- Kate Lentz
It has been 41 days since I quit my job. Sometimes I still can't believe it. For the most part, I can feel myself getting better. While the office wasn't always bad, towards the end it was taking a major toll on my overall happiness. The second I stepped out of there, I felt like I could breathe again. I still keep waiting for the morning I wake up and think, "What have I done? I should call them and beg to get my job back!"
Last Friday I could feel anxiety start to creep in. I feel like I'm not doing enough to get Etsy up and running. In fact, I'm feeling completely overwhelmed by the small details involved. Creating work, inventing a brand, taking product photography, and promoting yourself is a long process...and though it took a while to figure out, I was really getting into the groove. But actually opening a shop is a whole other beast. I wanted to open the shop a few days after I left the office so I could solidify the fact that I made the right decision but...there was so much more to tackle than I had initially thought.
The plan to open by my birthday is still technically on track. But I'm realizing every day just how much MORE inventory I need as well as retaking all of the photos for the third time because everything I do turns out like crap once it's uploaded to the computer. Not to mention product descriptions, shipping details, prices, promotions, sales....customer service. Am I ready for all of this IF my shop happens to be successful?
I thought yes.
I'm not shy about admitting that I look at job listings every once in a while. During my worst times at work, I looked every day. On my best, I looked maybe once a month? I think it's good to see what's out there. Plus, one of my dream jobs is to work at either a cemetery or a funeral home. A couple of months ago, a funeral director assistant position opened up and you can bet your ass I applied. But unfortunately, the position had already been filled. Since then, I still like to check...just in case. So on this Sunday morning, I don't know why, I decided to look at jobs. And there it was. The same funeral home, the same job was available again. So I applied immediately. One day later, I had a meeting for 4:30pm set for Tuesday.
Am I shitting my pants? Yes. Do I think I'm making the right decision? I honestly have no idea. But what I DO know is, every day that I'm not making a sale on my artwork is a day I am quite literally losing money. My bills have been more than I thought. I didn't anticipate water bills, insurance, license renewals all being due at the same time. I have the money, but....it was supposed to be for art prints, not a damn sticker to put on my car. I don't know if I'm exactly recovered from my last experience at an office, and a job at a funeral home certainly will not be easy. But there's just something in my head that keeps telling me it IS possible to hold a job while also striving to have an art business. Maybe one day I can comfortably quit my day job and follow my dreams full time, but I just think in order to maintain my sanity and anxiety, I should try to do both.
I know talking about money takes a bit of the romance out of "following my dreams," but...I DO have to be realistic. It has been 41 days since I was on the clock. And as much as I have cherished this time to figure my life out, strive to become an artist and become everything I have ever wanted, I also battle with the fears of failing miserably and not having a backup plan. In the end, this may be a horrible mistake. But...I think it's just something I have to figure out.