Hello, again! My name is Courtney. Remember me? After months of thinking about it, dreaming about it, worrying about it and planning for it, I finally launched my new blog in January.
I vowed to post a new story every week.
And I did …
… for three whole weeks.
Then I disappeared off the Internet and Instagram for a couple of months. Did you miss me? 🙂 🙂 🙂
Here’s what happened. I got a job!
The Perfect Opportunity For Me popped into my inbox one day and I applied. Then I got an interview. So I put on my best grown-up outfit without any paint on it and had a wonderful conversation about my skills and experience and how it fit perfectly with the mission of this local non-profit organization.
I have to admit it felt good. The last time I had been on a job interview was in 2005 when I went to work at the airport. I worked there until I became a stay-at-home mom when my son was born in 2011. Then I ended up working at my mom’s shop for 10 years.
Honestly, I felt like maybe I wasn’t hire-able anymore. Like who would want to hire a middle-aged woman who has been at home painting furniture in her garage and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day for the past 11 years?
I felt like maybe all of that experience– all of that LIFE I’ve been over here living– wasn’t really …. I’m not sure the right word.
Useful? Interesting? Worthy?
But they did want to hire me!
And working there was awesome …
… until it wasn’t.
The Perfect Opportunity That Wasn’t
The details don’t really matter. What matters is I woke up one morning during Spring Break with this un-shakeable feeling that this was not the right place for me to be. And I listened to that feeling. That’s what matters.
Getting the job happened fast. Quitting it happened even faster!
I really wasn’t planning on quitting. I had a phone meeting previously scheduled with my boss the same morning. First, I sat down to write out a few notes about things that were bothering me so I could talk to her about it.
As I wrote, I realized it was more than just one thing or another. I kept writing and before long, a resignation letter appeared on the page. When my boss failed to call me when she said she would, I sent it!
Then I went kayaking. (We were down in OBX when this happened.)
The entire thing is a bit of a whirlwind. The job popping up. Me getting it. Working really hard for two months learning a new job and meeting new people. That nagging feeling that this isn’t right, but I kept ignoring it and pushing it away.
It’s just the transition. You’re just new. It’s just been a long time since you’ve worked for somebody new. That’s all. This is perfect.
It’s all so perfect!
Except it wasn’t. And I knew it. I just didn’t want to admit it at first.
Sometimes the Perfect Opportunity on paper isn’t actually perfect in real life. (Or even a good opportunity, let alone perfect.) Sometimes things seem really good at first, but they actually are not good for you at all.
And that’s OK.
The Perfect Opportunity Taught Me
I think I already knew most of it, but this experience reaffirmed many things for me and for that, I am grateful. Here’s a short list:
- I AM hire-able and I have a lot to offer.
- I DO have skills and experiences and ideas that are worthwhile.
Why did I ever doubt that?
- I KNOW when things are not right for me.
- That little feeling NEVER lies to me.
- I am learning how to LISTEN and TRUST that little feeling sooner.
Writing every day helps.
Making art —my art, my way—helps.
Shutting off my phone and sitting on my deck every morning with a cup of coffee and the birds singing helps a lot. Going down to my sister’s house at the beach, splashing in the ocean and soaking in the colors of the sunset resets my spirit.
- I have not regretted quitting for one moment and I am sleeping soundly again for the first time in weeks.
- I KNOW what my priorities are and what is important to ME.
During my two months of employment, I neglected my home, my art and this baby blog I vowed to nurture. I almost missed a whole bunch of my son’s baseball games due to my work schedule. I am not willing to do that. (Go Pirates!)
Mostly I learned that I don’t need to stand behind somebody else’s organization in order to be an artist and a teacher.
- I AM an artist.
- I AM a teacher.
- I LOVE sharing creativity with people.
And here’s a bold statement: I am good at it!
I have the skills and experience to teach art, which is something I have wanted to do for a long long time. (Hey, I even have my own website now to do it on!) But I keep holding back. Why?
I don’t have an answer for that question … yet.
And maybe that answer doesn’t matter — as long as the question doesn’t continue to prevent me from moving forward.
When I launched this blog, I wanted it to be different. I didn’t want to just say “Hey! Look! This is how I painted this thing” … or “Here’s an idea you should do.” There are so many voices out there that are very specific about telling you what you should do in your home or exactly how to paint something.
I have known all along I didn’t want my blog to be like that.
So what do I want to say?
Today, I want to say this:
I haven’t figured it all out 100% yet. My blog, my art, my life. And that’s OK!
I know the important non-negotiable things for me. And I know enough to know that I’m on the right path. I may have taken a little detour. I may not know exactly where this path goes or what the view looks like a mile from here.
But here I am! Moving forward, open to the next Perfect Opportunity for Me. And hope you find the Next Perfect Opportunity for you as well.
Thank you for reading this.