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Where Will You Be?

Happy Leap-Day!

I wanted to be sure a post went up today since it will be another four years before we see the big 2/29 come around!  Hopefully each of you were able to do something memorable on this day that usually doesn't exist.

Today, me and my coworkers had an epiphany.  We decided that since 2/29 is really the most unique day on our calendar, it should be a national holiday.  It wouldn't hurt if it were also a paid holiday too, and I'm making a note to myself that if I ever own a business and hire employees, everyone at my company will get leap day off.  

Oh, and I'm also campaigning for President of the United States.  Vote for me and I'll make 2/29 "National Craft Day," where business is off limits, and everybody does something creative.  Oh yeah...and world peace, and stuff...

Okay, I'm not really running for President, but I did want to take a few moments to ask a few questions.

FIRST QUESTION...where were you four years ago?  I'm not being literal here.  I just mean, in general...what was going on in your life in 2008?

In 2008 I was finishing up my bachelors degree in interior design from Northern Arizona University.  I attended the program through the distance learning set-up they had on Scottsdale Community College's campus, so I was able to maintain my life here in the Phoenix-metro area.

At the beginning of 2008 I was working for a small, family-owned company that built luxury custom homes in the Scottsdale area.  I really enjoyed my job because I was able to help out with some of the interior selections for the homes, as well as design some of the backsplashes, shower tiling, and other tile details.

Unfortunately, I had to quit my job to finish up my college degree because I had reached the point in my program where I only had 7 remaining courses...2 of which were only offered during the spring semester.  When I looked at my schedule, it drove me crazy to think about being in school for an entire extra year just to pick up two straggling classes...and so, I quit my job and loaded up my school schedule with the 7 courses I had left.  Class of 2008, all the way!!  Woot!

Mark and I had recently moved into a new apartment, and we had down-sized a bit.  He was working full-time to pay the bills while I was without a job.  We made a deal that he would put his education on hold for the time-being so that I could finish up my degree, and then I would find a job, work full-time and put him through college.  

It sounded like a good plan at the time, but unfortunately, we all know that 2008 was the year that the housing markets crashed to rock-bottom lows.  Not a good time to be graduating from an interior design program, let me just tell you.  I started the job search with high expectations, looking to land a sweet job with a prestigious design firm.  I wanted to go into commercial design...designing restaurants, hotels, and recreation centers...but all of the job openings (and there weren't many) required at least 5 years experience.  

So, I started to broaden my search to residential firms, and anything design related.  I wound up finally finding a job at a retail store in Scottsdale that sold custom iron doors, cantera fireplace mantels, and ornate iron details (like chandeliers, gates, etc.).  My job was to draft up anything they needed in AutoCad (a fancy-schmancy drafting software) for $11.00 per hour.  It was better than nothing, plus I also had the opportunity to make a higher salary by sales commissions, but I soon found sales commissions were few-and-far-between.   I wasn't living up to my end of the bargain of paying the bills while Mark went to school...and so I kept looking for more employment opportunities.

By the end of 2008 I had finally found a job with my current employer, and I haven't really moved around since.  I don't really go into much detail on this blog about where I work, but let's just say it's very corporate.  Since starting at my current job, I've completed my masters degree in business administration, and Mark has worked part-time while attending school full time.

It's crazy to look back at the path that I have taken over the last four years.  I don't look back at my journey with any regrets.  Honestly, had I found my "dream job" in the design world back in 2008, you wouldn't be reading this post right now.  You wouldn't be visiting this site, because it wouldn't exist.  

I started this blog as I was nearing the end of my MBA program because I needed a creative outlet.  I needed something that made me feel like I hadn't turned by back on all of the things I learned throughout my design program, and all of the things I just plain enjoyed doing.  So ultimately, if I wouldn't have taken the path I did, I wouldn't have ever found my true passion--blogging!

Along this journey, I've learned that I love taking on creative challenges and sharing my successes, and my failures, with anyone who's interested.  I've learned that it's okay to try something even if you're flying by the seat of your pants.  It's okay to jump on a whimsical idea, and find a way to turn that idea into a reality.  This experience I've had blogging has truly been wonderful, and I am so glad that I can always look back through these posts to remember what the journey has been like.

SECOND QUESTION...Where will you be in four years?

Obviously, none of us really know where we will be in the future, but we all know where we would like to be.  

Personally, I would like to see the fruit of my labor by four years time.  By that I mean, I want to see my home finally coming together and looking like a magazine cover.  Right now, I have these visions about what my home could look like someday, but I'm just scratching the surface when it comes to making any progress toward those dreams.  It takes such a long time turn a house into a home, and sometimes it gets frustrating when you're not moving along as quickly as you'd like.

Each time I post a "Tour My House" video, I cringe...and it's because I feel like I'm letting each of you down.  I feel like showing you how uninspiring my home is right now might make you think less of me...but I also want to be true and honest about the reality of transforming a home's decor.  That's what this blog is all about.  It's about the process of turning a house into a home, and the realization that you can be happy in your home every step of the way.

So, I ask for your understanding as I show you the good, the bad, and everything in-between.  It's definitely a journey, but I can't wait to look back at this post in four years to see just how much I've accomplished.

Tell me about your journey.  What events have you seen in the last four years that had a big impact on you?  Where do you hope life's journey takes you next?  Whatever it is, I hope it's a great journey for each and every one of you!


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