Honestly, I was going to wait until the end of 2019 to write up this post, as I do traditionally. Clearly though, this year has not been traditional, between posting about 2018 in September, rather than January or February and not talking about my goals for 2019.
Of course, trying to break my tradition isn’t what I’m trying to do. Instead, I’m responding back to this sense of urgency within me to make another post. It’s been shouting at me pretty much all this year and after posting those previous post, it has become even clearer: let’s talk about 2019!
I know it’s not the end of the year, but hey, lots of cool things have happened so far. (Heck, it’ll make the end of the year summary even easier to write this year than previously done.) You guys are also getting a Creative Works update rolled into this! WHOO!!
Let’s Talk about 2019!
Before We Begin…
If you read my 2018 summary post, you would know that I left 2018 as a full-time overnight associate at the 24-hour retail store I work at and I’m living in my dad, finally having more or less my own room. Hurricane comes over and works on his YouTube channel. My room finally became complete. I hadn’t really worked on much and I was working through some quieter depression.
What I didn’t mention last time was that I had already started thinking about becoming a shift leader at work shortly after I started, reminding me of a job I had in 2013, where two weeks in, I knew I wanted to be a supervisor. Moreover, I wanted to become a shift leader overnight, like the position I was in now. How can that be possible though? After all, just like the overnight positions, the slots for overnight shift leader were all taken.
Let’s Start 2019!
January 2019 showed me the door of opportunity was open for me to become a shift leader at work. One of the overnight shift leaders ended up having to leave for medical reasons. The other overnight shift leader, who needed to work a bunch of extra hours because there was not really anyone else to choose from, eventually asked me (sounding like he was mostly joking) if I wanted to become a shift leader and I said yes. He was surprised and we began talking about it.
Then the store manager hired someone from the outside to become a shift leader for overnight. I was kind of mad, but I also had not said anything to the store manager. The overnight shift leader who had been there had been surprised I hadn’t been asked first. I could tell you though that the door of opportunity was still wide open and I was wondering why.
…I soon found out.
The person they hired turned out to be unreliable. The overnight shift leader who had already been there finally had enough and went to the store manager to talk about his plan and…
I BECAME A SHIFT LEADER!!!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!!
I’ll admit, I was a bit overwhelmed at first, although I found a lot of it easy since it was like a supervisor job I had previously, except I had more responsibility with money this time around.
Then we arrive to April 2019, where while trying to get my job down, a customer at work has a pleasant interaction with me up until the point she said something that end up triggering some deep, deep trauma in me.
I know some people get triggered by the word “triggered,” but it’s the best way to describe what happened.
Of course, I am not blaming this woman. She literally would have zero idea about my trauma. There is no reason for her to know about it.
The trauma left me in complete turmoil and agony. I was dealing with anger, sadness, depression, and a slew of other emotions related to some simple words the customer had said to me. It made it difficult to function. The most frustrating part to me was that I was spending too much time in my head and I needed to get out of it so I could look at the trauma differently.
I think the store manager texted me just simply to do a periodic check in. I kept hearing in my head “tell your manager about your depression” and so I did, including about maybe sucking it up and going to see a therapist, despite that I am fully aware that therapy has repeatedly harmed me, because going to see a therapist is what you’re “supposed” to do when you have lots of depression and trauma, right?
Well, anyway, after writing to my manager, I had a mental shift happen. There was something SO FREEING about putting it out there, particularly to someone in a position who supposedly wouldn’t care (and guess what? The store manager is awesome enough to actually care and gave me some great advice about getting my team to do more). It loosened up my mind enough to look at it from a different angle. I started telling off the depression and the trauma and felt SOOOO much better.
It ended up subsiding not too long after that.
In May 2019, while all this was going on, I FINALLY PAID OFF MY DEBT. Spoiler Alert: paying off my debt by the end of May was one of my goals this year. And guess what? ACHIEVED! It was largely thanks to the higher pay of being a shift leader: I was able to throw $250 into my debt per paycheck (so $500 each month). (If you’re wondering what I did with that money after the debt was paid, I just started “paying” my savings account for the future.)
Another goal of mine this year to achieve was completing my Front-End Web Developer track on Team Treehouse (pssst if you click that link and sign up, you help me out by taking 20% off my monthly billing) by the end of June. When June came around though, I still had quite a lot left and I still wasn’t consistent with tackling the courses. However, I became determined to finish it, as it was the second thing on my goals list to achieve (going in order by deadline).
Halfway through the month of June, I finally figured out how to adapt my learning time to my work schedule.
Except I literally had to scrap it all because by the time I really got back to the classes, there was only about a week left!
Guess what though? I ACHIEVED THE GOAL!! Yep! Another goal achieved!
Somehow, I flew through the remaining 10 classes or so (which involved watching the videos, doing practices, taking quizzes, and taking notes) within that last week. I was amazed at myself. I couldn’t believe I achieved it!
I ended up learning two things:
- My work is going to get done, regardless of the time that I have. When it’s supposed to get done, it will get done;
- The approach I actually used, as opposed to the one I was going to use, was not sustainable over the long run and I truly needed to start spreading everything out more evenly;
They are both very important, but the first one genuinely surprised me. I already had a sense that I have all the time I need, not necessarily all the time I want and achieving this goal just reinforced that. My work got done when it needed to get done.
As you can probably imagine, I crashed in the beginning of July. This sucked because I was attempting to do artwork for my husband and start another set of courses on Treehouse. About halfway through the month, I dropped the Treehouse courses (temporarily) in favour of working on my husband’s artwork because that was the priority that month.
Okay, so, I decided earlier in the year (read: set a goal) to draw my husband 100 pieces of artwork for his YouTube channel. I also promised one of his friends artwork (just a single piece), as I was already drawing them for my husband’s channel. So far, prior to July, I had completed 1 picture, so I had 99 left over for him and 1 for his friend.
