I stress about every little thing. And it's not just when I'm entertaining or working on a shop item. It's every single damn thing about my life. Every little detail.
One of the biggest struggles I've had since quitting my job is feeling like I'm just a housewife with a hobby. It's especially been bad since we've moved into the new house because a lot of what I do relates to the house. Anytime I meet someone new or have a conversation of any sort, I want to be sure people understand that I work. That I do things. I am not just a housewife, damn it! But then it occurred to me, so what if I'm just a housewife? I mean, really, so what? What on Earth is so bad about that?
Sure, it's 100% true that I never in my life thought I'd be anything close to a housewife. I thought I'd have a career, at least in the traditional sense of the word. You know, some job where I answer to people and they pay me and stuff. But life changes. There are plenty of things that I thought I would do or wouldn't do and I'm doing them and not doing them. Ahem. Cough. Cough. Leaving the city and moving back to INDIANA.
I also never thought I'd be running my own creative business either.
But I'm a liberated gal so the word housewife is supposed to be dirty.
We change, we grow, we want different things. That's called growing up. And maybe there are hundreds and millions of people who are doing the exact thing they always thought they would. But I guess I'm just not one of those people. And that's totally OK.
And, seriously, what is so wrong with being a housewife? I keep saying that, I know. But that's because I'm not really sure if I know what's so bad about it. I think we (or I guess maybe I) associate the word housewife with so many negative things. Sell out. Lazy. Dependent. Spoiled. Not in the real world.
But the truth is, I'm none of those. Mr. T and I make incredible sacrifices so I'm able to stay home and devote my time to our home and my creative biz. Sometimes I think about all of the things we could do if I was working. How much money we would have. We wouldn't ever struggle at all. But I wouldn't be happy and we wouldn't have the life we want.
Life is so much more than job titles and a paycheck.
So maybe I am just a housewife. But there's really no just about it. I do a lot of things. I cook, clean, and manage the finances. I organize our house and our life. I make things from scratch so we can eat better. I do these things because I'm good at them and Mr. T is good at professoring. I do these things so Mr. T can do what he loves and focus on that. We both play a role. We both do what we're best at.
If I had a job, I wouldn't question it or feel weird about it. Even if I hated it and it made me a horrible person to be around (because it totally did). I wouldn't feel guilty about going to a job that I hate because it would just feel normal. Because it's what you're supposed to do. But isn't that kind of messed up? And isn't that the same thing as being a housewife just because it's what you're supposed to do? Seriously, it's not any different.
I love what I do. All of the things I do. I'm a housewife. I'm a creative entrepreneur. And I'm a doggie mom. I might never make enough money to support us, but I'm happy. Mr. T is happy. And I'm a hell of a lot more awesome to be around than I was when I had a corporate job.
Women's lib doesn't mean we all have to go out and go to college and get a job and be some career driven corporate gal. It just means we get to choose what we want. We get to decide our path. No one else gets to or has to. There are no rules about what we can and can't do. If you want to work, you get to. If you want to stay at home with the kids, you get to. If you want to stay home to cook, clean, work on your stationery store and blog, and look after your dog, you can. There's nothing wrong with it. And you shouldn't feel weird or bad or anything. Because it's totally OK.
Just do you. Be you. Do what makes you happy. Do what works for you (and your family).
Because life is all about balance and I want to be fun again.
Because life should be equal parts of getting shit done and not worrying about shit.
Because sometimes a do over isn't totally a bad thing.
So the other day I had my very first I really miss NYC moment. Actually I had a huge I miss NYC day. And, honestly, I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because I had to drive 45 minutes to get to the damn grocery store and no one can drive on I-65. In New York, I didn't have to drive anywhere.
Maybe it's because I spilled beer in the Meijer parking lot. Two beers to be exact. They rolled out of my cart and fell to the ground with a very loud smashing sound. They took my canola oil with them. Which means it then smelled like beer. Which means I smelled like beer after picking it up. And literally five people said something of the >OMG< variety to me. In New York, you can spill your beer without anyone noticing or talking to you. New Yorkers don't talk to strangers. Ever.
