The Curse of the Creative Mind

I put in my two weeks’ notice on Monday. I won’t go into details, I’ll just say that I felt it was time for me to move on. A new chapter was ready to be opened.

However, it’s hard to not feel like a failure in these moments, because I often feel like I should be able to work things out. I think of my failed attempts over the years and it becomes overwhelming. Even with photography and writing, for example. I had pictured myself much further along by now in my personal terms of success. And as I was reflecting on this the other day, and how there must be something wrong with me, I had a sudden thought.

What if every creative person had given up on their dreams when it looked like they were impossible?

We see the stories all the time, of what stars were doing before they were famous. Jon Bon Jovi, for example, briefly worked as a janitor and even sold newspapers for a while. What if he had never pursued music the way that he did? The world would have been robbed of one of the best songwriters out there.

Stephen King always wanted to be a writer, but he had to settle for selling stories to magazines and newspapers before he finally got a break with Carrie. That didn’t happen until he was 26. While this is still pretty young for someone to find their career take off, it happened because he pursued it extensively and put in the hard work to back it up.

Harrison Ford didn’t land his first major role until he was in his early thirties, after which he spent time as a carpenter. What if he had stayed in that line of work? The world would have a very different Han Solo and Indiana Jones.

But I especially thought of Robin Williams. He always pursued comedy and acting, but he had to take his share of small time nightclubs and live performances at bars before making his way into television, all while battling depression. What if he had let that defeat him early on? What if he had succumbed to his depressive thoughts earlier? It was tragic enough that he let go of his life when he did, but can you imagine if it had happened in his twenties? The immense joy that he brought to people would have been lost forever. He was gone far too soon as it stands, but he also fought for a long time.

Now, I’m certainly not trying to compare myself to someone like Stephen King or Robin Williams. But it gave me a little bit of hope to think that there is value in the people who give us the creative arts. Books, movies, theater, craftsmanship…it all ties to together to make this world a little more beautiful. We need all manner of jobs, but we need entertainment as well. It gave me a renewed sense of determination in pursuing my dreams and the things that bring me joy.

I believe that our creative outlets usually reflect our inner state of mind. When we are happy, sad, angry, pensive…it manifests itself in our work. (This also proves true in most jobs, but that’s a blog post for another time.)

So for a small moment, I just want to encourage my fellow creatives. It’s hard to fight through the failures and rejections. To stay positive when you just want to give up. To ignore to the negativity of those around you. But when you overcome these obstacles, you become stronger. Resilient. Unbreakable.

Stay strong, my friends. I know you can do this.

It’s About to Pick Up

Phew, had a little bit of a busy week. Honestly, I’m not really complaining. I like to stay productive, so it was actually good for me to have a full schedule.

I felt like I hit a little bit of a standstill during part of January and into February. I had done pretty much everything that I could to get the business up and running, was still staying active on social media and whatnot, but I was officially stuck in the waiting game. Basically, I realized that until I started selling some of my current designs, it didn’t make sense to really come up with a bunch of new ones. Problem was, I didn’t really know how to go about getting more sales apart from continual social media plugs and eventually getting into an actual store as a vendor.

Unfortunately, that was part of the waiting game. I was on two different wait lists for two different antique stores, but the lists were long and most of the people who were already established there didn’t want to leave. I can’t blame them for that – obviously something was working well there.

So I was stuck.

And I’ll be real with you guys, because that’s the sort of person that I am, it was hard not to feel just the *slightest* twinge of panic at the thought of having to go back to a regular 8-5 desk job. I didn’t have a problem getting part time work so that I could make ends meet while working on my business. But I spent so many years working in the medical field doing something that I absolutely HATED that I had a really hard time accepting that I might have to go back to that for a little bit. It was like, c’mon, life. I’ve done my time doing the crap stuff that I despise and living paycheck to paycheck. More than eight years of it, in fact. I just needed that little bone of hope, you know? It became tough enough that I really had to fight off those depressive thoughts that so often plague me.

Well, God is super gracious, as always. I had a very heartfelt cry that said, “Look, my heart knows that You’ll always take care of me, but my brain is getting in the way of that. I just need a little bit of a sign that says You hear me right now.”

Within a couple of weeks, I got connected to a different antique store, one that I had rather forgotten about but had a really good customer service experience with, and was offered a spot as a vendor there. While it’s not entirely set in stone just yet, because I have to wait for one of the other vendors to make a decision, it looks very good. The spot is perfect for what I’ve wanted, and they charge very reasonable fees for their vendors. Plus the woman who owns the shop is super nice and very laid back.

The other crazy thing that happened was I got offered a job interview for a part time position that I had applied for at a local company. I was hesitant at first, because again, I didn’t want to be stuck in a horrible receptionist position that I didn’t like. Turns out, the position that they really wanted to fill was basic organization, like making sure events were catered or reservations were made. Ordered office supplies. Some filing and possible letter writing.

