After yesterdays sob fest I was up early today ready for war. I need to get myself out of this rut. I know that writing helps so I am going to continue to write. This blog means a lot to me. It is my dream. Photography, this blog and flipping houses. Those are my dreams. If I could imagine a perfect life it would be photographing and blogging about flipping houses. The fact that our finances are officially fucked and I really need any income I can get right now, right now, really throws a wrench in the gears but I don’t know maybe it doesn’t. This has to be what rock bottom feels like. Or honestly maybe not. I still have a roof over my head, a nice roof at that. I still have an amazing man who stands by my side with a smile on his face no matter what. I still have these two beautiful kids who call me mom and show me their big beautiful smiles every day. Maybe life isn’t that bad. Even if we loose everything, I hate to sound cliche but isn’t it said that you are only free to do anything once you have lost everything?
If you are a new reader or maybe you’ve been hanging around awhile, even so I would like to re-introduce myself. My name is Danielle, I have been blogging for 12 years and I like to refer to myself as “the failed blogger”. I say this because, I have never in my life heard of anyone trying to blog for twelve years and be here where I am still at the beginning. Here is how I failed at blogging so maybe you won’t make the same mistakes that I did….
When I began blogging I was nineteen years old and working full time at night in debt collection. I was alone in an office building every night and lonely. I was also dealing with some personal issues that come along with being nineteen years old living on your own with your boyfriend. I had very little contact with my family, we were struggling financially, everything was all just so hard and we were so young. I found a site called Xanga and I thought it would be a great way for me to continue journaling and maybe make some online friends in between phone calls.
For years I blogged on Xanga, I even taught myself some HTML and started coding my own health and fitness website called Thinspirationsinc.com. I was excited and obsessed, I loved coding and growing my site, I would just get lost for hours in it! But somewhere along the way I started going to school for Graphic Design and lost site of my goals. I married my boyfriend, we bought a house, I got pregnant and switched my major to nursing thinking I was being more realistic and practical. I stayed with the medical billing company for nearly eleven years working my way up to a department supervisor while slowly going to school for nursing part time.
I was (am) a year away from graduating as an RN. I have all the pre-requisites to apply to the program now, I would just need to be accepted and finish the year full of nursing classes and clinical work which is thirty hours a week. If I started in June, I could be making over 50K a year by next year. That kind of money is life changing. I have always held a strong interest in the human body, health, nutrition, child bearing, medicine, science… all those things. I always saw myself able to work in that career. But at the same time there is something holding me back. My heart isn’t in it. The passion is missing. I would be sacrifice myself for my family all the while, sacrificing my family for money.
As of last March when my son Mason was born, I had planned to take my maternity leave, return to work and school + kill myself for the entire first year of his life being out of the house 60+ hours a week. And then the unthinkable happened. Just days before I was due to return to work I got a call from my boss telling me that he could only take me back a few hours a week, when I left I was working 32. This turned into weeks of talking to lawyers and unemployment. Inevitably I let the company, battled it out and won unemployment (because my former boss is a real snake in the grass, I mean prize). I thought a lot about pursuing a legal battle but I was too scared to loose even more money and time re-hashing all the pain of what really feels like a job lost, it was a gamble I was just not willing to take. So here I am over a year later, jobless and unsure of my next move.
Last year around this time, I was so full of dreams that my Etsy business would take off and I could spend my nights creating jewelry that could fulfill my artistic needs while bringing in that extra income my family needs. It was hard. Millions of hours hard. I loved it all, every minute of it so it did not feel like work, at all. But after months of devoting my times to designing, creating, posting, advertising, selling + shipping I had still not earned back my initial investment and when my current listings needed to be re-posted/ re-paid for, I let it go. By then my husband and I had gotten used to all the benefits of having one parent home. Dinners on the table on time, a cleaner house, a built in chauffeur… life is just easier without all the scheduling. It is monumentally easier just knowing that one person is here to take care of the kids, the house, the bills. And that person not being a babysitter or grandparents is HUGE. I can’t tell you how nice it is to not come home every day to a messy house with dishes all over the counter because your grandparent babysitter liked to empty the dishwasher but didn’t know where to put anything and never picked up the kids toys!
We thought, ever so naively that everything was going to work out. It was a struggle but worth it. The money kept flowing and seemingly we were ok. But then suddenly, our savings nearly dried up and I realized rather suddenly that I had really not been paying very good attention to our finances and we couldn’t afford to keep on the way we had been going to much longer. So here we are. Stuck. In a place where I just don’t know what to do with my life. I want to stay home, I want to be here for my family and my kids, I love that part of my life. I love knowing that they are safe and can depend on me to be here every day. Being home has made such a difference in my daughters life that she has actually blocked out all the time she had spent being babysat during her life before Mason was born. I honestly believe that she doesn’t want to remember that time in her life so she decided it never happened.
I can’t imagine having to leave them now and enlist someone else to step in for me. Besides the fact that I am not certified in anything, I don’t have a degree, I never learned how to use that Nikon D3000 or bought the right design software to design logos (thank you honey for buying me Adobe Photoshop for my birthday, I just found out this morning it was Adobe Illustrator that I was actually looking for). I have no true skills. I never finish anything I start. I run away from all my problems. Ok this is just turning into another sob post about how worthless I am and it started out so positive, I can’t do this again.
As it sits right now, I am a bit of a lost soul. We are scrapping by with a painted smile.
Things I can do to improve my life right now:
Read the Nikon D3000 manual from front to back
Figure out why my shutter speed is so slow + fix it
Build a portfolio
Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop (because actually, that was the better buy)
Find a real estate program that works with our schedule, become certified
Find a local broker and sign on
Find our first rental (because we have our first client, my mother in law)- This is a story for another day
Clean the basement
Find childcare clients for this summer. Advertise
Blog every day. About anything. Get my name out there
Coupon/ save money any way we can/ stick to budget
Write about budgeting
Today I am going to start bringing up one bin at a time from the basement to sort through. I had big dreams in our bedroom yesterday but it just can’t be done easily while Mason is sleeping and the basement is a huge unused space right now that could be greatly utilized especially with the kids. I talked to Mark last night about how awesome that room could be for an actual daycare, so who knows maybe I will get some clients and in the future have a need to use the space for that.
No matter what happens, my kids are still cute 🙂
And, I’m a pretty good cook 🙂
So, there’s always that.
Maybe I should write more about cooking. Tips on cooking the perfect turkey. Budget friendly healthy meal planning. A blog needs to be entertaining and provide useful information. You need to aide others in some way. So far all my blog has done was highlight my need to whine. I need to focus more on others. Giving back and helping others. I’m going to get on that. And until next time…