The Big Decision to Return to School

I’m epically indecisive. I tend to overanalyze everything until I freeze up and just end up making no decision at all. For something as small as what to eat for dinner or what type of cooking utensils to buy for our kitchen. So you can imagine how long it took me to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

It’s funny, when I was younger I always got excited thinking about going off to college and being on my own. I never would have guessed my college career would go on this winding, untraditional course. I guess that’s what happens to dreamers and planners…nothing ever turns out the way you think it would. So at 22, I ended up in a real career job with an actual path of advancement I could build toward. Without even finishing my associate’s degree. It taught me that hard work does pay off and that sometimes a degree isn’t required to advance in the business world. Sure you have to fall into the right situation…but when you do, there are no limits to what you can achieve.

A couple of years later, I had advanced into this amazing job, in an earning position that my friends were still working their way up to, as they were a year out of college and had been thrown into this giant recession. I felt so grateful. But here’s the thing –I knew deep down that the career path I was on probably wasn’t for me. I also knew that there was a rapidly shrinking window of time in to actually finish my degree. If I waited too long, I wouldn’t ever do it. But I knew I would probably be a complete idiot to go back to school at this point. My husband has a job in construction and while he works hard for a great company, they were at the mercy of the economy. There is never a guarantee that they are going to win the next bid – that’s just the nature of their business right now. And I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to go back to school for anyway; I would have just been doing it for the sake of returning to school. That wasn’t something I wanted to gamble our mortgage on. So I stayed put for a couple of months while I dreamed and planned and changed my mind and was generally confused.

This went on until we got word that Andy would be moved to an approximately two-year project in SoCal. We had been married for all of two months. Neither of us was super excited about the prospect of spending our first two years as husband and wife in a long-distance marriage. The decision to leave my job was made for me. It was bittersweet – and sad and terrifying – leaving this company that had taken a chance on me, that believed in me and had a plan for me and helped me learn & succeed, to come to California with no job and only a very rough plan.

I made the move right in the middle of spring semester down here, so I took an online course offered through a school up by us in Washington during their spring quarter. It was something Andy talked me into – Intro to Interior Design. I got hooked. I could see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I would finally have that creative outlet I craved; it would give me the freedom to have the lifestyle I wanted once we decided to start a family. But I was terrified at not being good at it, at running out of ideas, at not being original enough or creative enough. That’s when I knew I would be sticking with it; something that simultaneously excites and scares the crap out of me will always hold my interest and push me to be better.

It all couldn’t have happened more perfectly for me. I was able to dip my toe in before I made the decision to jump.


Numero Uno

So...I came up with the idea for this almost 6 months ago.  I've always enjoyed writing and was feeling inspired after discovering a new passion.  But then I started school full-time in a new place.  And I guess it made me overwhelmed and a little unsure of myself - I know I would love this career path, but what if I was just no good at it?  That self-doubt, coupled with the fact that I hadn't gone to school in about 5 years sort of scared me into putting this whole blog thing on hold.

After coming out of my first semester unscathed, my confidence is slowly building and I realize that blogging will actually help to prepare me for my future career.  Writing in such a public forum was always scary to me because I would be putting my thoughts out there for people to judge and I wasn't sure I would ever really be up for that (I'm a huge perfectionist and won't commit to something unless I know I can do well).  But this is something that I will need to get used to pretty quickly.  I can't feel offended if someone doesn't like or "get" my design point-of-view or my personal taste - this is something interior designers encounter on a regular basis.  It would also be nice to have a place that I could share things I am obsessed with, since I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't really care about the new amazing side table/shower head/mirror/living room design I just found.  He humors me though.

I also thought my blog could serve as a sort of "what to expect" for those considering going into the design field.  Lots of people have been curious as to what exactly my schooling entails and what the advantages were of getting a degree vs. jumping right into the field.  I have to admit that I wasn't really sure what to expect at first...and it would have been nice to get a first-hard account from someone who had already done it.

So that's what this will be - a mix of pretty things I find online that I love, my experiences in design school, probably a lot of adventures in decorating our own home(s) and experiences living in a new place/in two places (it's complicated).  Oh, and hopefully getting over my fear of not being perfect.  Wish me luck with that one...
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