In other words, it’s all the stuff that I actually ENJOY doing in an office with none of the stress. Sign me up.

The two people I interviewed with were fantastic and also very laid back. Again, the atmosphere of the office was very different from the medical field, which was so refreshing for me. The hours were slightly less than what I had been shooting for, but there was the possibility of things picking up soon, so more hours could be coming. I felt like the interview went really well, and they told me that I would hear from them the next week on what their decision was.

Well, less than two hours later I got a phone call that they were offering me the job.

I’m still just shaking my head at how quickly everything has progressed. Less than a month ago, I was really starting to feel the pressure of where I was going to get enough money to pay my basic bills. Dreading the thought that I might have to give up my business dream so soon. Wishing that I had just a little more time to be able to make things work.

Seriously, I feel so blessed.

I’m excited to get in with this store. I really feel like this is where I could make a decent paycheck and get my name out there. It’s where I can meet people and actually make some connections. Business is all about building relationships, so this is going to be awesome.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Don’t ever give up on your dreams. It’s going to take hard work and determination, but stick through the difficulties. I know this is going to be worth it in the end.

Okay, super long post, so here’s a random photo just for the heck of it. I finally visited Tumalo Falls State Park for the first time last year, and this beautiful river is truly a gem of Oregon. Tumalo Falls itself is gorgeous, but there are several other smaller falls as well that are just lovely. Plus the river and forest look like this as you’re walking along. I mean, how do you beat that?


Be blessed!

Exciting and Scary

I made a big decision today. Like, a life-changing, this-could-be-really-stupid decision. Ultimately, I think it’s going to end up being the best for me mentally, emotionally and even physically, but it still seems crazy.

In a nutshell? Well, I quit my day job.

Actually, I resigned, so I still have a couple of weeks left. And I know, I know, it makes no sense whatsoever. While I *am* looking for part-time work to have a little bit of a supplemental income, I’m also going to be focusing the majority of my energy and efforts to something really spectacular. Honestly, I can’t wait to share it even here, because even though it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with writing, it does have to do with creativity. Basically, I’m taking the plunge and starting my own business.

I’ve had a love of photography and graphic design for a long time now, and I’ve finally decided that now is the time. This season is a golden opportunity for me, because I’m at a point where I have no other obligations and I finally have a main idea of what I want to focus on photography-wise.

I’ve always enjoyed nature and landscape photography, but never thought to pursue it as a career until recently. However, there is a TON of competition in my gorgeous state. That’s fantastic on the one hand, because it means a lot of people to glean information from, but it also means that it’s difficult to get started. Once I realized that my real passion was home decor, suddenly a whole new level of photography was opened up to me. I’m keeping most of the details more on the secretive side of things for now, but once the site is up and running, I will most definitely be sharing it here.

Keep an eye out! (And expect a lot more random posts from me. Since I’ll actually have time to do so.)

Dear Random Co-Worker,

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for a joke, I can tell you I don’t have a sense of humor. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you who don’t change the toilet paper. If you’ll start a new roll, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you; I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will TP your house and duct tape all of the empty toilet paper rolls that you’ve left in the bathroom onto your car.

Me and every other person in this workplace stuck changing the toilet paper because you’re too lazy


I had to finally break down and buy a little fan for my desk at work. For whatever reason, the sunlight hits my window just right around 3:00 in the afternoon and my office suddenly becomes like a boiler room. Even with the shade down. Ugh. No bueno. It has a tendency to make it feel all stuffy, and not even my awesome Scentsy candle helps. Thus I plunked down the money and got a fan. So far, it’s heavenly.

It reminded me of the last time that I had bought a fan for a workplace. I was working at our local library at the time, and the air conditioning didn’t always function properly back in our area. While I didn’t have enough counter space to set up a regular fan like the rest of my co-workers, I did have a whole wall of shelf space that contained all of my cases for processing. (I tore apart the CDs and audio/visual stuff that came through the library and put them into durable plastic cases. It was pretty fun.) Anyway, I found this awesome fan with a clip that I could use to hang it from the bottom shelf. Since it was black and hung upside down I called it…the Batfan. I know. You think it’s epic, too.

Then we had a string of petty thefts at the library because some of the neighbor kids figured out that they could squeeze through one particular window in the kitchen that didn’t latch properly. It started out with small stuff. Someone would walk in and ask if anyone had seen their mug. Or pen. Or whatever. You kind of dismissed it, thinking they had probably just misplaced whatever they were looking for. Then one of my co-worker’s had her CD player and all of her Disney music stolen. (She loved listening to the greatest hits compilations of Disney music. Because she’s awesome like that.) Then the most tragic of them all – I walked in and realized that they had stolen my Batfan. No other fans had been taken, just mine.

