A change of fortune

Last night I tried to kill my computer. Not on purpose, mind you, but the end result would have been the same no less. I would have had a six-year old Apple brick had I pushed the 'upload all photos' button. See, I'm one of those terrible people who doesn't back up their iPhones. Blah, blah, blah. But last night I was trying to move some photos from my camera (phone) to the computer so I could add them to the gallery on my new webpage. Yes, my 'professional' webpage has iPhone photos, don't judge. Well, OK you can judge some, I would.
(I promise this is going somewhere).
So when iPhoto popped up, I hadn't dumped any photos there since (wait for it) July of 2009. Um, does technology only exist to make fun of us? Seriously?
Regardless, I found this photo: (see, going somewhere)
It's a fortune that I got at some point last year. And at the time, I posted it to Instagram and made a crude joke.

But last night, as I was working on my webpage, making a mental list of the things I still need to do versus what I have done, this fortune hit me in a different way. (OK, I still laugh if you add 'in bed' to the end of it)

It made me think how terribly cliche it is but that it's also terribly true. What is it about a cliche that makes them so true?

It's taken a while, but the crazy dreams about my last job have finally stopped. It was like my subconscious had to work through some things before I could finally let go. The first dream I had featured me being kicked off a bus full of coworkers because I didn't belong. The last one was me (I still went to 'work') at my office but I was decorating cookies there and left when I was done. It's been about a month since that one. I think the reason I've had such a hard time letting go is because I didn't fight for myself when I was let go. I just sat there numbly nodding my head. When I was told that I 'wasn't a team player.' I didn't point out all the times that I would help the artists cut out mats for presentations or how I helped file for our traffic coordinator. I didn't mention that I worked hard to make sure nobody ever waited on me.

When I was told that 'my work was slacking' and that 'it wasn't the caliber it used to be.' I didn't mention that all of my clients were happy and even five months after me being gone are still using my campaigns, that they're even rolling out new things with lines I wrote before I left. I also didn't point out how ridiculous and archaic it was to have one person be the gatekeeper of what is considered 'good' or 'not good' creative.

When I was told that it was not an '8 to 5 job' and that I 'always left at 5' I didn't bother pointing out that several other staffers didn't bother staying until 5, they left before that. I didn't mention that the Creative Director on the other side came to me and asked me why I always got to work so early and we discussed who came to work in what order (I was typically in the first 3 to 5 people to arrive). My boss wouldn't know that because he was always one of the last to arrive. (I didn't bother pointing that out either.)

I didn't defend myself because it didn't matter. He didn't want to hear it and I didn't feel like I needed to say it. But I do now. So I've said it.

Truth was, I was ready to leave. I wasn't happy anymore. I knew it but I wasn't ready to let go. I wasn't ready to take that leap.

Instead, I was pushed.

And sometimes in life, that's what we need. A good hard push in the right direction. So my new experiences have been interesting, exciting in fact. At my last job, I got to do exciting things. I walked through President Bill Clinton's personal space while going out to view the progress on the rooftop garden on the Clinton Library. It's a view of downtown Little Rock that few get to see. I've also written and had him speak my words, along with Governor Beebe and his wife Ginger. I've toured the Arkansas Delta interviewing people who have heart wrenching stories. I made some of them cry. I've seen my words grace the skyline, on a forty foot canvas. I've changed peoples minds about things. I've convinced people to quit smoking. I loved what I was able to do.

But now, I've done other things. Created an LLC. Marched into City Hall and gotten a business license. I've dealt with landlords and electricians. I've worked with friends to create a logo and a brand. My brand. And I know that the new experiences aren't stopping there. I'm looking forward to all of them.