It was time to get out. I wasn’t sure where the road was going to take us but we needed a fresh start, like, yesterday.
I sat down in the passenger-side seat of my silver Toyota, desperately fighting back tears and failing miserably. I clutched at the box that held my officely possessions and just… stared. My then-fiancé placed a comforting hand on mine. In 2008, at twenty-two and twenty-six, we’d both been terminated from our positions as programmers for our rather boisterous opinions regarding unpaid overtime and the slave-labour hours we felt that we were working.
“We hated working there anyway,” he said, turning the engine on and gently pulling out of the parking lot. “It’s better this way. Now we can move to Vancouver, just like you wanted.”
I didn’t have the courage to say that I had no idea what it was that I wanted; all I knew was that it was no longer an option to stay. Our hometown had gotten too small. Our career options as programmers were limited to three major arteries within the city. It was time to get out. I wasn’t sure where the road was going to take us but we needed a fresh start, like, yesterday.
Fast-forward to a year later, just before my twenty-third birthday.
I glanced down at the wedding rings on my left hand but my resolve didn’t waver. If he was determined to find himself then so was I. I packed the final load into the $600 Honda Accord that I’d bought from some dude in North Vancouver before hugging my husband goodbye. He was on the path to becoming a police officer. I wasn’t really on a path at that point but I didn’t have the courage to tell him that the last eight months had been a waste. I’d been toying with the option of becoming a Real Designer, possibly of the Industrial variety; I’d always been interested in how products are designed. Sadly, the “education” left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
And so, I was returning to the city that had reared me in the first place.
I’d taken a job in a career centre. It paid well, I liked my work, and I enjoyed the people I worked with. As I worked with clients, I found my entrepreneurial spirit to be alive and ass-kicking; I began to daydream about opening up a business and actually doing web design for money. By the time July 2009 had hit, the husband had put his police quest aside so that I could come back home. By January 2010, I had established myself as a WordPress designer and developer with a party-time demeanour and a “sure can” attitude. People from all around the globe were asking for my services and I was flying high.
For a time, anyway.
Transitioning in and out of love with my business, I decided to dive head-first into a moonlighting career as a game journalist. I attended conventions, conducted interviews with developers and designers, and wrote my little heart out. Life was the best it could have been for the fleeting months when I was able to focus my fire on writing. When the money stopped rolling in for my business, I rolled over and attempted to reconnect.
Burn out hit me. Rock-bottom came next. I fumbled around, looking for signs of the end of this intellectual and emotional purgatory. The little stick – yes that little stick – said a mouthful when I found out that rock-bottom had actually just been a kink in the cycle. Mine, to be precise.
As I claw my way out of a Quarter-Life Crisis, I’m also grappling with the implications of “mama-to-be” without letting on that I’m just as panicked as excited. Weaving my way through the intertwining (and seemingly disparate) paths of “entrepreneur” meets “mama” meets “twentysomething” is a journey that I’m looking forward to sharing with all of you.