Thursday, June 12, 2008

Elephants on parade toward bliss


Elephant card sets are now available in my shop.

Hello everyone! Happy Thursday to you. It's feeling a lot like summer now and I'm loving it. It was such a long winter and I'm glad it's done with. Today I've been thinking a lot about choices and the tough ones we make regarding our careers. I wanted to share this with you because it's a sort of milestone in my life. Two years ago I left my corporate graphic design job for the world of freelance. I had no idea what direction I wanted my work to go in; I just knew that I wanted to work for myself. I plunged forward trying to get a client roster going. Things were booming! I was so busy that first year I thought "Wow! I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!" But, as time went by I started noticing I still had that little pit in my stomach that said I still wasn't quite happy with what I was doing. I still felt a little un-fulfilled and a little sad. It didn't take long for me to realize that it wasn't graphic design as a field that I was unhappy with, it was the KIND of work I was doing. I didn't feel that wave of pride when I completed a project. That thrill of a job well done. Well, I didn't feel ANYTHING for that matter. Doing work for corporations just didn't feel right. I decided I wanted to CONNECT with people. To do work that mattered to someone on a more personal level. That's when I decided focus my work more on weddings, birth announcements, stationery and the like. Not only is my job much more fun, it is much more personal. And even more recently I've refined my goals to include selling my own cards as I try to create a thriving online shop. I've never been happier. Have I taken a pay cut? YES. But I feel that it's only temporary as I move forward and try to gain more of an audience for my product. It took me a while and a leap of faith to allow myself to focus in on what I really wanted to be doing and not what I "maybe should" be doing. The other day I got a call and a possible opportunity to do some freelance work with a great up-and-coming company with a fantastic brand doing packaging (and such). I would have been working with one of the country's top product designers. I was speaking to the President of this company who is a friend of my husband's family and I thought to myself "Wow! Up until recently I would have given my left arm for an opportunity like this!!!" It was everything I used to dream of. Right there dangling in front of me. And I said no. I SAID NO!!!! I ask myself if I'm crazy. But I know that I'm not. It WAS a great opportunity...for someone else. For someone who has the dream I used to have. The reality is that the work would have taken me way away from where I want to go and I know it was the kind of work that I simply dread doing. If I had said yes, what would I have been trying to prove? Because I wouldn't have said yes for myself. I'm proud of myself; that I was strong enough to say no to something that, while slick and glossy, would have taken me away from where I'm truly meant to go. I heard the voices in my conscious saying "don't do it! it's not right!" and I listened for once. What I'd like to say here is that we all have to make choices in all facets of our life. And we make decisions based on many reasons...sometimes we have to stop and ask "is this going to take me TOWARD my dream, pull me AWAY, or STALL me on my path? The decision has to be right for YOU and your family. Not for anyone else or for any other reasons. And if you can't make that decision now because of finances, bad timing, or a zillion other reasons that may hinder you, just know that if you make tiny little steps toward your dream it will eventually be realized. But you have to be making steps no matter how small. Here's to small steps!

6 comments:

A. Damiani said...

Megan, what a fantastic post! You truely inspired me today. As being "my own boss", I struggle sometimes with choices that are related to me as well as my family. What can I say... great post!!~~ Andrea

mary said...

I am so proud of you for doing what, in your gut, you know is right for you. With that said...it says a lot about you to have been given an opportunity like that!

nikole said...

Good for you for honoring your heart and for following your spirit. What courage!

good thoughts said...

Awesome post Meg! I'm so proud of you and proud to know such an inspiring person!! My old silk screening prof used to say, "do what you love and the money will follow"... here's to following your dreams!

Annie said...

I've been going through something similar with my own job prospects. I think that it is wonderful that you had the insight and courage to turn down the safe option to continue pursuing your dream.

Poppy Letterpress said...

Good on you for sticking to what you love! Your prof's right, and it will all fall into place, you're on the way already.

I found myself in a similar position a couple of months ago. Although I didn't cave in and take on fulltime work in a mindless studio, I did take on some temp work and I'm enjoying it for now. But it's just getting me more motivated to stick with the press and make it happen. You've inspired me yet again :)