Wednesday, April 12, 2017

When a Door Closes...

Almost seven years ago I exited corporate America. It was a planned exit that was a result of life circumstances at the time. Daniel had started a new job with TVA based in rural Alabama, we had finally sold our house in North Carolina, and it was time for me to join him.

We lived in a camper for three months in Chattanooga before purchasing a house in Hollywood, AL and making the decision to start our family. During that time period I was able to grow my freelance graphic design business to a manageable size that allowed me to ease into my new role as mother while also keeping my foot in the working world. After nearly a decade of working full time, it was the perfect transition.

For six+ years I juggled motherhood and clients that were located in several states. It felt good to still be a part of something I knew so well and I was fortunate to have excellent clients. When we added a second child to our family, my freelance work was still there, though the juggling part became a little harder. But I still did it and it still felt like the right fit.

At the start of 2017, I realized something had changed. My consistent workload from my clients didn't feel as consistent. When I looked back at my records, I realized that there had been a shift, a definite slowing down.

About a month ago, I reached out to my regulars and realized that they had all begun to use in-house employees in lieu of me. I understand the need to have in-house designers (in my past I have been that person), it just came as a bit of a shock since all of my clients, after years of utilizing my services, all seemed to change direction at once.

While leaving corporate America was my own personal choice, having my freelance clients, seemingly simultaneously, leave me stung.

The good news is that I am finding a groove with just being in the mother role, as opposed to juggling working as well. When a door shuts like this, it feels like God is saying that it is maybe time to focus on something else. I am planning on homeschooling Jack this fall, so maybe my purpose for now is to focus on that.

I miss my freelance work. Magazines, annual reports, textbooks, any kind of print design and brand identity is my strong suit, and I miss using my skills to come up with the best solutions for my clients. I guess I will work to put those skills and energy into my kids, at least for now.

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