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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oh my, birthday rambles

Today is my 31st birthday. I'm 31. I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be at this stage in my life. I never dreamed *I'd* be a stay at home mom and I didn't even know what homeschooling was so I'm in foreign territory according to my 17 year old version of myself's dreams. Ha! Did you follow that?

I was going to be a journalist, working to uncover the truth in an unjust world. I wanted to write for newspapers or magazines, I never envisioned myself on television. I like the behind-the-scenes, in fact I even dreamed of being a foreign correspondent. Right out of high school, I attended community college to save money and worked full-time at the local the graphics department.

In the graphics department I learned to create advertisements and how to create a newspaper the old-fashioned way: print, cut and paste with a wax machine. I remember putting 1pt. borders around photos and making sure they were straight. After each page had been photographed to make a plate to print from, I removed all the advertisements that we had wax-pasted onto the page, by cutting them out so they could be reused if they had more than one run or filed away.

Was it my dream job? Nah. I wanted to write but I figured I was starting where I should, at the bottom. Actually the bottom would have been the circulation department. Lol, the secretary had that job. Did I say it was a small newspaper? At 18 with a head full of dreams, I was tricked into leaving the graphics department because when a fellow degreed-coworker quit that left me as seniority. Hmm, 18 years old and running the graphics department. Yeah, the editor didn't like that at all so he tricked me into entering the world of advertisement sales and hired a degreed graphics designer for the graphics department. He said that I would be able to talk to the people and get my feet wet by "being out there." Uh huh.

Let's just say I quit that job after moving into advertising sales, I was railroaded by an editor that didn't want an 18-19 year old on staff but I wasn't down for the count. I moved on to other larger newspapers, magazines and stayed in the graphics design world of publishing for about 8 years.

Now I've been out of the graphic design publishing world for 3-4 years and at 31, I'm a dinosaur. It is fast-paced, new technology each year and new techniques come with the new technology. Let's say my experience is 10 years behind where the technology is now, I'm even working from an old G4 iMac with old graphics software which used to cost $600 for the program but anyone can pick up Photoshop 6.0 for about $75 now.

I never became a journalist. I didn't finish college. Work and life experience was enough for me at the time, by 24 I was making around $35K a year, which is not small potatoes. I have to laugh at myself, I'm now at home and not making any money and contemplating a part-time job after we move. What in the world can I do? I don't have the options I used to have while I was IN the graphics field. Like I said, I'm a dinosaur. So if I want a part-time job, I'll have to look at the same jobs that teenagers and kids right out of high school are working. Sigh.

We'll see. I want to work to pay off debt and get us into a situation where we can purchase our own home. We could keep going the way we are but it would be a long road to get us in a debt-free situation. Especially with dh racking up the medical bills left and right. I haven't been to see a doctor since Danny's birth. I know, my mom has told me and told me! I just can't justify spending the money, esp. without insurance on myself like that. We've also been living in a very small town where I can't trust the medical professionals b/c I've heard of others' dr's visits through the grapevine. Yeah, I'm not going anywhere near any stirrups in THIS town. We're moving though, back to a place where you can be anonymous in a town and see a wide range of doctors if you want. Now, I just need to be able to pay for the doctor's visit.

Okay, enough rambling. I don't even know what to say now.



me :) said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a great day! Your move sounds super exciting and I hope everything goes smoothly in the preparation and execution!! But - most importantly - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

TolleLegeAcademy said...

Happy Birthday! Here's to the upcoming year! :-) May it bring you much happiness.


LisaWA said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday deeeaaarrr Jeeesssssiiiicaaaaa... Happy BIrthday.... toooo... yyyooouuu!!!

31 and looking good! *Ü* I hope your day is spent relaxing ( right hu?) and enjoying some serious down time with the fam!

You are a delight Jessica, and so glad to know you... even if its been through here and email and such....

Pam said...

It sounds like there is a lot of excitement ahead of you as you move and navigate all the adventures of being a homeschooling mom and faithful, contented wife! Blessings to you on your birthday! You are laying down your life and independent desires to pour yourself into your husband and children. I believe that the Lord is pleased with this!

Kristiana said...

Happy Birthday!!
Best wishes for your 31st! I really hope your move goes smoothly and I'm sure you'll figure out all you're supposed to do. I'm reading your sidebar "doing the best I can to be the mother my children and learning with love." Maybe this isn't what you expected, but I think what you've described here is a most wonderful way to be spending your time. I hope your birthday is a happy one.
:) Kristiana

barrellfullofmonkeys said...

Happy, happy birthday!!! May all your birthday wishes come true :)

It's been a pleasure "meeting" you and getting to know your family thru your blog. 31. Huh, that's young. I'm going to be 38 this year!!!! Still feeling 31 though :)

Kathy D.

Angela said...

Happy Birthday- You are such a great influence on everyone and a terrific mom!

Love Ya!

Anonymous said...

Stopping by with Happy Wishes for your birthday! May the Lord bless you with many more!

Ivy Vega from said...

Many great wishes on your 31st birthday. You are a flower who is beginning to bloom. Many blessings and wish you much health.

mom24 said...

I understand being in a different place than our '17 year old' version of ourselves! Same here. It's amazing how the Lord takes us right where HE wants us and it's so good because it's always a better path for us than we would have chosen!
Congratulations on 31 years! I know a lot of upheaval is going on for you right now so I'll be praying for you!

Lorna said...

Happy Birthday Jessica!

Best wishes to your husband for his strong recovery and good health and in all your endeavors in your coming years.


Jennefer said...

Happy belated Birthday! Since you and my dh have the same b-day we spent the weekend celebrating his special day. I wanted to come tell you Happy Birthday - even if it is late ;)

I hope you had a wonderful day. You have been such a huge blessing to me this past year. Thanks for the friendship, encouragement and support! You are a blessing and a joy.


she who must be obeyed said...

NOOOOOOOO, stop saying 31 and dinosaur in the same sentence!!! Okay, I do not feel like a dinosaur (and I have 2 years on you :), but you and my son share a bday, so happy bday! Are we ever where we thought we would be? I had plans of working in foreign relations with a law degree and linguistic studies - but I thank God every day that he sent someone into my life who completely derailed that path and gave me the wonderful life I live today!
St. Theophan Academy

Jennifer said...

I totally understand your feelings!! I am also 31 and haven't worked since having my first baby almost 9 years ago. When I was 17, I was so sure that I would attend 4 yrs of college (I only finished 2)and then move on to some exciting job overseas. I never would have envisioned myself as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, but I'm glad life has turned out the way it has :)

Island Academy