May 10, 2012 by lytlejoc
Do you know what today is? According to Google, today is the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. But since I am not much of a history buff, I have nothing interesting to say to you about that.
Instead, I will tell you that today is the day I start my blog. Blogesis.
I am currently a Stay At Home Mom. I have been on maternity leave for five and a half months with my first wonderful and terrifying baby, but very recently, I made the official decision to not return to work. My husband, son, dog and I are going to return to the East coast from which I hail to move into a tumble down seaside home. We’re going to fix it up and sell it (which means, of course, that I can’t get too attached) and then go West again when that adventure ends. And we’re going to do it largely by ourselves.
This means that we are going to be elbows deep in the world of DIY for the next few years. Daunting? Yep. Exciting? Shockingly so.
To be clear, I should tell you that my husband is the handyman. I will be more of an assistant on the project: cleaning up, painting, helping make decisions about where things go and what should be done. If I were getting paid in the traditional sense of the concept, I would be a minimum wage laborer, so you know, it’s not a big career move for me. In fact, it’s a big leap right off of the administrative career path that I’d been following over the last ten years or so and I am a-okay with that.
Career-wise, I have never really done what I love. You get asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” as early as you can start playing make-believe games, and for me, the answer to that question has changed a multitude of times. My most prominent career dreams progressed like this:
- Marine Biologist – Between the ages of 7 and 9, I conducted very scientific research in this field (read: I copied verbatim the Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry under “Whale”). I discovered you have to go to school for about 10 years and also realized you have to actually get IN the ocean quite a lot. Being terrified of deep water is not conducive to such activity.
- Teacher – As a kid I relentlessly pestered my sisters and friends to be my students. As I grew into a teenager, I realized that teenagers can be jerks to teach. I know I was.
- Physiotherapist – I actually took courses in my first year of university that would lead me on this career path. After almost flunking out, I switched from Science to Arts and threw this dream out the window. (FYI, if you never took pre-calculus, you should NOT take calculus. Man alive, that’s a hard course.)
- Massage Therapist – I thought this might be a gentler version of the above. Then I thought about how many sweaty people I’d have to rub.
- Broker’s Assistant – Working with brokers for a year will cure almost anyone of this notion.
The real problem with this list is that aside from liking whales and dolphins and telling people what to do, none of these jobs would let me make a living doing something that I absolutely love. Not knowing what that something was, I slipped into a safe progression of moderately well-paying and relatively good office jobs which nonetheless left me unfulfilled. I would come home at the end of the day mentally drained and wanting a change. But because these jobs were “safe”, I was stuck.
There’s nothing like having a baby to force your hand, however. Now that I’m on maternity leave, my spare time is not marred with work-induced brain fog and I find myself knitting, cooking and crafting more which are things I always did to console myself when lamenting my utter lack of ambition. I especially like to try and make things that you would normally just run out and buy, like soap or pop or cosmetics (despite my mother-in-law repeatedly telling me that the grocery store is just down the hill. She thinks I’ve forgotten how to get there.) Then recently, in the midst of kneading pretzel dough while stewing fruit to flavor homemade yogurt and thinking about a knitting project that I had on my needles, it hit me like a freight train full of DIY supplies: I need to find a way to keep making things because clearly, that is what I love to do. Now I know what I want to be when I grow up.
To a certain extent, I guess I always knew that but I always just saw it as a way of living, not a way to make a living. I don’t necessarily know how to make the transition from being a hobbyist to a career DIYer, but I do believe I am ready to take a shot at it.
This blogventure (see what I’m doing there?), then, will chronicle my trials and triumphs in the DIY world as I scout out the path to a potential career. Many of the inspirations and instructions I’ve had for making new things have come from bloggers like myself: moms (and dads!) who want to have a little more control over the things they use at home and I’m excited to try and give something back to this pool of fabulous women (and men! I’m not discounting you, gents). I’ve always felt like posting anything on the internet was like standing in a crowd of shouting people and bellowing to make yourself heard, but hopefully my experiments will in turn be an inspiration to someone else.
Along the way I would love to hear your voices! Tell me if I can improve upon any of my methods. Tell me if they worked for you (or not). Tell me if I spelled something wrong. Tell me your story. Make me feel like I’m not just another voice shouting into the ether.
I hope you’ll enjoy.