Fall Space

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It’s been another minute or two since I updated; nothing is wrong (although to those of you who were kind enough to ask, thank you for thinking of me), and it’s not even that I’ve been overly busy – it’s just that I suddenly GET busy every time I think about blogging, and it gets put off again.

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Me every time I try to write a blog post

For example, the moment I sat down to write this Saturday night, our dog Penny started having a seizure. She’s been diagnosed with epilepsy for about two years now, so it isn’t that this was a surprise; it’s just that it takes time to deal with. She only has them once every few months, so for now at least it isn’t anything she needs medication to deal with. And in fact, most of her seizures are fairly mild, although still upsetting to witness, and the most maintenance we have to do comes after the fit is over. Penny regains awareness fairly quickly, but then there’s a long period of time where she is disoriented and agitated and just wanders around the house endlessly and anxiously. One of us always stays nearby and tries to soothe her with comforting talk so she’ll feel safe while she recovers; since she normally has seizures early in the morning (between 1 and 5 AM, usually) this leads to a long night, because it can take her over an hour to calm down. Then of course there’s always the housecleaning that has to be done since she always pees when she seizures (all over the carpet as well as herself). But it has to be done, and by the time she finally fell asleep Saturday night I was too tired to continue writing.

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I think I’ve written about Penny’s epilepsy before, so I won’t go on about it again. It’s really just an example of how I keep getting sidetracked from posting anything. I keep totally forgetting to share pictures on Flickr, too, which is weird. I used to be meticulous about posting a photo every day at around the same time, but in the last year that has really tapered off, as has my photo-taking. For the most part it isn’t something I’ve felt super-motivated to do, even though I could certainly make time for it right now. I’ve got a lot of wigs I could review also, but I haven’t had the focus to do that either; I’ve mostly been doing lazy things like spending too much time on Reddit’s RuPaul’s Drag Race sub (All Stars 2 is underway, and it is fabulous) or shopping online. Then I look up, and half the day is gone, and I spend the rest of my time trying to get errands done or work out a little bit.

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I do have a client now for my business, and I just met with the student this past Wednesday for the first time. I say it’s the first time, but this is a student whom I worked with at the school last year, so it’s not like it was my first time working with this kid. In fact, it was really nice to see him again and feel useful. I think the main reason for my slowdown in creative productivity has been anxiety over the whole business endeavor. I was fine not having clients in July, but as September kept unspooling I began to feel the lack of activity, and began to worry (well, worry more, I guess it’s better to say). I didn’t want to get inundated with clients once I emailed some schools and placed a few ads, but I didn’t want to have nothing on the line, either. So the waiting for something to happen started to mess with my mind a little bit and push me more towards mindless activity rather than creative ones. That’s why all the pics I’m uploading today are old ones – some of these were shot as long as five years ago, but were never edited.

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I took them long ago, but I’ve been playing around more with this Topaz Glow software I bought for $50, along with my Portrait Pro and RadLab I love so much, and going way back through past photo shoots for test shots on which I could experiment. For example, my makeup was so NOT green in this shot, or even anywhere close. In fact it  was just a test shot taken as I applied my makeup and to set up my lighting.

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Not only have I been getting sidetracked by random urgent business that seems to come every time I sit down to write, it also seems that every step of getting my own thing going involves learning 20 or 30 new things when I’ve assumed it would only take ten minutes to take care of it. For example, last week I decided I wanted to place some ads in local papers – something I thought would take perhaps 30 minutes at the most – and discovered I knew nothing about the different types of ads one can run or the specs required to submit them. I know how to use Photoshop for editing photos, not publishing, so just putting two different ads together took hours. I had to figure out how to get the files in the exact measurements and other details such as dpi, but that wasn’t really the worst part – the worst part was figuring out exactly what the hell to say. I’ve been slowly developing a clearer picture of how I want this business to look as I move forward, but I’m still struggling to define it for others. And that’s something you kind of have to be able to do to run a damn magazine ad.

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Realizing that I am still struggling to define my job led me to the conclusion that I would, in fact, go ahead and pursue Life Coach certification. It’s something I considered doing over the summer but decided against because I didn’t think I needed it. I do have a Master’s in Counseling, after all, and Academic Coaching is what I did for kids the past two years at the school, but in the end I’ve come to realize I really could benefit from pursuing official certification and learning how the pros do it, so I can do it properly. Maybe it’s still not necessary, but for my confidence level to be where it needs to be, it’s something I want to do. So, I went ahead and signed up and my course starts the first week of October.

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I also realized recently (well OK, so it was pointed out to me specifically) that I didn’t exactly celebrate finally landing my first client. In fact, I pretty much swept it under the rug and refused to give it a second’s thought – and when it was pointed out to me that I was behaving this way I had to consider why that might be so. And what I realized was that I didn’t want to celebrate it, because I wasn’t particularly proud of it. Deep down I’ve been considering this new endeavor to be a demotion; that it’s something I shouldn’t feel too proud of because it isn’t a legitimate “job.” And as I said to someone recently, anyone can call themselves a Life Coach without being the least bit certified or qualified, so to announce to the world that it’s what I’m now doing felt silly and wrong. I am much more invested in the validation of having an employer who chooses me to do a professional job than I am of going out on my own and advertising and drumming up business. I still have that old-school mentality that says the only legitimate jobs out there are the ones that involve me getting hired and receiving and steady paycheck; and that anything else is just pretending. I don’t know why I am so subconsciously committed to this idea, but apparently I am, because it’s been holding me back from embracing this whole thing.

