The End of the First Five

March found us unemployed, but relieved.  The wondering was over.  We were back in control of our decisions.  These were the things I craved from freelancing and were such a struggle to give up when we joined the start up.  However, unlike the end of our time at the start up, this transition from the agency didn’t happen abruptly.  We’d known it was a possibly outcome and had been able to plan for it.  Work was flowing nicely, a healthy mix of wrapping up projects for the previous employer, beginning projects with the likely new employer, and additional contracts.

April came and the new employer wasn’t quite ready for us.  But we weren’t really ready for him either.  We didn’t want to sign on with someone new while we had a backlog of work.  We were done with the 18 hour work days just to keep up.  Besides freelancing always pays better than working for someone else.  When the work’s there, of course.  I did have one quirky disappointment.  Starting the new job April 1, 2015 would have rounded out the five years perfectly.

It was hard to consider giving up freelancing again.  We were in a more comfortable place than we had been in a while.  Life was still a swirling storm of maybes, what ifs, and which way do we go, but we had more control and input.  We had some good options before us and we were looking them over carefully to see just which direction we wanted to head next.  I craved stability, found myself jealous of my friends with husbands who’s jobs were stable and reliable.  I felt burned by our last two employers and struggled to want to trust someone new.

However, T was also feeling burned, but burned out on development.  He’d been at it for twenty years and the demands of the last five had removed much of the joy and excitement.  He’d been building websites fro 20 years and his teacher’s soul was longing for an outlet.  Switching to documentation was the perfect move and terrified me.  His job was at the core of how our family survived.  We had always had that to fall back on and now it, too, was gone.  It was the last stable part of our former life that I had to be willing to let go of.

And I did.  Like everything else I’ve wanted along the way, I let it go.  When the job was ready in May, we took it.  It was a healthy environment with quality people and opportunities to learn and grow both us and the business.  No job is perfect and there were growing pains, but we can tell we made the right choice.  We hope to stay for a long time, but if the last five years have taught me anything the future is completely unpredictable.

Aside from the initial choice to make this journey, I’m not sure I’ve liked a single decision we’ve had to make.  Most of them hurt me, made my life harder, and out-right terrified me.  But I did it anyway, with as little push back and complaining as I could.  Not because I’m a saint or a martyr, but because I kept my eye on the goal.  Our goal was to create a future with more options for all of us.  Did we do it?  I don’t know yet.  Did we give it all we had?  Yeah.  Yeah, we did.

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