Most stories have a short and a long version. I’ll tell mine both ways, starting with the short so, ya know, you can bail early if ya want.
I’m back in the Jamberry business! Last Fall I had to step away for reasons I’ll explain the the long version, but due to the overwhelming response I’ve had from my blog posts recently (seriously, HUGE thanks to everyone!) I’ve decided now is the right time to get back to it. I’m available for online parties if anyone is interested. I’ll also be adding new content to the blog, trying and testing ways to get the most out of our Jamberrys (Jamberries? What is the plural?)!
So what are some of your Jamberry and nail challenges? I’d love to hear from YOU and to start working on ways to solve some of these issues.
I’m going to start with one issue I’m facing right now: nail health. After months of neglect and anxiety-induced nail picking, my nails have never looked worse. If that weren’t enough, I got a gel manicure about a month ago that ended up damaging my nails pretty bad. Before I can go back to the beautiful prints and designs, I have to get my foundation right again. I’ll have a post up soon to let you know how it goes!
But speaking of beautiful prints and designs – I need to place my first order from the Spring/Summer 2015 catalog! I’m having a hard time narrowing down my choices. Help me out. What are you wearing and loving now? Leave a comment below! I’d love to see them 🙂
OK, now for the long version – you’ve been warned. If any of you read my “break” post, you’ll know that I was struggling with depression. It actually started the year before. I’ve had problems with it in the past so I recognized the symptoms pretty early on.
My husband and I debated the nature of my depression in a chicken-or-the-egg kind of way. Am I unhappy because I’m depressed, or depressed because I’m unhappy? I still don’t have an answer for that question, but somehow I do believe that depression can be triggered. I wanted to find out what my trigger was.
Because even after I sought help, both through medicine and therapy, I was still getting progressively worse. It got so bad that my employers suggested I take some time off. I was fortunate enough that they were understanding and wanted to help. So I took the time off. A whopping six months of it. To try to figure out why this was happening.
And here’s what I figured out. I had been working in the Government contracting industry for basically my entire career. It was an incredibly fortunate place to be. The pay was great, the benefits were great, and in my case, the people were great. What more could anyone ask for, right?
There was my problem right there. I considered myself so lucky that I didn’t realize, or wouldn’t let myself realize, that I didn’t like the job. All I could think was that there were so many people out there unemployed or underemployed who would kill to be in my position. Who am I to want more? It felt wrong.
But I did want more. And all my negative self talk couldn’t change that. Here’s how it would go in my head:
Me: “I wish I had a more creative job. This job is so boring.”
Dream-Crusher Me: “Tough. You have this job and any creative job won’t pay you nearly as much.”
Me: “Yeah, but isn’t job satisfaction a form of payment itself?”
Dream-Crusher Me: “Sure, but you can’t pay the bills with it.”
Me: “Ok, ok. But I do wish I could be back down South, be close to family.” (I’m from North Carolina).
Dream-Crusher Me: “No way, not happening. You live in Maryland because that’s where the Government work is. Leave Maryland, lose the work.”
Me: “Ugh, but I don’t even like the work.”
Dream-Crusher Me: “Who cares? Don’t you like the vacations? The shopping? Stop whining and suck it up.”
And so it would go. Round and round. Me wanting something more yet terrified to give up something good. I’ve often thought that if I truly hated my job, the decision would have been easy, but I didn’t. I just didn’t love it. And it turns out that loving what I do is a big part of me being able to be happy.
I finally decided that if I wanted to have a chance of getting out of the depression, I needed to allow myself the freedom to consider other options. THIS WAS HUGE. I didn’t need to take a different path, but I needed to let myself look. I needed to stop telling myself no or I can’t or it’s not possible. Everything is possible, but you should make them choices not inevitabilities.
I worked hard to search for the other paths. If I choose to do something different, what would I do? Just allowing myself to think that way was eye-opening, because I didn’t know!
After a LOT of thought and research (seriously, I’m condensing like 6 months of agonizing over this question for the sake of not turning this long story into an epic poem), I found web development. Like where you write code to build websites. I took classes, then I took a bootcamp of intense training. I worked on some freelance projects. I fell in love.
At the same time, I talked to my husband about the option of moving South. He’s from Maryland. We have great friends here. We own a charming little condo. We have plenty of reasons to stay put that have nothing to do with my job. But this was yet again one of those nagging things. I want to be back home. I want to be near family. Then he did something that shocked me. He agreed. “Ok, we’ll move,” he said. Just like that. Like it had always been just as simple as asking the question.
BECAUSE OF COURSE IT HAD. That was always my problem. I wouldn’t even ASK the question because I was so sure of the answer.
Then everything sort of fell in place in the strangest sort of way. I got laid off. To be fair, I hadn’t been a model employee recently and they knew I wanted to go in a different direction. Our company had acquired other companies while I was on my self-exploration journey and they had too many cooks in the kitchen. Someone had to go and I was the easy choice – the right choice.
So here I am. Unemployed, looking for web development work in Charlotte, NC. Our condo is going on the market this weekend and my husband is lining up interviews for himself. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. It’s kind of crazy, but in the best possible way.
If I learned only one thing from all of this, it’s that you have to let yourself explore those scary thoughts. Pushing them down won’t make them go away. I did this to myself. No one was forcing me to stay, but it was easier to feel that way than to acknowledge that we all make our own choices. Now I’m making new choices and it’s the best, scariest, most exhilarating feeling ever.