One Year Gone

I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I started this blog.  In commemoration, I updated the look!  Blogger and I spent hours together, me making suggestions, Blogger passively aggressively ignoring said suggestions.

Wanna make the titles to each post larger? 
Too bad. You’ll take your microscopic titles and like them
Well, fine. 
And maybe the design of the page won’t load like 50% of the time. 
Awesome. 

I’m thinking that my next redesign will come in the form of me getting WordPress and an actual website.

It’s also been a year since I quite my job to do… stuff.  I never really talk about what I do on here.  I allude to doing some type of work at home and my cats being adorable distraction machines, but there’s not much in the way of detail.  I’m sure you can see that blogging isn’t my full-time thing or there would be considerably more posts.

Well, part of why I haven’t said what I do is because, to be honest, I have no idea. When people have asked me what I’ve been doing in the most recent year, they got any of the following responses:

writing a novel
blogging
making a CD
web design
writing songs
playing music
learning to make stuff with photoshop and illustrator

Because I’ve done all of these things. And more. 

I. Me. This person writing this blog right now did not have a plan when I quit the PhD program last August.  For anyone who knows me, that’s kind of crazy. I have a plan for everything. I am a person who has a strategic plan for eating oreos. (I dip half the oreo in milk until saturated, eat that half. Take the remaining half and dip as much as I can in the milk without getting my fingers in the milk until it’s saturated and eat the rest of it. I always eat 3 oreos. And they are in order from least to most cream concentrated on one side of the oreo. This way my last bite will have the greatest filling-to-cookie ratio.) I am the definition of a planner.

For me to not have a plan for what I was going to do for the next year was definitely out of my comfort zone. I had an idea of what I was going to do, but I didn’t want to box myself in and then feel trapped by the decision.  So I purposely tried to keep my options as open as I could.  I tried not to say no to things, if I wanted to learn something new, that was ok.  As long as it was creating something.  So unsurprisingly I spent a healthy portion of the last year totally freaking out. Not in a bad way, I was just dealing with the fact that for years I had been convinced of the fact that the only options for living life involved a salary, a 401K and employer provided health insurance.

For me, it all boils down to these questions:

Am I worthless if I’m not making money?

What is the value of creating something? 

Is there still value if you made something that sucks and never show it to anyone?

Yikes.

So after one year gone, what have I learned?

  1. Creating stuff is hard work.  But it’s worth the effort.
  2. You have to be your own biggest supporter.
  3. I’m pathologically bad at #2.  I’ve gotten significantly better at this over the course of the year, but I’ve got a ways to go.
  4. It doesn’t matter what direction you’re going as long as you’re not standing still.  I’ve taken a lot of steps backward this year to go back and fix stuff that I neglected or skipped over years ago.  It’s frustrating.  Galling.  Humbling.  But sometimes it needs to be done.  I’m sure I’ll have to do it again in the future.
  5. “You can’t wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.” ~ Jack London

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