And I Snapped

Two weeks ago, I got together with my friends for lunch. No one yet knew what I had been through that morning; what I had decided. Amanda gave me my belated Christmas present. I opened it and laughed. It was a necklace with a camera and a disc that reads, “And then I snapped.”

I laughed because I had decided to quit the newspaper just hours before the gift was given to me. It seemed appropriate.

And Then I Snapped
The necklace is available on Etsy from Emilinia Ballerina if you’re feeling kinda snappy too.

Yesterday was my last day, and today I am in full-on mope mode. I’m vascillating between knowing this was the right decision, feeling like a failure, panicking about “what’s next” and generally wishing things could have been different. But they weren’t different. It wasn’t the right job for me for various reasons.

It’s not that I didn’t love the job. Oh, I did. I learned so much about photography over the past year and some odd months. I own the title of Photographer now, which is why, if you caught it in an earlier post, I said that I would still be a Photographer (yes, with a capital P), long after I no longer worked at the paper. I said on Facebook that this was a decision that was four months in the making, but really it’s been a constant reevaluation for longer than that. I finally accepted one truth: I am worth more.

It’s been a hard couple of weeks. I didn’t want to write that letter. I didn’t want to quit. I didn’t want it to come to this. But I also wanted more. More of lots of things. But, most specifically, more of Me back. Due to some specifics with the job that I won’t go into, I lost a part of Me somewhere in there. When it came to my days off from the paper, I didn’t pick up my camera. That is entirely unlike me. I lost a passion for photography. I lost my creativity. I kept taking Tracey Clark‘s classes in hopes of finding that passion and creativity, but I was burnt out. The classes reinforced that realization; I had nothing left to give for myself.

I have some offers on the table regarding photography jobs. I have told each offering party that I am taking the next month off. I don’t want to do anything more than focus on my family, my writing and myself until sometime in early March. I need this time to reevaluate what I want from my photography and what I want from myself. I also don’t need to traipse all over creation in this crazy weather… unless I want to do so.

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And so, while I make some decisions and fall back in love with my camera, I’d like to announce something that I’ve been considering for quite some time. Today I am announcing the launch of my very own Etsy store.

Etsy Store Screenshot

I actually started that Etsy account with intent to start a store in 2009. It apparently took the year of Possibility to make me actually do it. Right now I only have three photos in either 8×10 or 5×7 available in the store. I am working on launching more of the butterfly series sometime soon. (As an aside, I meant to have more ready but the Viral Ick going through our house sidelined some of my good intentions.) If there seems to be an interest — at all — in my store, I’ll start stocking more and perhaps taking custom requests. Oh, and note cards, because I kinda want some too. For now, it’s just some of my favorites available to hang in your home.

I’m not expecting it to be a huge success as the art you hang on your wall usually has to be something that moves you on various personal levels. But I figured I’d give it a go. You know, living in my Possibility and what not.

As an added bonus for readers, I have a coupon code for my store. Enter GRANDOPENING at checkout for 20% off of your purchase.

All that said, next week I’m going to be taking a discussion I’ve been having with Calliope at Creating Motherhood and discuss it further. You know, when I’m not talking Steelers football. But, yes, I’m having some feelings about guilt and failure and some worries about sanity and it’s time to readdress those as I do with every career move.

And so, yes, I’m okay. I will be okay. This is just another step in my year of Possibility. I knew this was going to be a Big Year, but I had no idea it was going to start out this way! (Or, I kinda did, but I hoped otherwise.)

 

Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband

Trust

There have been times in my life in which others have accused me of being “too trusting.” To be fair, the accusers weren’t all that far off with their finger-wagging; I am a very trusting person. Sometimes it works to my benefit, sometimes to my demise. But I simply am a trusting person.

I have grown over the years and through life experiences and interactions with others I have toned it down, pulled it back a bit. I am more discerning with people and opportunities. I am not quick to trust if you want me to invest money, but I may hear you out before — politely — telling you no. I do reserve some mistrust for the adoption industry as a whole, but even then I have this positive place inside where I believe that the work being done by groups like Ethica will someday make a difference and influence ethical reform. But, yes, I’m still a trusting person.

I kind of have to be. I am married to a firefighter.

When he kisses me on the head in the morning, heading off to another twenty-four hour shift, I have to trust that twenty-four hours later he is going to come home, pour himself a cup of coffee and sit in his recliner for an hour or so as he gets his Family Legs back. I have to trust that when I hear the scanner start to go crazy, his fellow firefighters will have his back and he’ll call me later in the evening. I have to trust when I hear a fire truck whiz by that my husband’s training and know-how will guide him through the proper ways to do his job. I have to trust that he’ll come home.

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That’s a lot of trust expected out of one human being. Maybe that’s why I am how I am and I married who I did and we are where we are and who we are. I believe that my ability to trust so easily keeps me sane on the hardest of days.

I wonder then how our boys will be as they continue to grow. As of right now, they don’t yet “get” that firefighters can die. They know they can get hurt, but death is not something that has yet been questioned or brought up, though we’ve read books like Fireboat and September Roses. They’ve never put it together that their father could die in a fire. I prefer that — for now. But when they do find out, will the fact that we are just supposed to trust that he will come home cause them to trust easily in other areas of their lives? And is that a good thing or something to work against? I don’t know the answers.

I do know that as I step from tonight into tomorrow, I’m trusting that the changes I’m making in my life are going to be for the best. For more on that, tune in tomorrow. But for now, I am taking comfort in the fact that I am a trusting person.

And comfort in these guys…
Three reasons worth trusting.

Door open, move forward. Oh, and breathe.