*sniffle* I still miss Batfan. But in a way, his legacy lives on in my new fan. It’s smaller, so I have dubbed him Robin, the Fan Wonder.

(Yes, I name inanimate objects. Why are you looking at me like that? I haven’t even told you about Lord Eryk McFarley Typington III, Esquire. Yes, he was a typewriter. Now you’re giving me that funny look again. Stop it.)

I could rule the world…as long as I have a pen that writes well.

I love free things. Yes, I know you sometimes get what you pay for. But I will sit through any meeting and listen to any insurance company, medication representative, etc. if it means that I get freebies. I scored big-time with our office’s recent insurance “fair.” (It was just a few tables set up in a room, nothing fancy.) But I got a free water bottle, tote bag, chapstick…even an apple and a package of almonds. At a different insurance meeting I scored a rockin’ day planner that I can’t wait to use. Not to mention both meetings had a truckload of free pens.

That brings me to my real confession.

I…am a pen whore.

Pen, preciousss?

Pen, preciousss?

There! I’ve admitted it. I’ve no sooner gotten a new pen in my clutches before I’m eyeballing the next one in the cup at the bank. When I tire of one, I move to the next. Oh, I’ve had my rebound pens. And I’ve turned back to a few after thinking I could move on. The one pen I’ve managed to truly be faithful to is actually from my dad’s workplace. I love their pens with a passion. Thankfully, Dad also keeps me well-stocked with them. I’d like to think they’re my one and only, but even the other day, at yet another insurance meeting, I glomped onto the free pens like they were a bag of Dove’s chocolates.

It made me realize just how easy it is to “promote” things, and how big-name people can get carried away. I mean, imagine if it was jewelry. Or a designer dress. Or top of the line shoes. The list goes on. I know I’m guilty of it. Sure, I’ll wave your company’s logo everywhere if it means I get a free toothbrush. (True story. Even at an insurance meeting.) It makes you wonder, would you still accept the gift it was from a company that goes against something you believe in? If you know for a fact that the company in question is a staunch supporter of something that you strongly protest, do you have the courage to turn it down? I’d like to think that I would. Then I look at how excited I get over a pen. A really, really, awesome, shiny new pen. Could I turn away a new car? Or a laptop? Or a gaming device? Tough question.

I guess I’ll just be thankful that I get all the free pens my lustful little heart desires. And pray that my dad’s company never decides to change pen carriers.

KC and the Pinto of Doom

The downside to living in a small town is that there’s not always a lot of jobs available, especially in this economy. Consequently, I have to commute to work every day. It’s roughly 20 miles one way, which really isn’t too bad in the long run.

Unless I get stuck behind….*drums of doom*….the Pinto.

I hate the Pinto.

It’s a rusted, burnt orange color with wood-paneled sides. Yes, that’s right. Wood-freaking-paneling. The bumper is literally held together by duct tape. Orange duct tape,to be exact. And it is incapable of driving more than 45mph. I don’t think it could go faster if it tried. I happen to be a speed demon. Unless my tires are rotating at 65mph or more (70 is preferable) then I’m just not satisfied. I have the misfortune of living in a state that thinks 55mph is a sufficient highway speed. scream I tend to traverse the roads in a white-knuckled rage, chanting to myself, “Must. Go. Faster.” The car in front of me never senses my distress. The drivers continue along, blissfully unaware of my tormented soul screaming at them.

You can therefore see my dilemma when it comes to the Pinto of Doom. If I get to a point where there aren’t any passing lanes, I find myself wanted to stab something. Or someone. I usually just end up beating myself senseless against the steering wheel. The REAL bummer is when I get stuck behind the Pinto of Doom in the very last stretch of road, because I always take the back highway to my workplace. It’s a lovely drive, which is part of the reason I choose to take it, but it’s also a very winding road. A long and winding road. *queue nostalgic Beatles music here* Pinto

Unfortunately, Pinto of Doom works literally one block away from my workplace. If I can’t take advantage of the few passing lanes on Long and Winding Road, I’m stuck until my workplace. My crankypants are pulled up and drawn tight by that point, and there’s no taking ‘em off. People give me the strangest look when I see it drive through town and I begin screaming, “The Pinto! The PINTO!”

Fortunately, the cranky that builds up on my way to work is usually stripped away by my lovely co-workers, or sometimes even the doctors themselves. (Yesterday, the highlight of my day was provided by none other than Second-In-Command Doctor talking about his “shrinkage.” Yes, he actually used that word. And yes, I burst out laughing when he said it. Okay, so he was actually talking about his height. But he did mention something about cold water, which made me laugh even harder. Oh, the puns…dirty, dirty mind. It was only made worse when he looked at me quizzically and asked, “Why is that funny?”)

In the end, all I can do is warn you to beware. Beware….the Pinto.