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Once I realized I was treating myself this way, I forced myself to stop doing it. I purposely made an announcement about getting my first client on Facebook, even though it embarrassed me to do it, and I’ve been watching myself when I talk to people about it and being careful to not get sheepish or self-deprecating about it. The truth is I can do whatever the hell I want to do with my life and my time, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of even if this new career path wasn’t blessed by an organization or corporation that marks me with a big old stamp of approval.

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Of course, advertising makes me uncomfortable. I perfectly enjoy keeping myself private (in spite of the blog), especially in my own neighborhood. But my neighborhood is, of course, the best place to get clients, so I’ve been putting my name out there in spite of my reluctance to do it. I didn’t go so far as to put a picture of me on my ads, although several friends suggested I do this as it would get more attention (kind of like how realtors always put their photos in their ads). I’m really  not ready for people to recognize me that readily, but I do need to get comfortable asking them for business and working with them when the occasion arises.

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So, the past few weeks have been all about moving out of my summer phase, which was one of letting go of the past, and moving into the fall phase of focusing on and growing my business. It is nice, though, to finally feel like I am in the new phase instead of still feeling so hung up on how things went down at my former place of employment. It definitely took all summer to get here, but here I finally am. Now when I’ll have time for more photos or videos I am not sure. I’m still kind of not in the mood for either, but perhaps once the weather changes and I get a break from the oppressive Texas heat that will change.

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For now, it’s old photos and no videos though. I do see Jon Renau is coming out with a fall line soon – dare I to hope there will be at least one that’s affordable? Raquel Welch’s fall line literally made me laugh out loud at the prospect of paying almost $400 for one of their synthetic wigs, but Renau will usually come out with at least one non-monotop that’s reasonable, so here’s hoping that ONE is worth trying. Other than that, it would be nice to see some new Rene of Paris, Noriko or Amore styles coming out soon, and damned if I don’t keep forgetting that I still have an order of custom Laine wigs that are supposed to arrive soon. I’m surprised I don’t have them yet; this order seems to be taking longer than any other custom deal I’ve tried before, but perhaps that’s because they have to make 5 instead of 3 this time? I don’t know, but it feels to me like I should have them by now. I’ll check again with Gallery of Wigs to see how it’s coming along.

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That’s it for now, folks. Happy Monday!

11 thoughts on “Fall Space

  1. Firstly, oh poor Penny baby, when your animal hurts it like it’s happening to you( except worse!) Good thing she has lovely human owners 🙂
    Secondly ,Don’t you just hate it when life gets in the way of things you want to do!
    Thirdly, Man you are SO incredibly photogenic ( I know you will say photoshopped) but honestly they are so brilliant. The purple one with planets on your dress? (second pic) of you is so very stunning. And the one with you spotlighted with the blank wall behind, very Celine Dione!
    You know it IS a big thing being your own boss, be proud of your new venture, some people only dream of doing what you’re doing because they know they can’t. It’s ok to say job well done at having your first or many clients. So I will have a glass of champagne for you! 🙂
    And it’s been a great Monday for me hope it was for you 🙂

    • Thanks! It was a good one, may have picked up another client. 😉 I hope I get some time and the desire to do either some videos or photos soon. And penny is all recovered – she even got her hair cut today with no issues. 🙂

  2. Hi Cynthia! First of all, I’m glad you are ok and all is well. Secondly–I think you are getting those jitters because you are branching out on your own in the world of business. Take a deep breath. We all get overwhelmed at times. But remember this. You ARE a great teacher–and because of that I really think you would be a wonderful life coach. Geez–look how talented you are. You could be a professional photographer or stylist for a wig company if you wanted to!!! Take my shoulder anytime you need to. BTW, I thought the Jon Renau fall line is incredibly pricey!!

  3. I loved your title fall space it sums up the blog perfectly. Just making space for your new life that is going to take time to develop. So many Uni students get counselling, support and advice whilst they’re in the Uni but from what I hear and see its when they leave and set out in the big, wide world they need all of this help. They go from being surrounded by people and routines to relying on themselves.

    I loved your photos they are fabulous it’s no wonder you can’t focus on them when you’re busy with your planning and thinking through what you’re doing next. I had to drop to a once per week post and I know lots of bloggers that do once per month so as long as you’re happy that’s all that matters. 😊

    • Thanks! There is such a thing as a ‘life coach’ which I will also be certified for at the end of my training, and they work with adults at any age once out of college. A lot of colleges in the US have Academic Coaches already. 🙂

  4. For some reason I just forgot to check my reader and this week has been so stressful in dealing with my hair colouring challenge. But I finally made it to your post. Anywho glad Penny is okay. And wow that totally sucks for her to have to deal with that. Glad you are working with a student you have already worked with before. I’ve always been a fan of your photography. And what colors did you get Laine in?

  5. I’m going to call that one photo your Elphaba Super Model shot.
    You have a lot of adjustment to do with the new business. I wish you lots of luck and everything good!

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