Monday, June 6, 2011

Guest Post: Did I mention..?

Fargo Kidder* is a graduate student, crafter, blogger, and dog lover.

Let me start off by saying that I am a very lucky woman. In the past year, I've gotten married, moved to a huge city, my husband has landed a high-paying job, and I, the following spouse, even landed a job that started before my husband's. The job is even one I'm uniquely qualified for - literally, it's my old job, but in a new environment. The thing is, I wasn't happy doing my old job. I was good at it, but unhappy. I thought moving to a new organization while still doing something I enjoyed would alleviate this unfulfilled feeling I'm experiencing. I am starting to think that the organization wasn't the problem.

In theory, I should be psyched that my husband completing his graduate coursework (he's ABD at this point) dovetailed with the start date of his new job and now, my new job. Not psyched, ecstatic! And I'm not. I tend to spread myself too thin, which I've been trying to work on. Sometimes that doesn't always work out...

Did I mention I'm also working on MY master's degree? Luckily my program is flexible and most courses can be taken online. We found out in December we'd be moving this summer, so I secured a summer internship for credit. When I landed my full time job a few months later, I opted to do the internship in addition to working 40 hours a week. I figured it would be easier and more fun to work six days a week than work 5 plus take an online class. I've done that before just fine, but the internship sounds more interesting and practical.

Not the author, but close enough. Pic from Ashleeappendicitus
Did I mention I also have a blog? I won't linky link because I'm guesting anonymously today, but it's about crafts. I've been blogging there for coming up on a year, and it's become one of my favorite things to work on. I didn't realize until making hundreds of crafts for my wedding that crafting is what I really love to do. It's not just an outlet for anxiety for me like it once was. I find myself feeling so strongly about my work that I regularly forgo sleep to work on it, as well as my blog. The longer I'm blogging, the more I'm realizing that I want to dedicate more time to it. But I can't commute to a full time job and make that happen. I feel like I'm missing opportunities with crafting every second at work, and then I'll sneak a second or two to post something or approve comments, and I feel like I'm letting my paid job down.

Did I mention how lucky my husband and I are? My husband somehow landed a job in finance, with all of the perks (money, insurance, etc.) therein. We don't want kids, plus we can already afford for me not to work at all. So why am I so worried about all of this? I simultaneously feel like the small window that has opened for me to develop a business is only going to be open for a short while. If I don't do this now when the conditions are right, then will I ever? My husband is supportive. He knows, probably better than I do, that I can make myself work 40 hours a week from home.

Kids and crafts. A lot of people I know who craft for a living appear to be able to justify it because they're also stay-at-home-moms. Half of their blog posts are about the hat they made their kids, how their kids are napping so they had time to post, how great their kids' contributions are to their work. I don't want kids, and I think it's impressive that these women can run a business plus to do the kids thing at the same time. Now I'm not saying I feel like getting knocked up will justify my craft business, but I think it would be easier for me to say to people, "I am a mom, but I also make a living through my Etsy shop."

The realistic plan I can envision in my head. I finish my master's degree in December. Leading up to that, I can look for part-time employment. With any luck, I'd like to be able to leave my current job in December, work a lower stress part time job, and run my business part time. That way, I can feel my safety net, but still have time to devote to the pursuit I want to eventually do full time.

But what if I'm wrong... 

*Name changed to protect the innocent-- and unfortunately she let me pick the pseudonym.

For most posts like this, see The Scale of Opportunity and Guest Post: Freeze Dried.  If you'd like a platform to talk about your experience moving with a significant other, please contact me.

1 comment:

  1. My god. I just realized something from your post: to do something for ourselves, own a business, enjoy work from our own hands, it must be justified by the contribution we're making to society by not only having children, but acquiescing to that role. If we don't have the kids along with the etsy shop, we're obviously just twiddling our thumbs.

    How in the world do mothers also have time for a good Etsy store? I can't even finish simple projects now that J has graduated. Those ladies are impressive.


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