In the last week, so many things have happened in my life, and I'm lucky to say that it's all pretty much been great. But because everything has been happening so fast in this whirlwind of life changes, none of it has really had a chance to sink in. In any case, I'll try to recap and tie it in a pretty little bow, but it will probably come out as a gnarly knot.
First of all, last Friday marked the last day as an employee and the first day as a full-time self-employed freelance graphic designer. Now I know that I should be thinking "Ohmigosh! How exciting! / Freedom! / I'm going to become so good at this! / Woo! / Fun Time Party Time! / Oh my god! How will I survive?! / What if I don't get paid on time? / How will I afford to live?! / Yaaas! / So much free time! / When will I ever find time to relax?! / All the time to read books and learn more design skills! / What have I gotten myself into? / What if I screw up? / I'm going to do so many things!! / I'm going to never have time to hang out with friends. / Why haven't these clients gotten me revisions yet?" and the list goes on. So, I should be worrying and also celebrating, but that's pretty hard to do because the truth is, nothing has really changed other than I've opted for a less steady flow of income, having faith that my work will perpetuate more work, and my clients will pay me according to term agreements. Honestly, I'm not really worried about that anyways--I have great clients that I have been working with for years and am looking forward to being able to focus on them instead of splitting my time between them and a day job. I'm excited to be able to also take on more projects that are in line with my interests as well. And I'm looking forward to being able to spend more quality time with my friends and family, which leads me to the next change that has happened.
My wonderfully sweet auntie Kathy passed away about 3 weeks ago, so I spent Saturday with my family celebrating her life at her memorial, which was heart-warming, touching, and eye-opening. My aunt was a truly kind and positive soul, and I don't think she ever was negative despite the cards that life dealt her. While I know it is a sad event for myself and my family, during my testimonial I made a point to remind them how we should be rejoicing because her life is no longer a battle and she has been released to the heavens. After I finished telling my family these things, I shared a song I had recorded two days before with Daisy Propane. The song was written by Daisy Propane about his father's passing some years ago and was told from the point of view of someone who has already passed as a message to those left behind. I can't wait to be able to share it when it is released as it really is a touching song for anyone who is going through the struggle of loss. Spending time with my father's side of the family was also a delight because it reminded me how much they love me and will always encourage me. It also drove further the fact that I am glad to now be freelance because a big reason I wanted to go that route was because I wanted to spend time with my whole family more. I am just bummed I didn't decide to do this sooner because my Auntie Kathy was one of the main family members I was most excited to reconnect with when I decided to go freelance about 8 months ago. However, life is too short to have regret and I will be sure to cherish my time with family whenever I get it.
Anyways, Sunday it was work as usual with me doing client work. Monday I debriefed with my now former boss and had lunch with my now former coworkers, met with a printer for a client, and then was off to kung fu. I slept for about 3 hours on Monday night before waking early to hop on a flight to Houston, TX to work with my primary client. On the flight, I managed to read a new novel that a fellow musician from Bellingham (though now living in California) has recently had published. The novel is called Blue Rare by Daniel Anderson of Glowbug and formerly of Idiot Pilot. I can't say much about it yet, but keep your eyes peeled for my review when it goes on sale on Amazon. I will only admit that I liked it a lot and it definitely will appeal to fans of the horror genre and fits in pretty well with our society at hand. I particularly enjoyed the fact that as I was flying from Washington to Houston one week before going to Japan, that a handful of the characters are from either Seattle area or Houston, and one is even from Tokyo. It also made the book eerily more creepy and believable.
I suppose I should tie in the title of my post to the content. The title is actually the name of a song by Wayne Hancock, covered by Hank III. And well, since I'm in Texas, why not pay homage to some country tunes? While I've been in Houston, it has been torrential downpour every night before tonight with endless thunder and lightning, a bit of flooding. And through each night, other than the thunder being a bit loud, it has also been a gloriously beautiful spectacle to be seen. It seems I brought the rain and then some with me to Houston. Woops! The only thing not so great about this is that it would seem Houston doesn't know how to drive in the rain and thus a drive that should only take me 45 minutes each way to my client's destination, has taken me an hour and fifteen minutes each way. -__- As you can imagine, not cool. But thinking of all the rain & thunderstorms on my excessively long drives each evening made me also think about how life is kinda like a thunderstorm. It's uncomfortable, possibly a little scary, but in the end, it will all be okay no matter what happens. And rocky weather can also result in beautiful things in the nature of this planet and of our lives.
In closing, I would like to highlight that this week I have enjoyed spending time with my clients here in Houston. I truly enjoy spending one-on-one face-to-face time with my clients. It is seldom that designers always get to meet their clients in person and I can say that every client I have right now is someone I have met personally. The creative process for me is magnified when it becomes personal because it become so much more real. So I am incredibly thankful for the time I've spent here and look forward to working with my clients on Monday before I fly back to the Northwest on Tuesday. I am also thankful that my client happens to be in Houston where my coolest aunt & uncle lives with my adorable cousins. We will be spending the weekend together and I'll be celebrating with my aunt and her friends tomorrow night for her 40th Birthday!
Remember: Celebrate Life for those still with us, and those who have left this world. ;)
Also.. I promise not all my posts will be this long usually--I just had so much go on this last week.