Looking back, I probably should have realised that I'd stopped enjoying my dream job when I started calling it the day job instead. After years of bad managers, budget cuts and manipulations, the dream bit was just gone. As a big believer in the 'do what you love' approach to work, it took me even longer than that to make the decision that it is time to do just that. So, from late May, I'll be full time making and doing again. I can't wait!
Those who know me from years ago will know that this is my second time going freestyle with work; just over a decade ago I left my teaching career behind to become a craft bookbinder. With online sales, an insane craft fair schedule, and bloody hard work, I had a wonderful year of mucking around with lovely bits of leather and stacks of paper. It was all just starting to properly take off when word came of the dream job and I swerved sideways into that. That year was a fantastic experience though, and has taught me so much.
I know now that I'm rubbish with accounts and have signed up for Quickbooks. I know that craft fairs are hard effing work and you seldom get the profits for the cost of your stall. Some people manage this, my mum's one of them, but it doesn't work for me. The sale and promotion of things online has jumped forward so far in the large decade that that's where I'll be aiming first off. I know where my passions lie and have embraced the fact that I'll not be doing and making just one thing. There'll be painting, spinning, reading, writing, everything. It feels as though I'm going to actually be entirely me for the first time ever, that all the separate parts will be coming together.
On an entirely selfish and non-professional front, I'm so looking forward to being at home more, to not ending each day utterly wrung out and exhausted by the energy it takes being a die-hard introvert in an environment filled with excellent but demanding little human beings. I'll get to make something every single day. Our epileptic, arthritic, digestively challenged 22 year old lady cat, Jet, will have someone here with her so that if she has a fit or a fall she'll be taken care of.
Being able to make this move is a huge privilege formed of many layers from having a good education, a crafty upbringing, a supportive family etc, but the biggest advantage on my side is the presence of my excellent wife, who is not only willing but actually enthusiastic about the risk we're taking, financially and personally. Thanks, Murph.