Thoughts

I visited my old store today. I mostly did it because one of the other assistant managers was opening and another person kept asking me to come and visit. So I did. I can say with full confidence that I don’t miss that life. Sometimes I really miss the people and the socializing. I wasn’t there for friends though. I was there to run a business. I suppose now that I work from home, I don’t see as many people. That said, when I do see people, it’s usually on my own terms and I can usually leave when I want to so that I don’t end up being emotionally drained. The new manager seems good and is doing the job well. I wish her luck and I hope that she’s happier in the position than I ever was.

Now that I am more free, I’ve been putting some time into working on my old sites. I was a little active last year when I decided to re upload all my files. It feels like after I came back in May, everything that was active last year is now dead. I keep coming across dead links, empty dead forum spaces that were once active a few months ago. I wonder if everyone just collectively had a “life’s happening” moment just as mine finally calmed down.

I will say that coming back and working on the hobby side of webdesign and website building has been therapeutic. For a long span of time, roughly from 2013 until 2017 I only worked on client websites. My domains were going unused and my old sites sat in backup files. Making sites about topics I like gives me a place to experiment, try new things, apply tricks and try to keep current with ever-changing webdesign trends. A client may have very specific needs, so going deep into crazy css or figuring out how to make a website as pretty as possible and then port that over from PC to smartphone is a fun challenge. I feel like people when they get older tend to resort to puzzles to keep the mind going. Although that’s something I probably don’t need to worry about for many decades, I feel that keeping myself challenged with website creation is a good mental workout.

In other news, we are leaving for Disney World in 8 days! I’m super excited to go back. I would also like to make a visit or two to Cedar Point as soon as humanly possible. I will probably blog about my Disney experience here in the coming days. 🙂

Two Months of Freedom

Recap: I worked for nine years at a discount variety retail chain. I began at the company as a cashier and worked my way up the ladder into store management. It was a salaried position with a requirement of 50 hours a week, 60 during 6 weeks of the holiday season. The catch was that you worked whatever the business needed and you were not eligible for overtime or any of the fun benefits given to hourly workers. In reality I was working something more like 65-70 hours many weeks. I was lucky to get out at 50 most of the time. I tried to do under whenever possible just to make up for a bad week and save some sanity. At one point I worked 16 days without a day off. I worked 32 hours in a row once, about four hours inbetween to drive home for 20 minutes, sleep a little, drive back for 20 minutes and go in.

I went almost six months without drawing. I barely wrote anything. I did nothing with websites. I made nothing. I was nothing outside of my job.

January 2017. First thing I drew in 6 months.

I developed anxiety. I was really depressed. I hadn’t seen my friends or family. I barely saw my husband in passing. I started hiring people who had similar interests or around my age that I felt like I could click with (and also who I felt would be a decent worker) just so that I could have someone to talk to.

At the end of March 2018, I put in my notice. I gave a long enough notice to train a replacement. I also wanted time to get enough pay saved up.

As of today, it’s been two months since I left. I will never work a salaried job like this ever again. I don’t mind putting in countless hours, losing sleep and sanity for projects that I’m passionate about, be it my own project or working with a company in the future. I’m not passionate about cheap products sold for pennies on the dollar with as high a margin as possible.

The anxiety and depression issues have subsided a great deal. I feel much better, happier, and in a better state of mind.

It feels sort of strange in a way. Almost everything I involved my time in fell to the wayside when I began that job. I’m coming back to everything now realizing that nearly a decade has been lost. It’s been almost that amount of time since I delved into webdesign deeply. I’ve toyed around with it here and there and created some stuff for myself. Yet, I feel really out of the loop. Ten years ago, most people accessed the internet on desktop or laptop computers not on smartphones.

I was offered a job right off the bat doing design work. I’d offered my services to this company off and on throughout my time working in retail. I did the work and I was paid. Now I’m on the payroll, which is great. It’s not a whole lot, but it’s enough for now until I can get my own things going.

I think leaving that job was the best decision of my adult life (aside moving out and living with my then, boyfriend now husband). Don’t get me wrong, I learned a great deal from working there. I never knew I had it in me to manage a store and worked as hard as I had. I miss my coworkers and the times we had together. It was time to leave a chapter of my life behind me.

So two months out, I’m standing at what will hopefully be the beginning of some of the best parts of my story.

She would’ve been 75

Today would’ve been my mom’s 75th birthday.

Sometimes she does come up in my thoughts. I try not to dwell in that head space too so much. Maybe she would’ve been proud of me for where I am in life right now. Granted, I’m not ultimately where I’d like to be. I am in a much better place, in part, because I left that environment nine years ago. Things were better, by far, when we were miles apart.

I should feel something. In reality, I feel nothing. It’s probably better that way.