2009 has been a tough year for me.
I began the year still very much a newlywed with big my full intention to continue working at my draining, but well-paying, job at a large media corporation. At the beginning of the year, my schedule was shifted to a late-afternoon to late-night shift. I quietly rebelled against the change, partly because I had taken job under the pretense that I would be working a normal person 9-6 shift, after leaving my 9-year position at a local television station where I worked the early morning shift. The prospect of living a normal life with a normal sleeping pattern enticed me, and I grabbed at the chance to de-zombify my life and make a little more money in the process. When my evening shift began in January, the company was going though a rough time financially – you know, the damn economy and all that. People were laid off, schedules were shifted, furloughs implemented. Scary times for all employees, knowing that their jobs could be eliminated at any point with little or no warning. I sucked it up and took the schedule change, thankful to at least have my job for the time being. THE TIME BEING.
I worked in a pod. It’s a nice way of saying “a cubicle but with shorter walls that are arranged in octagons so 4 people could occupy one space”. Drab. Stifling. Cold. Basement. It was hard to work as a creative designer in this type of environment, and I think my work (and probably my attitude) began to suffer as a result of it coupled with the fact that I am more of a morning person, doing my best work in the earlier part of the day.
Long story short, I was told I would be moving to the overnight shift. OVER. NIGHT. This was a force-out, because my boss and I really weren’t the best of friends. I didn’t suck up or chit-chat with him in his office for hours about his weekend plans like some folks in the office. I just came in, sat down and got to work. He wasn’t a fan of me or my work, and I was beginning not to care. I was unhappy. In April, it was all over after being blindsided when returning from my dinner break. Peace out, Media Corporation!
Shit. Now what do I do?
It was tough. Emotionally and financially. Ask my wife. She knows. If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you’ve seen first hand the range of emotions that I poured into these ramblings. It was good therapy, I guess. And I think it allowed me to organize my thoughts. In a way, I encouraged myself to pursue my passion.
April was not the best time to be looking for a J-O-B in U-S-A. I sent resumes all over the country, with only a few bites here and there. I made a great connection with a company here in Richmond, and while they couldn’t offer me a full-time position, they did offer me an opportunity to do some freelance article writing. Right up my alley! I wanted out of the news biz and never wanted to open Photoshop again. Writing is more my speed, and I’ll take the freelance paycheck, thank you.
That freelance gig, along with my blog audience and showing my face at local networking events eventually landed me more freelance writing opportunities. By the end of the summer, I was doing okay financially. And – the best news of all – my wife got a teaching job. We were staying in Richmond! We no longer had to worry about one of us breaking a leg and not having health insurance or making rent or being able to eat real food. Phew.
Here we are, mid/late November. Last week, I filed the paperwork to become a business. I am a business owner. I own my own business. That’s right. Me. That goofy fat guy who likes to watch hockey. Basically, I’m taking everything I’ve ever learned, professionally, and pouring into whatever I can do to help other businesses with their websites, online presence and public persona. I’m legit! And I’m super excited about it, too. I think I’m gonna rock it! No – I KNOW I’m gonna rock it! Check me out: FlashBurst Media
Enough of this renting stuff, too. I’ve had the better part of this year to think about and prioritize the important things in my life. It’s time to grow up and get into our own home. We’ve been looking at houses for a few weeks now. With the help of our agent, we’ve found some really good ones in our price range. We’ve gotten our pre-approval for a mortgage loan. We’re exited. We’re nervous. We can do this. I think we’ll be making an offer on a house this week. Yikes!
I’m happy now. I’m doing what I love and we’re moving towards a goal. I can honestly say that before the big personal events of 2009, I was just living day to day. Working to get by. Just another rat in the race. Now I’m working towards a home, a family and all the other things that come with a growed-up life. We’ll have dinner parties in a real dining room. We’ll make a casserole and wear sensible shoes. We’ll talk about our kids’ ear infections and fix the toilet when it clogs. We’ll mow the lawn and learn about escrow.
Things are good and getting better. Can’t wait for 2010.