I want to catch you up to speed on some recent changes in my life...
After seven years of working in politics in DC, I'm changing course and going into interior design. Yes, a total 180. I've known for a few years that politics wasn't "it" for me, but wasn't sure what was going to be next. I went through lots of phases: teaching, social work, hair dresser? Then, and with the help of this blog, I decided that my real passion is interior design. So now I'm switching politics to my hobby, and interior design to my job and it's awesome.
How did this happen!?!?!
Earlier this summer I decided to start doing some information collecting about interior design. I needed to figure out how I should go about it. Should I go to school? Should I apprentice? I had no real familiarity with the field other than I wanted in. So I began setting up informational interviews with some design schools in DC and started what I thought would be the slow process of changing careers. I figured it would take a year at least.
One day I was chatting with Elizabeth, the woman I babysit for and whom I also consider a friend, and she was telling me that the interior designer she works for was looking for a new part-time design assistant. Would I want to apply? What!? No! I couldn't do that!
Wait. Yes I could!
I went home to talk to Jeff about it. I didn't want to get my hopes up that this career transition could be this easy. Could we even afford for me to work part-time? How would this all work? I was content in my current political job, was I really ready to leave? Jeff was more supportive than I even could have imagined. He assured me that the money wouldn't be an issue, we would figure it out. Now was the time to do this, start over. We don't have kids or mouths to feed. We don't have a mortgage or lots of debt. We can eat ramen if we need to to make this work. It was a rewarding feeling because for the last year we've been really focused on eliminating debt (except some student loans) and saving everything we could. In some ways, without knowing it, we were putting ourselves in a financial situation to be able to take this kind of leap. All our saving and hard work would pay off!
So I applied, interviewed and got the job. I'm still pinching myself.
I told my political job that I would be leaving and gave three weeks notice. I also offered to work part-time while they looked for a replacement. They took me up on it and since the beginning of September, I've been splitting my day, 4 hours at each place. Right now I'm training my replacement and at the beginning of October, I'll be able to focus all of my attention on my new interior design job.
About the new job... I work for an experienced designer (Annie) who started her own business and has built it form the ground up. She has a great and varied portfolio of clients all over DC. My main tasks are to keep the administrative parts of the business up to speed. Working in a database, ordering components etc. As I'm still learning the ins and outs of the business, Annie has been really inclusive with the design process and supportive of me learning all I can. I couldn't ask for anything more in a mentor and as my mother (an attorney) always says: "We must remember to lift other women up with us". Right on.
So, I'm three weeks in to my new career and couldn't be happier. I feel like I'm in a dream. And I can't thank Blythe, Jeff and Elizabeth (my now co-worker!) enough (and Nicky and Dukester, too!) for being so supportive of this endeavor. With their encouragement and the positive feedback from 75th + Sedgwick readers, I'm on to a new chapter and loving every minute.
This is the view from my new perch: