“Life is what Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans.”
I had a plan, I swear. There were written blogging goals, and a schedule full of blog post ideas. 2019 was going to be the year I never missed a week posting and I was going to start adding videos to my content. I was going to work on outreach to increase readership. Then I got a call just before New Year’s Eve that changed everything. Don’t worry- this story has a happy ending!
For the past several years this blog has been a balm for a shattered soul. My day job, while I loved the work, was a living nightmare. To maintain a modicum of professionalism, I won’t go into detail, but past and future terrible coworkers beware-I’m taking notes and will kill you off as characters in the novel I will write someday. The environment was so toxic. I spent my evenings escaping into books and blogging between bouts of crying. I wrestled with the fact that leaving my position, because it was the only place in town I could practice my profession, meant either leaving home or changing careers. And doing either meant boosting my resume in any way I could. I didn’t have the new tech skills current Archives positions were looking for, and as I’d been cultivating only Archival skills from the moment I decided it would be my career, my resume was useless for anything else.
The desperate desire to quit my job every day, yet still have income and health insurance, consumed my every waking moment and fueled my productivity. A professor I had in grad school once said that a maintained blog could be used on a resume to show long-term project commitment. So being the easiest thing to start right away, I blogged like it could change my life. However, when I do something I want it to be the best it can be, and if this was going to be on my resume it had to be good. So I started consuming online Travel Blog classes, writing classes, then photography classes. This not only backed up my blog as resume-worthy, but I found I could add several more skills to my resume. Writing, editing, WordPress, Blogger, social media marketing, search engine optimization, photography, photo editing, and now I’m working on learning how to vlog.
I knew none of my new skills would lead to a new position or career any time soon so I found other ways to boost my resume as well. I started a free online programming tutorial, earning the first of six certificates it offered. I volunteered weekly at a bookstore, adding customer service and cash handling to the resume. And I completed a certificate in Digital Archiving.
Every so often I applied for archival positions in places I thought I wouldn’t mind living. Only rejections or silence returned, which I was silently grateful for because I wasn’t quite ready to pack up my life and leave friends and family behind just yet. Finally, with little hope that I even met the qualifications, I applied for a local programming position. Surprisingly I was granted an interview, but was sure I’d bombed it afterwards. It went something like this:
“Have you ever used X program?”
“Are you familiar with this program?”
“Again, no, sorry… but I can learn?”
As the new year looked to start very similarly to the last one, I sat down in December and made a blog plan for the new year. I would be ready to hit the ground running.
With about three hours left of the work day on New Years Eve, I got the call from the programming position. They wanted me! Apparently my resume had shown I was willing and had the potential to learn! And it helped that I’d done some coding and the WordPress system was similar enough to the content management system they used that I’d catch on quickly. I accepted without hesitation. It was over the next three hours it hit me what I’d done. I’d thrown my two degrees to the wayside and taken a step down in pay. It seemed a small price to pay to remove myself from the environment I could no longer stand.
With the unexpected and much-needed career change in January, the 2019 Plan I had created for myself last December slowly broke down like a train car uncoupling from the engine. I started off strong in January with the blog, but when I started my new job mid-month everything changed. I no longer returned home each evening with anger-fueling productivity. I no longer felt my resume depended on each free evening hour. And I no longer felt guilty spending my free time consuming YouTube videos, hanging out with friends, or exercising and then crashing early. And the stress I felt each week if I missed a blog post melted away. I decided to give myself a congratulatory week off from my strict self-imposed blog plan…but it felt so good that it began to stretch into the following weeks…
All this is to say, in the last few months, you may have noticed posts here have become infrequent and sporadic. I have been slowly readjusting my spare-time priorities in accordance with my new, more positive, reality and slacking on the blog helped me discover something. Blogging, escaping into books, and travel planning are no longer things I feel the need to do in order to maintain daily sanity. Instead, I want to do them! One can only lie on the couch or wander the house for so long needing to do nothing (besides chores and general life-things) before once again feeling as though having some hobbies might be a good idea. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings, and all that…
So with renewed excitement, I can’t wait to share with you the travels I have planned and the books I’ll be reading in what’s left of this year! I’ll be sharing my TBR book lists for this year soon for those that want to read along with me!
And finally, I’d like to thank those who have been following me for a while. All your comments and interactions have helped encourage me to maintain this blog when everything else seemed bleak. And for those that have joined me since January, I’m delighted you’re here!
Have you made a sudden career change? Are you looking for a career change? Have books been your escape from a frustrating situation? Leave a comment below, and tell me your story!
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