Week 9 of Unemployment: Internal Struggle

Week 9 of Unemployment: Internal Struggle

This was a Very Hard week (with a capital V and H). I started some new contract work and went through daily panic, anxiety and heart attacks. But no snack attacks. That would have been fine. Just the bad kinds of attacks. I And I was a bit of a Drama Queen (again with capitals) and thought I would not come away from the week alive.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I must preface the story. So to make a long story even longer … I have this soccer friend who mentioned a long time ago she did freelance layout work for a magazine. I said, hmm, sounds interesting and did she need help? Not at that time, she didn’t. When I got laid off, I touched base with her again. A few weeks later, she told me she had to get off the project and it was mine if I wanted.

Here’s the short description. It’s a biweekly, 60-page auto sales magazine. We use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop for the layout (although I haven’t touched the latter two since college, I figured it was like riding a bike). The magazine and work is pretty straightforward, but it felt daunting and invigorating at the same time. It was an opportunity to expand my skill set even more as a freelancer and get off unemployment every other week. And who doesn’t love a challenge? So I decided to go for it.

Enter computers. My family comes to me when they have computer programs, but hi, I hate computers. They are actually the bane of my existence. When I started getting set up to take over the project a few weeks ago, my friend and I realized that my computer was not up to par for the work. That was freak-out number one. It really messed my computer up, actually, but my friend eventually fixed it back. Still, I decided it would be best to call my new boss and speak the truth. I was not the gal for the job apparently.

But then, the new boss did something unthinkable. He offered to buy me a brand-new, beautiful, fancy MAC computer (not to keep, but to use for the project). Um, problem solved.

So he bought the sweet-ass computer and my friend and I worked again to get me prepped to take over. Then, she left to spend a week in the woods of Maine where she had no cell service. I would be fine! Except that I was really freaking out. I had one friend advise me to have the “F” it attitude. If you keep that attitude, you WILL be amazing. I tried really hard to keep my confidence, but it was definitely not working.

The week and work started. Then the problems came. In droves. It was like everything I did, every action I took on the project was an epic fail. A lot of it was not my fault. There were some really weird technical issues that no one could explain. I believe the computer hated me. Heck, I hated me. I cried. I hoovered in a black cloud of self-pity all week. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom (TMI). While J was getting a healthy dose of sleep every night, I was up staring at the computer asking the big guy upstairs to throw me a bone. I just felt so desperate.

My boss man was so understanding, helpful and encouraging (this guy is truly awesome). He thought I was just so unlucky. We muddled through the week and on Friday, 3 hours after my deadline, I finished the magazine layout. I dread seeing it in print. There were so many work-arounds I had to take that I am afraid it came out terribly (it probably didn’t). I even had a dream last night that I saw the magazine on the stand and half the cover was covered with a big white text box.

The experience was utterly horrible and I wanted to quit every step of the way. But I didn’t. I am not usually a quitter. My mom taught me that. When I was young, I wanted to quit the swim team after one week. She was adamant about me finishing out the season. Because I made the commitment. But on Friday, I told the boss man that I wanted out. He understood, but complimented my work and stamina and pretty much begged me to give it another shot.

I have since picked myself up off the floor and I am actually considering giving it another shot. Am I crazy? YES. But it’s just that everyone else seems to believe in me. And my friend thinks she knows how to fix all the computer issues (brand-new, sweet ass computers are not always awesome). I am not 100% that I will keep the contract work yet, but we shall see … I will update you.

In the meantime, good thoughts need to be sent J’s way for his first triathlon manana! He’ll be swimming 10 miles, biking 90 and running 26 … or a 1/2 mile, 6 miles and 3 miles … either way, it’s a lot of work. And FYI, we did finally make it to the pool for training and didn’t drown!

One response to “Week 9 of Unemployment: Internal Struggle”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Patrice,
    Give me a call if you ever have problems like that. Carlos is a big MAC guy and he works with design programs all day long at his job. I'm sure he could help you. How's it going?

    ~Shadow

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