Maybe it was because my credit card was declined in the middle of the checkout line with three people standing behind me waiting. I'm not sure how this would be different in NYC, but it just didn’t help.
But I found myself feeling a little guilty about it. I think mostly because I wasn't really sure why I was missing New York and it kind of scared me. I mean, does missing that place mean something about my life here or something?
And then I did think for a bit about how crazy it was that I'm back here in Indiana. Living a life where my husband pretty much supports us (well, me) financially.
When I left Indiana for Chicago when I was 25, I thought I would never look back. I mean, I knew I'd come back for visits with family and such. But I never imagined living here again. I was sold on the city and really anywhere but Indiana. And when I moved to NYC that feeling was solidified.
I also never thought I'd depend on a man financially. I had a job. A great job. A job that I was going to make into my career.
And now, here I am, living in Indiana with (technically) no job. If you'd told 25-year-old Jess this she would have laughed in your face. Because, you know, 25-year-old Jess had all her shit figured out (Please sense sarcasm there. Lots of it.)
But then I realized that I am happy. My life is different now. It's changed a lot. For the better. And I shouldn't feel weird about that just because that's not what 25-year-old Jess would have wanted. The truth is, 25-year-old-Jess can laugh all she wants. 25-year-old-Jess wasn't as happy as 35-year-old-Jess is. She didn't feel as content and at peace with who she is and where she is.
And, the truth (also) is that I will probably always miss NYC. It has a piece of my heart. It was always my dream and I was able to live it, if even for a short while. And I have so many amazing memories and experiences from living there. NYC is magical. There's no denying it. It's where I met my husband. And where I found myself. It was something that I needed to experience.
But I am definitely in the right place. For me. For my husband. For our little family.
So, in the spirit of feeling grateful for where my life is and where it's going, here are some things to think about (along with all of my other reasons for leaving NYC) the next time I miss NYC:
Sure people are all up in your biz here, but you could probably get murdered in NYC and people would walk right by you as it's happening. In the Midwest people volunteer to go get someone to help you clean up your spilled beer.
I hate driving, but at least I don't have to take the subway for 45 minutes to go 3 freaking miles. And then carry everything home on the subway or take a cab. And lug everything up a flight of stairs.
Maybe there's not a bar on every corner, but I can actually afford to drink here.
We can have a pet, a real pet that we picked out and purchased. Not the rats, mice, or roaches. (And I love that little puppy so much!)
There might not be a lot of action, but I can wear any shoes I want when I go to plays and bball games on Mr. T's campus. I can also wear sandals all summer and not have to wash my feet (or be afraid I came in contact with some strange disease).
There might not be Broadway, but dinner and a show only costs $30 including pie!
One of the hardest parts about my "job" is being on social media ALL OF THE TIME. I'm constantly looking at Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. And as I'm helping Holl & Lane and trying to be better about engagement and growing my own following I feel like it's just going to get worse.
There's simply no way to engage without seeing posts from other people. It's impossible. And while I enjoy getting caught up and seeing all of the fun things going on in everyone's lives, I also find that it makes me crazy for two reasons:
- It makes me feel bad about myself. My life. My relationship. I feel inferior.
- It makes me obsessed with stalking certain people. Celebrities, people from my past, and so on.
It might sound dumb (I even feel dumb saying it) but I realize how easily social media can ruin your entire life.
So in an effort to not let it, I'm taking matters into my own hands and I'm going to work on making social media, as a whole, a far more positive experience.
Here's my plan:
Stop comparing my relationship with every damn thing I see on social media. My Instagram isn't filled with all of these cute little perfectly perfect instagrammable moments. There are some, but I know many people with far more. But that isn't because we don't have them. It’s because a) I don't want to Instagram them all and b) some of them can't be Instagrammed. Like when we’re in bed laughing at King of Queens because we are exactly like Doug and Carrie. Trust me, no one wants to see that.
