**note - this may not be an easy read. I’m sharing an experience of Depression, and of thoughts of ending my own life in this post. Though there’s nothing graphic, I’d encourage you to skip this post if reading about this may trigger some hard stuff for you. I completely understand and send some gentle hugs your way**
Well hey - remember me? You know, the one who designed and developed WordPress websites for several years over on angelsullivan.com… the same one who would tell anyone who cared to listen about how WP was far and away SOOOO much better than Squarespace?
Oh, and the very same who decided that she was just completely done with websites all together in 2015 after four years of running the above mentioned angelsullivan.com?
Let’s start off here by me admitting that I’m eating a slice (or two!) of humble pie right now. After all, one never does know how things will change. I learned a long time ago to never say never, but it seems I’d forgotten that particular lesson.
Be that as it may… here I am.
If you remember me from the WordPress days, you may be curious what I’ve been up to, why I’ve decided to get back into the website design / dev arena, and why I’ve chosen to roll with Squarespace after all those years of Wordpress. Well… I’m a #curiousbear myself, so I understand the wondering. Let’s see if we can break it down.
What have I been up to for the last few years…
To start us off…. in the summer of 2015, I went back to my old job. Had anyone asked me only a year prior to that if I’d ever consider going back to that old job, I’d have rolled my eyes and said - not a chance. #neversaynever #lessonlearned I’ll tell you that it was, and is, amazing to have a steady paycheck coming in again. The stability of that is comforting, to say the least.
Fast forward through 2016, which - thankfully - was a fairly uneventful year for me personally, and into 2017 where my life just kind of felt like it imploded.
We had two beloveds in the family pass in quick succession that year. One was entirely unexpected, and the other… well it wasn’t entirely unexpected but whether it’s expected or not doesn’t seem to dull the pain, does it? In the same month of the second funeral, my family moved one county north into a house we’d been working on having built for the better part of a year. The process had been frustrating and hard, and not at all what we’d imagined it would be, but we were thrilled to finally have the build and closing complete, and to be able to move in at the end of May. Unfortunately, the frustrations didn’t end there, but have continued on even to this day.
Then in June, my girl headed off for Basic Military Training and this mama’s heart really struggled some more. On top of the normal difficulty of having little contact with the recruit during basic (holy hannah - I had no idea what a challenge that would be!), MY recruit also had some medical problems and ended up in med-hold for somewhere around 6 weeks. We weren’t sure if she would be sent home because of it, but in the end she persisted, and she made it.
Even though I do not love travel (I’m such a homebody, you guys… let’s get that right out in the open now!), I had a work trip and then the trip to TX to see that girl graduate right up against each other so that was hard… and it was also AMAZING to see her after those months of so little contact. I’ve never been more proud of her in her life (though she continues to raise the bar and makes me proud every day).
The first day of my trip to TX, my own bootcamp also began. I was accepted on scholarship into Cisco’s first round of training for their brand new CCNA Cyber Ops certification. I spent almost every free waking minute of the next six months studying my tail off for that thing. I sat for the first exam in November of 2017, and passed. Then sat for, and passed the second of the exams at the beginning of 2018… and that was it - I was officially a CCNA again - only this time with the specialty in Cyber Ops. Unfortunately, I’d realized by then that I wanted no part of the field.
OH, and did I forget to mention that at the start of 2017, and then again at the end of 2017, I experienced the worst Depression I’d ever experienced - to date - in my life?
Yeah - then there was that.
I’m sure there are lots of business-y folks (and, let’s face it… probably lots of non-business-y folks too) who’d tell me not to talk about this here… but frankly, there are too many people suffering and feeling like they need to hide it from the world as it is. I want no part of that either, so if me sharing my story helps to normalize it in some minuscule way, you can bet I will share away.
So yeah… I really struggled with the Depression that year too, on top of everything. Those two time frames in 2017 were the closest I’d ever come to ending my own life. I didn’t tell anyone, and I hid it - from everyone - for as long as I could… and as completely as I could. My husband may have been the only one who knew the extent of it - or close to it at least… he did not know at the time that I was actually sitting quietly and considering how to best end it in order to have the least impact on those around me. He did not know that I was playing out various scenarios in my head.
Thankfully, I finally decided to open up to my director at the end of 2017 and let her know where I was with everything, and that I needed some time off. She helped me to work out a way to take that time at the start of 2018, and that was the beginning of me rounding the corner.
So 2018 was a year of just working toward regaining my strength, really. Getting back to neutral.
I’d been SO worn down by life, and circumstance, and my own brain… and I just really needed to recover a bit.
As the year wore on, and I did begin to recover… I realized that something was still missing.
I didn’t yet know what, exactly, was missing… but I could feel that yawning gap between what is and what wants to be. Do you know that feeling?
Then suddenly in the fall of 2018 I got a glimmer. I saw an offer from Kerstin Martin for an amazing deal on a bundle of her courses. A lightbulb popped on in my being, and I signed up. Once I’d done that and started the courses I’d purchased from her (which I very highly recommend for any of the DIY types out there!), my next realization popped up…. my word for 2019 was to be Remember.
Since the fall, and since I’ve started taking steps in this direction… I feel more alive than I have in a long time. I feel more and more like myself, you guys. I feel like I’m Back (or at least getting there). These little bits and pieces of me that I’d completely forgotten about somehow… they’re kind of peeking their head up now and then, as if to say “Oh hai, fren! Here I am!” and I just love it.
I’ve remembered how much I love to move my body and dance, and how graceful I used to be… I’ve found myself be-bopping around the house to 80’s music and just really having a time of it.
I’ve found myself doing a junk journal and vision boards, and finally using all these delicious, creative goodies that I’ve been accumulating over the last several years… and - I’m so serious - laughing with the absolute joy of it!
It’s so good to be back, and to be in the process of coming back, you know?
And I want that for you, too. I want you to remember that spark, that glimmer, that light within your own depths. And I want to help you to bring it to the surface to share with the world in whatever way best suits you. If part of that means a website, magnificent! If it doesn’t, that rocks too! Ultimately, there will be lots of ways for us to interact, and I’m entirely psyched to get started.
Or… if we’re not new to each other, welcome back! I’m so glad that we’re all together, in this here and now… and I can’t wait to see what we do with it!