Friday, February 18, 2005

1

Last day.

I'm getting so bored I just cleaned the windows (one side of my office is all window). I've already dusted the shelves, tidied the files, renamed my computer hard-drive, and archived everything I could think of. I should probably make a list this afternoon of where everything is in the filing cabinets and drawers. That should take, what, an hour? Great. I still have four more to get through today.

This is the first job I've ever had in which the last day was basically a formality. Let's see . . .

1st job: Public Library. Had to check in and check out books for patrons, shelve books, and eat my good-bye cake. I was 19.
2nd job: Banquet server at a hotel. Had to serve drinks, pick up plates and silverware, clean dining room and kitchen. I was 19 1/2.
3rd job: Same Public Library as 1st job. Had to do same check in/out/shelving plus organize files of program I ran. I was 21.
4th job: Caterer at colleg. Set up, tear down, clean up. Leave late at night. I was 22.
5th job: Paint-you-own pottery store staff. Help painters, clean up, lock down store. I was 23.
6th job: Small book publisher. I just created a TIFF image of a cover for the marketing manager, and I'm done. I'm 24.

Goodness, I've gone through a bunch of jobs in the past five years, but keep in mind that some over-lapped as part-time jobs. And this doesn't even count my summers as a volunteer camp counselor!

Well, time to go. As of this afternoon, I'm unemployed, and I can't die, because I don't have life insurance.

That's a lovely note to close this post with!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

2

I'm probably going to regret posting this as soon as I write it, but . . .

I am so glad to be outta here after tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

3

Max is going to his new home today. Funny, crazy Max who will bite his own back leg if it scratches him. His green-gold eyes are going to stare demandingly at a new person tomorrow morning when he wants his breakfast "Nnneowwww." His soft white fur is going to engrain itself in somebody else's couch.

Zoe is going to miss him, I think. She's going to look at me with her sad puppy-dog eyes and want to know where her playmate went. Who's going to terrorize her now? Who's going to fight from the safety of the nearest chair, batting his paws at her as she barks in glee?

I'm gonna miss him, too. He grew on me this past month after I took pity on him in the Wal-Mart parking lot that night. The skinny, hungry, white-and-gray adolescent cat with the loud MEOW has become a fat, content, fuzzy adult lap-cat with a penchant for sprawling in the middle of the floor (right where you need to step) like it was his kingdom.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

4

Things I am going to miss:

My G5
My 23-inch cinema flat panel
My office friends

Things I am NOT going to miss:

Inter-office political conflicts
LaserJets that don't like to print
Constant worry that I'm not "doing a good enough job"

Monday, February 14, 2005

5

I'm writing this on my lunch break. Stomach growling, my fingers type. Food can wait . . . but my thoughts need to come out!

Friday is my last day. Everyone in the office knows that I'm leaving. At least, everyone in Editorial knows. They ask me how the packing's going, and what I plan to do next. I'm glad it is going so smoothly, despite the fact that I feel like I'm going crazy without a million-and-one things to do, like I would normally have if it wasn't impossible for the Art Director to hand me new projects the last week I'm here. Now I'm begging for administrative work. Anything to stretch out for the 8 hours of my day. I shouldn't complain. I'm sure once Ruby Red is launched, I'll be begging for a slow day for at least the first five years!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

research, research, research

I'm researched out. As a former library worker, I know just where to find what I need to know. Small Business information? 658. Graphic Design? 736. Papermaking? 702. Computer application manuals? 006.

The problem is, I've read all I can get my hands on for free, and now I just need to START already! I need to pick up the Thomas Register and look for printers in my area, and pre-press houses, and paper suppliers. I need to go to city hall and register my business name. I need to get wholesale accounts so I can prove to other businesses that Ruby Red really exists. I would love to go to the National Stationery Show just as a browser this year, to see what is out there, but I know that isn't feasible for me at this point.

Sometimes I just feel so inadequate and presumptuous (is that how you spell it??). Who am I to break away from a traditional career track just out of college and claim that I will start my own business? Am I brave or just plain foolhardy? Why should I have the freedom to express my creative side when thousands of other designers are just as frustrated by corporate culture as I am?

Yet the desire to own my own business, to design my own designs, and to live the life I've dreamed about since that first entrepreneurial venture at age six--this is the desire that drives me, that won't go away, that tells me to swim against the flow and dare to be different.

So I am.

In the meantime, I'm researching away. That business plan won't write itself.

Friday, February 11, 2005

the grunt work begins

I smell lightly of bleach.

I've been cleaning house, packing boxes, sorting through the random junk of my life. Dad called last night and said he was going to rent a cargo van for me, so I can still keep some of my furniture, despite the move cross-state. I'm glad, as a dresser is a good thing to have.

I took a personal day from work to do all this, but I still needed to go in and check some proofs around lunch time. I made it a double-duty trip and brought along Max, the cat that I found in a Wal-Mart parking lot, but can't keep. One of my co-workers has decided to adopt him, so I wanted to introduce them. She fed him chicken scraps from her salad. He liked that!

The things I'm not packing right away are my mock-ups for notecards, or the magazines that are my inspiration. I need to keep them all on my dining room table as a visual reminder why I'm doing this . . . why I'm literally packing up my life and moving on into the next one, barely six months after arriving at this point in my life. It all seems so crazy, so foolhardy, but I know it is the right thing for me to do.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

the first day of the rest of my life

I say I'm in publishing, but really that is only going to last another week, at which time I am spreading my wings and flying home to my parents to take up residence while attempting to launch my own business. They graciously offered not to charge a deposit for either me or my dog, Zoe. The pros of this new residence: zero rent. The cons? Living 30 minutes from a decent convenience store.

I think Zoe will be much more excited than I am to live in the country where she can chase squirrels (her current passion) to her heart's content. I'm more of a suburban/edge-of-the-city kind of girl. I'm close enough to malls, but far enough away from excessive smog. Just right.

But I love my family, and I do get inspiration from the lovely mountain view. What is it about some classic Appalachian mist that brings such mystery and romance to the sight of a million trees on a big pile of rock and dirt?

Anyway, I'm rambling. From here on out, I will be recording a journal of sorts of my business. Now it is just a dream and lot of determination. Soon it will be a sheet of paper in public records. Then, it will actually begin to grow!

So this is it, the first day of the rest of my life. Wish me well.