I dragged and dragged and dragged, feel kind of depressed. I managed to complete 8 pieces for my husband for the first three weeks of the month. Then it came the last week and I drew like a madman and…well, as you can imagine, missed my deadline.
Also, somehow, I went from having 92 pieces (including his friend’s) leftover to having 103 pieces leftover. (Yes, we kept adding)
To be honest though, I almost didn’t mind that I missed the deadline. It reminded me that the method I was trying to do was not sustainable and I needed to be more consistent and take time to get the work done across multiple days. It also reminded me that I regularly experience a dip in July and the second half of August every year (seasonal depression…?).
I worked on my husband’s artwork for two additional weeks into August before I faded out and burnt out. I kind of just…stopped. I didn’t feel too bad though. I know I needed the rest. My husband was nervous I wasn’t going to finish his artwork, but I reassured him that it’s getting done. (I’ll admit, at the time of writing this, in September, it is still not done.) I’m still determined to get it done!
Since my husband’s artwork has dragged out a lot longer than I meant it to, I realized that I needed to rethink my approach to the rest of the year. Although, if I had to be completely honest, I had previously anticipated that I had to rethink the rest of my year. September was the only one with a deadline I wanted to achieve (I’ll let you know what it is in my end-of-year summary post), while the remainder of 2019 was more of wishful thinking than anything else.
Okay, let me rewind a bit: in June or July, my store manager was doing a check in and asked me why I think I wasn’t achieving the goals of the job. I responded I think I haven’t gotten into the flow yet because it hasn’t hit the 6-months period (which would be about August because I didn’t actually really start being a shift leader until February). He agreed with that.
I honestly anticipated achieving the flow of the job at the end of July/early August. I was so ready to start flowing so I could refocus on work that matters to me!
You can probably imagine how surprised I was when I ended up in a different flow: the depression cycle I mentioned I experienced in 2018 (it was a cycle I’ve experienced in other years as well). Except…even that was different this time.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain: Since I started working, I go through a cycle that I have been deeming a “depression cycle” up until recently (the name no longer seems to fit, but I don’t really know what to call it anymore) that looks like this: Start a job and become super angry, depressed, and suicidal with a strong desire to quit > grace period where everything flows and everything seems balanced > I become angry, depressed, disinterested, and antsy > I quit the job.
With the current company I work with, prior to moving, I actually had thought I wasn’t experiencing it because I skipped over the first part of the cycle. However, when the third part hit, I was surprised. Why did I skip over the first part of the cycle?! What caused me to have the third part of it?! That’s when I looked back and realized that the reason I most likely skipped over the first cycle was because I was working on TrainerKelly’s Network for a good month or so prior to starting…something I had never done before. Another odd thing was I could tell you I needed to stick with the company I was with, but I couldn’t figure out what needed to change…until I moved, of course!
Right before I moved, I was talking to my mom about the “depression cycle” and she said something that I never considered before: perhaps it’s just me knowing it’s time to move on. While this doesn’t explain the first part of the cycle (to be honest, I think the first cycle results from not being given enough time to work on my own work, as all jobs prior to this one had a very short gap between me not working and me working…not long enough to fall into my work and actually get projects completed), it certainly explains that third and fourth part.
“Um, Kelly, why are you explaining this…?”
Because I hit the third part of my cycle, except it has manifested differently this time thanks to my mother pointing out to me it’s me knowing it’s time to move on. That’s why the third part of the “cycle” shows up.
This time, it was a lot quieter than previous years, but has resulted in feeling disinterested and frustrated with my job because I don’t want to be there. So much so, I actually asked for vacation time for once! I feel ready to leave and move on.
“Well, why can’t you leave?” To be honest, it’s because I’m getting “hold on” internally because things are being set up so I can move on. I don’t really know how to explain it other than that. I’m sure those of you who are more practical are probably like “just start submitting job apps and stuff” and I will tell you not yet. I get green-light signals. I haven’t gotten a green-light yet.
As of writing this, I’ll be taking my vacation at the end of this week. I am excited! What this vacation will hold, I’ll know when I get there.
“Kelly, all that’s great and stuff, but like…what about your stories?”
Let’s Get to the Creative Works!
I talked about artwork I’ve done/am doing for my husband. I talked about paying off my debt and completing my front-end web developer track. Let’s talk about my creative works though.
- I completed the storyboards for one of my comics;
- I went back through and recoloured my Naitmarish Glimpse comics;
- I did a few illustrations this year;
- I placed all the MAKE ME A MODEL storyboards into one comic viewer document thingy in Clip Studio Paint EX, so redrawing it will be easier on me;
- I started character design sheets;
- I started studying perspective (SUPER IMPORTANT for my illustrations to improve);
- I did started working on a re-coded version of my front-page layout. I know that doesn’t seem to be a “creative” work, but it does involve being creative! I’m trying to put those front-end web developer skills to good use;
Aaaaaand that’s why I didn’t produce a Creative Works update this year. This really isn’t much to report as of right now. I’m sure those of you waiting for me to post works are disappointed and trust me, I am too. Yet…I am also okay.
I can’t really say anymore about my projects and TrainerKelly’s Network as a whole right now. As I say, it’s a cake that’s baking in the oven. You can check on it, but please don’t take it out before it’s ready! It still looks soupy.
I think this year, so far, has been pretty dang great, minus depression hitting and whatnot. I’m still impressed. Despite the downs, 2019 has been great so far.
My hopes for the remainder of this year is that it continues to stay great, regardless of its ups and downs.
If I don’t make another update in 2019, I’ll see you guys in 2020!!
See ya and have fun! I’ll be back!