Thursday, October 11, 2012

Update & Getting Personal

As I eluded to on Monday, there has been something on my mind for awhile that I want to share with you.  Due to the personal nature and transparency of the post, I kept mulling it over in my mind and hadn't yet had the courage to hit "publish."  

 But then today Mackenzie of Design Darling wrote this post about self-employment and supporting one another and it really struck a chord within me.  I knew it was time to open up.

I'm sure it isn't news to anyone that girls can be mean.  Whether the meanness stems from insecurity, jealousy, or just plain hostility it can damage friendships and ruin opportunities for others.  Gender studies show that women are much more viscous with one another than men. I am not immune to meanness.  In fact, I have moments that I would love to forget where I hurt someone else, either out of jealousy or my own insecurity. 

 Somehow, becoming a part of blogging has changed me for the better and I've learned that others' successes do not diminish my own.  In fact, seeing the women I blog alongside thrive in their chosen field is incredibly empowering for me.  

That's how I found the courage to leave my former career path- I watched bloggers just like me leave a job they were unhappy with to start something new.  As most of you know, I left a stable, lucrative career in the oil and gas industry to pursue interior design.  It wasn't a decision I made lightly.  I was deeply unhappy in my job and was sinking in to a depression slowly but surely.  I knew that I had to change something or my health (mental and physical) would suffer.

I networked and learned of a local interior design firm needing help, and I was hired this past April as a design assistant.  Meanwhile, the blog that had been my lifeline during those dark days remained my other big passion and I was pouring so much of my heart in to it.  Around the same time I started my job, I also decided to pursue a degree in interior design at the Art Institute of Houston at night.  You do the math- job+school+blog+ all of life's other commitments meant I was spread very, very thin.  Nonetheless, I was finding a way to make it all work {largely due to incredibly supportive and understanding family, friends, and boyfriend}.

I was learning so much at my job-  about the interior design industry, but also about balance.  The amount of work we juggled would have stressed anyone out, and it certainly took a toll on the 2 designers. Two weeks ago, I left that job.

 There were many reasons why I left which I would rather not get in to, but let's surmise it to say that they were not accepting of my blog and my dedication to it as local recognition grew.

Long story short, it wasn't a good fit for me long-term.

Although I believe all things work together for good, leaving the job was difficult for me.  
 I made the decision to go to school full-time and begin taking on interior design projects on my own when time permits.  I am so incredibly thankful and blessed to have people who believe in me and support me.  I am currently working on a few projects where I am getting to oversee the entire design process, and I can't put in to words how edifying that is for me.   I am learning that some things don't work out because better things are in store, and you just have to trust the process.

Following your dreams is not easy.  Acquaintances have commented on my career change and how glamorous interior design sounds, and I just want to laugh.  I am working my ass off to make this work and it isn't easy.   I am placing all bets on myself, taking a risk every day and I don't really have any other option than to be courageous.  I don't say this to gain sympathy or to glorify my efforts, but to just be transparent with you that behind the scenes this isn't easy.  

But it's worth it. 

Every bone in my body believes it and that's why I wake up in the morning and keep working at it.  I am most grateful to every single person who has lent their support and encouragement to me and followed along with me over the past year.  It means more to me than you know.  I am in a very good place and finally feel that I'm exactly where I should be.

In conclusion, I'd like to say that I hope women as a whole can learn to be kind and supportive of one another, even when things aren't going the way we'd like.  
 In my 2.5 years in the professional world,  I've seen nastiness and sabotaging occur between women rather often, and it leaves me brokenhearted.  As Mackenzie said, 

"Let's applaud one another's choices, support them if we like, and keep it to ourselves if we don't. Madeleine Albright said, 'There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.' I think we can all agree the world is a better place when we do."

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