Okay so... this is kind of awkward.
I'm in one of those seasons where a million things happened all at once, and I didn't really do that great of a job documenting it all. So I've been having a little bit (actually a lot) of trouble trying to figure out how I want to process everything I've done the past few months into something interesting and informative...but I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure if thats possible. I'm trying to be okay with that.
I have a lot of things planned, and I'm more than ready to start sharing the process and telling you all about some new projects I'm working on. Unfortunately I can't really do that without providing some context, and I can't provide context without trying to process all the things down to what I hope would be the best blog post ever (don't get your hopes up.) Thus, I'm stuck in the vicious cycle of wanting to do things, but having to get over this big, annoying road block of explaining what I'm doing and why. I can't even convey how frustrating and obnoxious that is.
So I hope you will bear with me. Basically, what is going to happen here is I'm going to outline to the best of my abilities what has happened in my life for the past few months...and hope for the best. Then I can finally move on to the things I really want to be doing and subsequently telling you about.
Here goes nothing.
1. I went to Philadelphia by myself.
From early September to mid-February I supported myself solely on my part-time retail job and whatever freelancing design jobs I could get my hands on. Looking back it was only by the grace of God that I actually paid all of my bills on time, it's crazy how that happens. I wasn't crazy about continuing my design career in Tulsa, as much as I love Tulsa. I knew it was a time to go somewhere else, but it was just a matter of figuring out where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to be doing. A pretty consistent struggle in my life at times.
So I decided I needed to narrow my creative efforts a little bit by going back to school and getting a masters degree in textile design. I found a program that seemed to really suit me in Philadelphia. So because I didn't really have many other options I got on a plane to see if this was truly something I wanted to pursue.
This trip was probably one of the most self-defining and self-empowering things that I have ever done in my life - getting on a plane by myself, going somewhere I had never been, and knowing absolutely no one when I got there. It was exhilarating. In addition to visiting the school, I walked literally all over that city, taking in as much as I possibly could, in the three days I had there. It was amazing, I loved Philadelphia.
I got home and immediately started filling out applications and gathering letters of recommendation, and also trying to think about how this whole thing was going to impact my life financially, when a friend randomly called me to tell me that I should apply for the graphic design job at the church her dad works at.
2. Enter: emotional upheaval, phone interviews, red sneakers, and reading a lot of Harry Potter.
Sometimes the moments in life that seem quiet catch up to you with a whirlwind of just...things. All the things. The next few months I think I uttered the words, "I feel like life is happening all at once." on multiple occasions. So many things were going on that made my life as interesting as it was hard and really, really confusing.
I emailed my resume and link to my portfolio to my friend's dad, assuming nothing was going to really happen, and continued on with the application process for my masters degree. All of the sudden I'm interviewing with several people in North Carolina and I'm feeling oddly optimistic about how the interviews are going.
3. I went to Charlotte by myself.
The church I was interviewing with contacted me about flying out for an in-person interview. Part of me was optimistic, because it felt like the opportunity was going somewhere, and another part of me was getting really scared, because it felt like the opportunity was going somewhere. Basically I didn't know whether to be excited or scared about the prospect of moving half way across the country from my family and the majority of people that I know.
The whole experience was oddly familiar from the trip to Philadelphia - going somewhere new, traveling alone, the slight possibility of new opportunities on the horizon. Only it was a lot more sobering, because it felt so real. Sometimes the easy part about stepping out with a crazy idea is the small possibility that you might fail and won't actually have to do it. It's not that I thought getting into the program in Philadelphia wasn't possible, it's just that not getting in was always a possibility in the back of my mind. Where as the opportunity in North Carolina kept getting more and more tangible. After the trip I found that I loved North Carolina too.
4. Enter: extreme emotional upheaval, impending job offers, occasionally crying in public, and seeing La La Land.
The time span between getting home from North Carolina and receiving a job offer was...hard. Everything sort of had an up in the air, out of control sort of feeling to it, everything felt like it was changing. It's one thing to know things are going to change, another to feel like they might change. But having the knowledge of change and all the feelings at the same time is the makings of pure emotional chaos. It was all the things...and then a few more things. Not very descriptive...I know.
There is a certain amount of comfort that comes with being in the same place for an extended amount of time. When you go to shake all of that up it doesn't come without some intense growing pains. I had already decided that if I got the job offer in North Carolina, I needed to take it. So, when it came, I had a sure realization that the next few months were going to be crazy.
5. I packed up all of my things and moved to North Carolina.
I've only moved two times. The first time, out of my parents house to a house 30 minutes away. The second time, 1,023 miles from there. I've always heard that moving is one of the most stressful things a person can go through. My experiences have been oddly...easy. The hardest part was: 1) enduring all the questions from people as I was trying to figure out the logistics of getting my stuff there and finding and place to live, and 2) all of the endless amounts of hugs I had to give to people I love that I wasn't going to be able to see for a long time. Obviously the goodbyes were way harder than finding an apartment.
Fast forward to right now as I'm sitting at my kitchen table next to a warm cup of coffee and a thawing uncrustable (I pay all my bills on time...but I eat like a picky 11 year old for the most part.) I miss home, but not in a I'm ready to hop on a plane and be out of here forever sort of way. Sometimes familiarity is nice. On the other hand I love my new job, the people I get to work with, the friends I've made, and even my apartment (moving into an apartment I had never visited was scary... but it turned out completely fine. I probably wouldn't suggest it though...) Exploring a new place and meeting new people can be hard and daunting at times, but I'm choosing to love it (the good along with the bad). And I really look forward to sharing all of my coming adventures with you!