Here we are in the middle of July. It’s always a big month for me with my birthday and Fourth of July celebrations. I decided to skip the party this year in favor of getting spoiled by Matt. Long-distance relationships definitely have their perks. Those perks for me are dinners out and fun-filled quality weekends.
I am spoiled rotten. Matt took me to Nobu in Newport Beach, and I have to say it might be my favorite restaurant of all time, next to the Blue Agave that used to exist way back in the day in Santa Barbara. Nobu is NOT cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. It’s not like I can go to Nobu any old time I feel like, so this was a real treat. I love the Japanese design of the restaurant, the curving staircase with the hanging lamps, the view, and of course, the melt-in-your-mouth popcorn-flavored beef and crazy yummy drinks and desert.
When Matt is in town, we go out. Sometimes Bug and her boyfriend come too. I love it. It was fun to dress up with my crazy bombshell acid-blonde hair and pretend I’m a kept woman. The rest of the month I’m a stressed-out, single mom boss bitch who works all the time.
The blonde bombshell look is fun, but I’m excited about cutting off this feathery mess. I might just stay short forever. I recently found a new hairstylist in San Clemente near where I work for Rasta Taco, and I LOVE HER!!! I love my old stylist too, but this new girl knows how to cut hair in the Jayne Edo style that I’ve been following on Instagram for about a year now, and it was so great to meet a kindred spirit. Short, short, and shorter! I love the way the back doesn’t touch my neck. This cut is called a Bixie (Brixie for me) but I think I’m going full pixie next time. Be gone Blonde feathery mess! Then we can talk about Wolfies and Mullets…
And Speaking of San Clemente, I have to show you the latest truck wrap I designed. We call it the Chicken Bus because it was inspired by the Chicken Buses of Guatemala. This one was a hard one. I had to work with another creative director to get my boss’s full vision but now that it’s done, I love it so much! It looks so rad showing up to parties. If anyone needs a truck wrap, hit me up. I’m looking to diversify!
In other news, Cody got a DIY bath! I found the cutest little do-it-yourself dog-washing shop in Costa Mesa. (I wanted to tie in my hair and how owners and dogs look alike, but we’re moving on from hair news.) Cody has been a stinky dog for quite a while now. I’ve been trying to save money, and since he weighs 107 pounds, grooming him can be quite expensive. I don’t have a yard or a garden hose, so bathing him outside is out, and my bathroom and shower are not really conducive to large dog grooming. So he stunk. Then I found this place, and it only cost us $23 to wash and dry. What a deal!! It was hard to get all his fur completely dry, and he left a bit damp, but he’s sooooo much cleaner. No more gross greasy, smelly dog. I love him.
That’s all the news for now! Happy July!
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.