August 3, 2012

More Progress

Oh WOW! I am so jazzed today. First of all, I have learned so much about my life, my prior decisions, and how those decisions/choices affected the outcome of my experience. Much of this I already knew, but it was sweet to be reminded of it, and to then think upon the point again. Time spent in reflection often enhances our perspective, and sometimes when we revisit specific events, we draw new meaning from them. In my case, this is exactly what happened to me. Let me explain.

About two weeks ago, I started to take a step of faith forward and I made the bold move to go back into the web business. I was frustrated with work, with changes, and with the lack of career progression, so I had been looking for other work, other jobs. I had some interviews, but each time, I would drive home scratching my head and wondering aloud: "What are you doing, Carol? Do you really want to swap your current job for another that is similar?" In truth, the answer came back to me with a resounding "thud!" No, I didn't want another job, in fact, I didn't want any job. I wanted to stay at home, and I wanted my old life back, the life where I worked from home, homeschooled, and lived in relative freedom from the "cage of 9-5." The truth of course was and is that my old life is gone now. I cannot go back to it, and I will never be able to live that way again. However, there was a kernel within that spoke to my heart, and I realized that what I really wanted was to be working in a job that suited my skills, adapted to my needs, and fulfilled the Lord's will for my life.

I asked the Lord for His input, and He told me that the only job that would work for me was for me to work from home again. I was hesitant to accept that simply because it means relying on the Lord instead of a company for my bi-weekly pay. I am no "nube" as my son would say it, so relying on the Lord has been something I have come to do. I am comfortable with our relationship. He provides, and I trust Him to provide. I am not perfect by any means, but I am learning to be still and wait on Him. Selah!

Well, back to two weeks ago. I bought business cards, and I set out to design a website for myself. I downloaded the free trials of Photoshop and Dreamweaver, and then I tried my best to create a site. It only took me two weeks, two horrible long and grueling weeks, until I realized that something wasn't working for me. I grinded out a simple CSS layout design, put it online and said, "Lord, is this OK?" Well, yes and no. I did what I could but even I knew it wasn't good enough.

The problem is/was two-fold. It has been three years since I was actively designing websites. I had a flourishing business at one time, but I wasn't content in it, never saw any real payment, and finally after being fed up/burnt out, I closed it down. I walked away, and I was determined to do something different.

I wanted to teach, and with my Masters coming to a close, I thought "surely the Lord will provide a teaching job for me?" No job in that arena ever materialized. I tried to find work in my field, working in design for someone else, and nothing came to pass there either. Then I got hired at UOPX, and I started to work in Higher Education. I thought, "this is it. The Lord will move me up in this company, and I will be able to stay here until I retire."

It has been one year of very hard work, and finally the door to any movement within this company has slammed shut. I can remain where I am at, kill myself with boredom, or I can move on.

I started looking for web design jobs back in February. I was afraid to leave UOPX, so I shuffled around and tried to find good work inside the company. No luck. I kept getting calls from recruiters asking me to work in design, and I weakly said "sure." But every interview just reinforced to me that I would only be happy if I was working on my own from home.

Back to today, and what happened next. After I did my stint at Target, put my new chair together, and got settled to do some "real work," the Lord showed me a design tool that I had not previously seen. I mean I had looked at oodles, downloaded a number, tried them out, and pronounced with no uncertain terms that I had had it, that I was no good, and that this business was a MISTAKE!

I was in a better frame of mind today, so I downloaded it and installed it on my Mac. It works like a charm, is simple and will enable me to design sites without all the visual-clutter of these other so-called HTML/WEB editors.

I still need to register my version of Photoshop, and I will do that tomorrow, but for all intents and purposes, I now have what I need to do this work. I have an editor I can use on the Mac, Photoshop, and a plethora of design ideas to get me back in the game. Moreover, I have my first job (well, not paid, but hey that is OK). I actually have several unpaid jobs, and I do intend to do them all so that I can build up my portfolio and get back to business again.

I am leaving the marketing to the Lord, and I know He will help me find business. Until then, I have some tasks to complete this weekend. I need to complete my own site, and then create a marketing flyer to send out to interested clients. I need to be prepared to step out on my own on Monday, and I am ready to receive business.

I am excited, and I am grateful. God is so very GOOD to me!

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