When I first met Jimmy I was happily working as a digital artist in the entertainment industry. Still in my twenties, it bothered me not that I worked what seemed at times twenty-three out of twenty-four hours a day, six out of seven days a week. I could have lived at work. Catered dinners, ping pong tables -- had I moved a small refrigerator and a bed (and perhaps a wet bar) into my cubicle, I would have told you I had found happiness. Seriously.
However, once I met the love of my life the idea of living at work was no longer as appealing. Coupled with the fact that I had moved from a major entertainment studio -- with all the comforts of home (and then some) -- to a small production house with an hour commute from home, where my desk was made from unfinished pine wood (and splinters became a part of my daily routine) -- working became nowhere near as fun.
When one of the last films I worked on completed production, I decided to try something different. I decided to get a "normal" job. The kind where people go home at a reasonable hour -- like 6:00. As it turns out my neighbor had an opportunity for me at the time. One that I wanted and one that I was excited about and get this -- one where I could work from home.
No, it wasn't some crazy get-rich-quick scheme that you see on late night infomercials where people claim to make $20,000 a day placing tiny classified ads, but rather a position where having a home office made sense for the company since it has to do with education and the arts and there is a fair amount of travel involved.
It was great... at first -- but then things started to happen. I was planning an out-of-state wedding which is no easy feat, I was still dealing with the aftermath of the passing of my grandmother, I was having a strange reaction to transitioning from a studio environment to one where I was independent and, seeing as the year was 2001, I felt helpless after the events of 9/11.
In a hasty decision I resigned from this position thinking that somehow I needed more... what? Structure? Guidance? Direction? Education? I didn't know. Looking back, I think I didn't realize how good I had it. At the time I remember thinking that life was too short not to be following your bliss. Part of my job was talking to people about following their dreams, yet I felt somehow that I wasn't following mine.
I suppose I was going through some sort of life change, growth spurt, whatever you want to call it. However, I regretted my decision to leave the second I did it. Once the insanity of planning our wedding was over and we could relax, I started to explore several career paths. None of them good and all of them counterproductive. I enrolled in beauty college thinking that I wanted to be a hair stylist -- that lasted all of 5 months. I went back to work on another film only to remember the reasons I had left in the first place. I took a couple of office jobs (including the one which inspired this blog) where I was insanely unhappy and felt that any dreams I did have were being sucked out of me and were spiraling down the drain. During these
days years I would dream of owning my own business, drafting business plans for elaborate schemes, just to keep me from losing my mind.
During all of this I was re-applying for my old position whenever I would see one become available. I wrote letters stating my case, even going so far as to list a David Letterman-esque "Top Ten Reasons You Should Re-hire Schmoopy." I had seen the err in my ways and I wanted my former employers to understand this. I must have done this about ten times.
I thought I left to "follow my (as of then undetermined) dreams" in hopes of discovering my dream job, not fully realizing that perhaps a dream job is one that gives you independence and freedom to pursue other creative hobbies and endeavors. Perhaps a dream job is one that allows you to help others realize their dreams, which in turn gets me closer to my dream. Perhaps a dream job is one where I am not stuck or trapped, but rather learning and growing. Perhaps a dream job is one that provides me the gift of time -- allotting me plenty of it to enjoy the things I love. Perhaps a dream job is one that allows me to redesign my home office to my exact specifications. Perhaps a dream job is one that allows me to really start thinking about my dream of starting a family and knowing I can physically be here to raise a child. My job I had five years ago IS my dream job, I just didn't know it at the time.
On Valentine's Day I received a phone call from my former boss stating that if I wanted my former job back it was mine and he was excited about having me back on the team. It was a good day. Two days later when I was no longer in shock from his offer, I danced around the living room and that was a good day. Everyday since then has been a good day.
It's been a long road but because I can finally say that I LOVE MY JOB, I have no desire to be dooced and won't be discussing many aspects of it here. But feel free to email me with any questions if I haven't told you about it already.