I really debated on whether or not to write this post.  I whiffle waffled back and forth, started to write it. Deleted it. Wrote it again, saved it to drafts, deleted it and now rewriting it once again.  Probably this is more cathartic for me to write then it will be for you to read but they are just my thoughts.  A year full of thoughts.  I would say a year of discovery but it sounds so cliche though it is true.

It has been one year now that I was "dismissed" from my job.  Looking back I would like to say that I was sad to lose my job.  Yes and mostly no.  Yes because I miss the friends that I made there, I miss camaraderie on a daily basis and I miss the regular paycheck.  I don't miss the amount of stress, doing multiple people's jobs, the lack of support, the daily abuse among things.  I can remember driving home the day that I was let go.  Did I cry, was I sad?  No and not really.  Strange answers I know. The stress had been getting so bad at work. I was managing several "jobs" at one time, no increase in pay, no promotion. In fact, I had been told by HR the year before that if I wanted a promotion I needed to go work for another company.  There was "just no place to promote me".  What? Other people were getting manager levels I, II, III but not me.  Why?  Yes, I should have seen the writing on the wall.  Like most I turned a blind eye and thought if I just worked that much harder, did that much more that it wouldn't come to me leaving.  I think we get so comfortable where we are that even if the writing on the wall was 10 feet high and 20 feet wide it would still be ignored.  So, I spent that year thinking that out of some miraculous entertainment, the management would change their mind.  Nope, didn't happen.  I drove home that day and thought, I am so relieved.  I would get to sleep in, take my son to school, watch TV, laze about during the day, take some classes and just relax.  
I did some of the relaxing but mostly my days have been packed full of all kinds of stuff.  I actually decided to start this website which at first was just going to be a daily blog.  That didn't work.  However, I did start putting recipes, art, photography and lately the speed draws.  Stepping back, when I was a kid I had several dreams.  One of those being an artist.  I really wanted to grow up and just art.  When I started junior college I was a art major and was loving it.  Absolutely loving it. I even took a theatre class that I loved. Then I took a biology class and thought this was cool.  It was at that time that I let myself be talked out of being an artist.  It was the entire there is no money in it, no future.  I'm such a dumb ass.  With the advent of computers and computer games, what do you think is in demand?  Yep, artist, animators.  Great, just freaking great.  Is it too late. Nope, I don't think so.  Here is the thing, once I became a Biology major and after when I started my career, I had never stopped drawing.  I had laid down my camera and packed it away.  Never though did I pack away my pencils, my tablets or my pastels.  When my son came into my life and he began to draw I would draw with him.  It was an exercise that we did together because I wanted him to see how much fun it was. During my last six months at my job, I purchased a pretty good camera and lenses.  I had begun to experiment with them and was getting some tips and tricks from a woman at work.  Something was starting to reawaken in me.  I had started to carry my camera just about everywhere I went.  
Once my job was lost, I floundered for a week or so and then signed up for some online classes in Environmental Health and Safety (one of the things that I had been doing at my job) and decided that I would start a company.  However, in the meantime I was taking pictures as often as I could.  Going to the San Diego Safari Park at least once a week to get more pictures.  Taking hikes or just walking my property to get shots.  During this time we had our first art studio open in town.  I took my first class there about a month after being home.  Art, how I missed doing art with others.  I started drawing every night to get my art muscles back into shape.  I began posting more and more on this website but not the blog but recipes.  I had also rediscovered my joy of making recipes and cooking.  Mostly while working I would just throw stuff together for us to eat or we went out and got something.  Now, now I had time to create.  I have been going at it with gusto.  
The other joy this year has brought is the stay home mom aspect.  I wish I could have done this when my son was younger but no use crying over spilled milk.  We both have enjoyed the time that we have gotten to spend together but we are both realizing that he is now old enough that mom doesn't have to be home. He has his friends, his computer games and his after school gaming club. The time for the need of a stay home mom has passed, sadly.
The year slipped by.  I continued to take online classes in EHS and then also started to take Web Design classes.  I have continued to draw and now do speed draws and put them on YouTube.  Why? Because it makes me happy.  Yes, happy.  For the first time in a long long long time.  I am happy.  I'm not happy that I don't have money but I'm happy with me.  It is like finding a friend that you lost a long time ago and didn't even realize you lost them.  Now that they are back in your life, you wonder how you lived without them.  I love to art.  I love to find new things to draw, new avenues to explore. I want to learn how to animate, I want to get good on my digital art. I want to keep learning.
The year is over though. My year of freedom and discovery has just about come to a close and I know that I have to go back to a regular job.  Not that I am minding that either.  There have been times that even with all that I have been doing, I'm bored.  I miss the collective mind of a job.  I miss those daily challenges.  I miss having adults to talk with during the day.  I'm in a better place mentally then I was a year ago or even two years ago.  I know what I want.  I know what I want my future to hold.  
Will going back to work end my website?  No, I will keep doing it.  I love to art, I love to recipe, I love to photograph.
What will the new year hold?  I don't know but my hope, my wish is that it is a new time of discovery. A new beginning.  I'm excited.