Realize that sometimes I don't post as often as I should because I'm living in the moment. The honest truth, my friends, is that most of the really great moments in life (the kind that I would love to post about) happen so fast that I'm not able to capture them. And I think that's OK. No, I don't think that's ok, I know that's OK. Sometimes I'm just too busy living life and enjoying it.
Stop over analyzing feeds that I believe make mine inferior. One of the problems of social media is that you have access to everyone. But you only get to see what they choose to let you see. That's not necessarily the reality of their world. And maybe it is, but who cares? I don't know why someone has 994 likes on a picture of a damn door and I probably never will. Some people just do. I might never be overly famous for the things that I do and that's OK. I love doing what I do and I love the people it's brought into my life.
Focus my energy on more positive accounts. Instead of looking at people that have brought negativity into my life or some celebrity that I don't even like, I've started to follow accounts that make me feel happy. Some are just random quotes, some are people who have faced some really incredibly challenging things, some are people that just share love and positivity with the world. By focusing more on the positive and less on the negative, it helps me to do the same.
Limit my time. Just because my job demands my attention on social media, doesn't mean I need to be on it every second of every day. I'm trying to limit my time here and there and, instead, focus my free time on other things. Like reading in the three seasons room. I can't wait to do that, you guys.
Realize I'm human. I will probably still stalk people because I find it fun sometimes. And I will probably feel bad sometimes. So I shouldn't beat myself up about either. I just have to get better at realizing where the line is and not crossing it. I really want to get back to enjoying the fun parts of social media. All of the things that attracted me to it in the first place. There are so many things that I've done and am currently doing that would have never happened without social media.
What about you? Do you find you have similar feelings with social media? Any tips for how to deal with it?
2016 is off to a pretty good start, you guys. I know we're only a few weeks in, but after some of the events that closed out last year, I'm thankful (and welcoming) all of the positive things around me right now. So, obviously, I thought this was a good time to talk about the latest things. Here’s what I'm into/what's going on lately.
Listening to: Adele. And I can't stop. I broke down and bought the digital CD of her most recent album the other day off of Amazon. And now I'm kind of sad that I don't have the actual CD to listen to in the car.
Watching: Making a Murderer. I have heard 994 things about this docuseries thing on Netflix. So I needed to jump on the bandwagon and check it out for myself. We're two episodes in and it's really interesting. I have so many questions that I hope will be answered, but don't think it's likely. I've also heard a lot about the backlash and the bias of the makers, but I'm trying to ignore that and just watch it. It's definitely good though, folks.
Accomplishment: I sold out of one of the first items I made for my stationery store. And I'm pretty proud of that. It also came right around my year anniversary which I thought was pretty cool.
Beauty: I've kind of, sort of, maybe decided to grow my hair out. I tend to go in waves. Mostly because I wait to get a hair cut and then realize how much I miss having long hair. I haven't found a hair stylist in the Midwest yet and it's cold so I've been enjoying my long locks. The only issue? I hate (I mean h-a-t-e) blow drying my hair. Since it's been purple I've been working to blow dry it a little more so the color doesn't run. But it takes so long and I'm a drippy wet mess when I get out of the shower. So I finally broke down and bought a hair towel thing when I was at Target the other day. And man do I love it. It cuts down on drying time, frizzies, and it's kind of fun to wear. I can't find the exact one that I purchased online, but it was made by Conair and I found it in the section with all of the brushes and hair accessories at Target.
Obsession: All of the home things. Obviously. We're in the early stages of figuring out the real décor (you know, paint and stuff) and I'm both nervous and really excited. Expect a lot of posts about that in the coming weeks/months.
What about you? What are the things that you're into lately?
I have lots of goals for 2016. Big goals. Huge. But I need to take them one at a time. (I also totally need to get a barn like this)
Because this year I'm taking control and this year is going to be awesome.
I'm cancelling 12 Days of Christmas DIY early this year. I had good intentions with this series. I truly did. I started it last year and it was so much fun. I was hesitant this year because there was so much going on.
Can we all just agree that tomatoes are gross and we should stop putting them on everything?
I had my very first craft fair, you guys! I finally did it! And I learned a few things (from my mistakes or whatever).