to get her fixed. Mario has put it in my court. He’s done paying for things. I’ve got no funds for tow trucks or mechanics. I’m barely paying my rent. So I thought I’d make some t-shirts and sell them here, and maybe you guys would like a cool pink t-shirt with my logo on it and help the cause! A few of you have already helped me behind the scenes. (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!) I am continually amazed at how my friends (the readers of this blog) send love and funds for coffee and even money to get this flower shop up and going! Hopefully, I can return all the love with more regular writing, cool t-shirts, stickers, and who knows what else. I want to create more t-shirt designs, maybe some fun mermaids with flowers…but I thought I should make a classic one first. I’ve also bought one myself that I’m going to model and switch out for that Dad Bod picture ASAP. If you buy one and take a cute photo of yourself, send it to me!!!
I need all the good hype I can get. Please pass it on to your friend. Let’s make Rasta Rita Flowers a really cool place that people will want to visit when they are in town! You know it’s going to be that bookshop/antique store/thrift shop/art gallery/flower shop/coffee shop/sticker store/cat hangout/plant-lover vibe. I’m so excited.
The last two months have been very turbulent for me. As you know from my last post, I lost some friends that I cared deeply about, and THEN! a few weeks later, I was let go from a job that I was invested in and very excited about. The company took a different direction, and I was left by the wayside, wondering where I had gone wrong.
The thing is, I didn’t go wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. The company changed directions, and I was not part of that change. It’s such a weird thing to have happened, but I’m sure this happens a lot. People change their minds. Big companies change their minds. Not everyone will like me, no matter how loveable I might think I am. This was a bitter pill for a died-in-the-wool people-pleaser like myself, but it’s been a huge lesson for me, and I’m thankful. It’s forced me to get stronger.
I admit it took the wind out of me for a bit. I felt lost and confused. But now that I’ve had a month to sit with it (and maybe it’s still too early to say that I’m already over it and moving on but), I think it was probably one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time. Hard things tend to work like that. I was forced to regroup and look deep inside myself to find purpose and a plan. It was tempting to give up. I wanted to move home with my parents, stay in bed for a year, and cry…But you can’t give up when you are a single mom living in an expensive apartment with a teenager, and your parents live in an HOA that doesn’t allow for grown children under the age of 55. Giving up is not an option!
So you know what I did? I rebranded.
SAJ is back and stronger than ever. Check out my portfolio! I packed it with my latest work and I hope to add more. Matt has been a long-suffering excellent (web designer!) partner who has spent countless hours poring over code to override my quirky WordPress problems. But I love it now. Secret Agent Josephine is a one-woman creative agency, and I’m adding clients already.
I can survive on my own! Isn’t it amazing? I’m so happy, lucky, and grateful to have options like this. I might not be “the corporate jet setter working woman,” but I’m me, doing what I love, and most importantly: I’m okay in a super stressful, financially unstable time. That’s what matters; I’m okay. Everyone said I would be, but it was hard to see that when I was in the murky depths. Now I see.
Guess what else is back?
Slideshows! Sorta… Click on those squares, and you’ll see a slew of photos. I stumbled across this little plugin in the long, arduous process of learning how to create a better portfolio. Now I can have slideshows within my blog posts, and they aren’t grainy automated gifs!
I’m still learning and tweaking but pretty cool, right?
Bug and I went to Crystal Cove this last weekend and spent some time poking around the tidepools and enjoying the coastal super bloom. We love where we live, and I’m so thankful for time with my teenager before she’s all grown up and moving on.
Another comfort during these last few months has been my tiny little patio garden. I’ve spent many hours here watching the plants grow and contemplating my next move. I’m thankful for this little spot of peace. Bug and my mom decided to plant tomato seedlings a while back, and now I have twenty-some full-sized cherry tomato plants growing knee-high on my tiny patio. It’s going to be a jungle soon. I can’t even imaging what it will be like late summer.
Then there’s my cozy room. I did a massive furniture rearrange because that always does a spirit good. I’ve also spent many hours cuddling with my crazy hugging cat. Who has a hugging cat? I do! She’s so funny. I can’t sit down on my bed without her climbing up on me, tucking her fuzzy purring head under my chin, and reaching both paws around my neck. It’s quirky, weird, and sometimes even annoying, but I think she’s a special gift sent from the universe to help me get through the tough spots in life.