beautiful life || funemployment and finding my voice

I always imagined I’d be great at retirement. I was literally counting the days…years, until I could retire and do and make and see all the things and places I’d always dreamt of. I’d have the best hobbies – making stuff, painting furniture, gardening, flipping house, drinking lots of Sangria. I’d travel to new places – Cape Town, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, the beautiful New England area (and live it up with my best gal pal, Taurie, obviously), and I’d go back to my favorite places and re-appreciate them as a seasoned, well traveled, and mature adult (psh, HA) – Spain, Switzerland, Morocco, Italy, Disney World duh.

I’d better start saving now for the aforementioned retirement. Actually, I’m probably already approximately 5 years behind in my retirement plan and have already lost out on thousands and thousands of dollars. Dang. Better pass on the Sangria.

I assumed funemployment would be similar to retirement, only better because I am young and able, yet smart and semi-experienced, ready to take on the world! I’m no longer a young, fresh out college faux adult. No, no sir. I am nearly 27, TWENTY SEVEN. I’ve been places, tackled hard things. I’m supposed to KNOW stuff. Ya know? I’m practically 30, which is when I read on the internet that you finally get it all figured out. It has to be true. It was on the internet.

Turns out funemployment is kind of hard. It’s not really like retirement because you didn’t have many, many years to plan for it. You can’t garden because you don’t own a house and day drinking Sangria all the time is a big contributor to the Newlywed Nine. You can’t go to Ireland unless you sell LOTS, I mean LOTS, of painted furniture and even then your husband couldn’t join you because he actually has a real job – ya know, commitments and responsibilities.

Boo.

I’m doing my best to make the most of this season though, and have learned a few things about myself in the last month. Like:

  1. I actually really enjoy working. I thrive with goals and deadlines. And lists. Boy, do I love lists.
  2. All my favorite things and many retirement plans require lots of monies, which makes me really enjoy working even more.
  3. I need to get better at letting Dave take care of us. I’m fiercely independent and don’t appreciate all he does nearly enough because I’m constantly thinking “if only I had a job, then I could do/buy/get it myself.” Sorry, honey. I’m trying!
  4. When I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable – “be here”, “do this” – I’m actually SO lazy. It’s embarrassing.
  5. The more I practice creativity, the more creative I find myself to be.

Before this season, I never would’ve thought my work was anywhere near worthy of an actual craft and art market. NEVER. Not in a million years. But I did it and it was fantastic.

Before this season, I would’ve LAUGHED OUT LOUD at the mailman when he asked if I was an artist. Now, I just blushed and stuttered “umm, well, I don’t really know. Kind of?”

Before this season, I never would’ve imagined making a name for myself in my small corner of the blogging & Etsy selling world. Nope. Not possible, I thought. But I’m doing just that – slowly, but surely.

Before this season, I never would’ve thought I’d write things that people would read. I never thought of myself as clever or funny. Actually, that’s a lie. My problem is usually that I think I’m way more clever than anyone else does. But sometimes you laugh and relate to what I write, and that makes me feel SO good and worthy.

My morals of the story? Funemployment is much different than my dream retirement. It’s hard and challenging, and some days I really struggle with what my purpose is and what His plan is for me. Maybe this is it, though. The right job will come when it’s supposed to, and until then I’m going to find my voice. I’ll keep writing and making and trusting that His plan is so much better than my own. The beauty of that is far beyond my comprehension most days.

And I’m going to get much better at letting my husband take care of me. Cheers to you, Mr. Dave and cheers to embracing funemployment.

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  1. Yes, Shanna!!

    I’m 1.5 months retired at 25 and it definitely is a whole new experience. Complete joy and relief and gratitude aaaaand terror, panic, and fear. And most certainly a big chance to learn to TRUST and RECEIVE.

    To let the people who love us AND let God take care of things we have been SO convinced we have to do on our own.

    I think it’s the most amazing gift to get to have the time and space to figure YOU out a bit, observe what feels good, what works and what doesn’t, what’s natural for you [vs. what you’ve always had to do to “fit” in the world]

    And yes! CREATE CREATE CREATE! Explore what the freedom, space, and capacity to tune in and listen up show you, maybe This Idyllic Life IS your purpose ♡

    Keep going, I know it takes a LOT of courage to let yourself slow down and stop and craft a life on completely different terms, but I want to believe that by US making the choice to live what feels great, other people can too! :]

    • Karmen, I can’t even find the words to express how much your words mean to me. I’m brought to tears by your honesty and encouragement. It’s so important to know we’re not along in this world, left to fend for ourselves. This has definitely taught me that, among so many other things. 🙂 THANK YOU, dear girl, for taking the time to share. I appreciate it SO much.