Hello Internet People! It is a good day to update this blog! I have so much news but not very much news at the same time. You will be happy to know that I have fully bounced back after my funk of a few months. I feel stronger than ever, and every other day I seem to be changing my avatars to reflect this new crazy blondness I have taken on. It is a brand! Who knew?
It’s brought me so much freedom and joy. Who knew the silliest thing of reversing my coloring would snap me out of my funk? I took something I was proud of (my silver hair and devotion to natural beauty bla bla bla) and shot it all to hell—fried crispy blonde hair—my complete opposite.
It’s temporary. I am plotting the next hair move and checking my roots daily to see if it’s time because I am not re-touching. Nope. I’m cutting it off into a spiky pixie, and I can’t wait for that day. I’ve rocked a pixie before. It’s one of my favorite looks, double chin and all.
But while I’m blonde, I am having more fun! I hate that that saying is true. Why is it that being so unnatural-looking is considered beautiful? Why do men love acid-washed hair? Is it because we conform to a cliched formula that comes out of a bottle, or is it because lighter hair gets my eyes more attention? I’m hoping it’s the latter.
But I am not above pretending to be Marilyn Monroe. Nope. I am shallow and vain and loving every minute. Reading is sexy, no? Especially with a cat on your lap. Don’t even start with the pussy cat jokes…
CC has been in town off and on, and this last week we dressed up and went out to the theatre to see Six. It was SO GOOD. I’ve had a subscription to the South Coast Performing Arts Center for a few years, and lately, getting myself through two acts of singing and dancing has been harder and harder. I don’t know, the last show I went to was Chicago, and it just didn’t do it for me. I was yawning and thinking it was time to go to bed long before intermission. So when CC said she wanted to go to SIX, I was intrigued. She was excited and couldn’t believe I had tickets. So off we went!
Early, of course, because we love to take photos and the theatre is an architectural beauty. I have to say; CC is an excellent photographer. Look at her capturing all those angles and making me look fabulous. We had a blast. My brother has moved on and gotten remarried, but CC will always be family to me. She is my sister for life. Thank you, Brother, for picking such a fabulous girl.
We always have a good time together. After the show, we hit the silent disco (for free!) and took some photos with drag queens because that’s what we do! It was so much fun.
Oh, here is a picture of La Jolla, totally out of context. This is from the weekend after. Bug convinced me to drive her down to La Jolla for no reason at all. I don’t see Bug as much now that she’s seventeen and all grown up with a serious boyfriend, so when she begs me to drive her somewhere, I take advantage of the bonding time. She’s still my girl.
She’s gone now with her dad on their annual trip to Northern California. They plan it every year, and they miss my birthday every year. Last year I put my foot down because I was turning fifty but this year, eh. I don’t care. Fifty-one is no big thing. AND, Matt is coming to visit, so I’m super excited to spend time with him.
Can you believe it? It’s been a year since the “Let’s Get Old and Be Fabulous” party. It was such a flop of a party (I’m only admitting this now because I did not have the funds to throw such a party, and how vain and self-centered could I be?) BUT! I met up with Matt after thirty-some years, so it’s one of the best things that’s come out of my mid-life crisis.
It’s been a crazy year.
I’m working more and more, and two of my clients have me working in their offices, which makes getting work done so much more efficient. I’m still an independent contractor, but having a regular job that I dress up for and kick ass at feels good. I really feel like I’m coming into my own. I’ve worked for myself for ages, but this last year has been pivotal. I think I’m finally respecting myself. It’s a weird concept.
I’ve been listening to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s new podcast Wiser Than Me , and it’s motivated me so much! I could rattle on for days about the things that have cheered me on. One of her guests said that our fifties are the best years, and I think it’s true. Fifty is such a blessing! It’s old but not decaying yet. It’s the twenties of the older years. It’s so much fun. I’m sure I’ll make a mess of errors just like I did in my twenties, but I will enjoy it.
I only have one day to work for myself, but I am working on my next book, Peg. You know what it’s about: Being rejected and realizing that you are still good, wise, and valuable enough. This is my newest passion that I will take into elementary schools, and I hope I can help kids with this. I know it might be a better book for fifty-year-olds, but I love illustrating kids’ books so that’s what it will be. Just like “It’s Not About You, Little Hoo,” (which is about being left out), this book is another hard lesson turned into a book
It takes me a while to be happy for those hard lessons that slap me in the face, but here I am.
I’m happy again. Thank you, Internet People, for cheering me on. I appreciate you. If you have stories from your fifties, I’d love to hear them! Let’s get old and be fabulous and live to tell the tale!
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.