Just as the magazine ad was a catalyst for my first revelation, T’s job situation sparked the next. His project was wrapping up and unemployment was looming. It’s always weighed on me that he has carried the financial burden of our family alone. Too, I was nervous for me personally. Our marriage was shaky, though seemed to have stabilized, and if I needed an income I wanted to be prepared.
But the big question was: were we actually in a position where I could consider taking on a job without adding to the stress and chaos that we were already exhausted from?
This wasn’t the first time I’d considered working outside the home. I went to college with the soul purpose of not staying home. When the girls were younger I took on two different part time jobs before they were old enough to start school. Both jobs paid too little to make them worth the time and effort of having them. They were both intended to provide enjoyment and simply ended up hurting us all.
However, factors had changed and surprisingly the answer was yes. The girls were old enough to manage more of the school and household responsibilities. That didn’t just free me up to look for at least a part time job without putting added strain on the family, but also provided them the opportunity to practice some of the adult life skills they were going to be needing soon.
While those changes were optimistic, I still needed to approach what I would do next with careful thought. The right job would help, but the wrong job could really disrupt our fragile progress.
As I evaluated what I wanted and what my skills were, three options seemed to float to the top: get a local brick-and-mortar job, go back to school, or find something in the WordPress world.
A brick-and-mortar job held some instant appeal and was an option I’d been mulling over for a while. It was the quickest way to generate income and relied on skills I already had, mainly breathing and the ability to shower. However, it also tied me to one place and wouldn’t fill any creative needs.
Going back to school seemed the obvious choice. I enjoy learning and adding a Master’s to the degree I already had seemed perfect. Until I did some research. The first article I came across specifically said getting a Master’s in the field I was considering was a waste of time. Even if that article was wrong, I wasn’t sure the timing was right. It would take years and create more chaos, stress, and limits to my time when the girls needed more flexibility in our schedule.
Neither option was ruled out, but neither fit as well as I would have preferred. That left WordPress. I knew about WordPress and of the community, but wasn’t actively using. I’d volunteered at our local wordcamp, attended a few meetups, and, about 6 months before, had attended my first wordcamp: WordCamp Chicago 2014.
WordPress for me had always been a development tool, a pre-built content management system that allowed small businesses and non-profits a way to have a dynamic website with out the added expense of costly hours of custom work. While all of that is true, I had completely forgotten that WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform.
I literally had a light bulb moment when I realized that WordPress was actually intended for writers. I could fulfill what had always seemed like an unrealistic young adult dream of being a writer simply by writing.
Not only had my perspective changed yet again, but a shift was also happening in the business of websites. Quality content was in demand and my English degree that seemed so useless 15 years ago finally had job prospects. It was now possible to either freelance or find a remote job.
Work in the field I’d always loved? Be location independent? Still be flexible to the families needs? I’d found my starting point.