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.
I survived my first week at my new job and loved it! I can’t share what I’m doing because it’s probably top secret, and I signed a bunch of contracts on my first day, etc., but when I can, I will. Also, next week I’m traveling! I’m a traveling graphic designer. That hardly ever happens! I’m so excited. I know it’s fresh and new now, so it seems like a super fun fast-lane sort of life and will probably get old soon but I secretly think it won’t. The travel for this job is to the most beautiful places. I keep pinching myself I can’t believe this is my job. I can’t believe it’s real! I feel scared that something bad will happen because I don’t deserve this great job. But maybe I do deserve it. I’m going to work my butt off to prove that I do.
The sad news is that my working my butt off means long hours away from Bug and home. Bug is doing fine because she’s seventeen and has her own full life. Cody not so much. So we made the difficult decision to let my parents take care of Cody. I miss him like crazy but staying in an apartment all day alone is not a good life for a dog. It’s hard enough that he doesn’t have his buddy Whiskey anymore.
At first it was hard to leave him. My parents reported to me that after I left he was sad and curled up by the door waiting for me to come back. Thankfully that didn’t last long. A few treats here and there and lots of walks and now Cody and my dad are best buddies.
I mean, it’s not the worst life out there in the sticks for a dog. My dad and I walk every morning at the same time and chat via headphones so now I get daily pictures and reports on how Cody is doing. Sometimes my dad even puts me on speaker phone and Cody will bark at me. It’s cute.
But because I gave my parents a dog, they were now over their pet limit at their HOA so I got to take home a cat in exchange. I now have three cats. Kady (the one I’ve had the longest), Inky (who Bug has claimed), and now Rosy. They are all actually littermates that my mom rescued nine years ago when their feral mother left them in my mom’s front yard. They’ve been separated over the years but funny enough when we brought them back together, they got along just fine! I’m so relieved. You know I’ve had so much trouble introducing new cats in the past I’m a bit traumatized. These three cats get along great. They don’t love each other. It’s not a lick fest cuddle puddle or anything but nobody really gets upset if they get too close to each other. They all mildly tolerate each other like typical siblings. Maybe someday they’ll learn to cuddle together.
And that’s my news! It’s been raining like crazy, and the park is flooded but I’m happy in my cozy apartment and my fun new job.