Time passes, and as it does things inevitably change. Of course there are some things that remain ever unaltered, such as the undying devotion I feel toward my wife of now over eight months, but some things can and must change, and lately two very significant things have evolved for the better.
#1: The living situation
I guess I never really addressed our big move. After almost six months of unreasonable and vexing issues in our first apartment involving space and housing quality (read: disgusting creature infestation), crazy neighbors, questionable neighborhood, infuriating management and spotty maintenance (the details about which I won't bore you here), we decided it was time to try to sell our contract early and seek new accommodations. We did some research, showed our place and within a matter of weeks we were out of there forever. The poor fellow who finally bought our contract did so sight-unseen, but we decided that we felt good about giving our contract up to someone, especially a single guy because: It's actually a pretty good sized space for a single man, even if he does, as we were led to believe, have a sometimes-child with him; most of the management issues would have been solved, since the property had recently been purchased by a different company (who have been giving us real problems as far as getting our deposit back is concerned, but that's for another blogpost... Just beware of REMS, Inc. is all I can say); the bug situation was reportedly on the mend; the neighbor situation had been improved considerably; the contract only went until August, so if it was bad the new tenant could just put up with it for a few months (heck, we did) and then opt not to renew. We had a lot of good memories at our old place, including our first winter and holidays, but it was time for a change. And even though we only moved about a mile and a half away, the situation is decidedly improved, and considering other circumstances (see #2 below), we decided we could afford a few more dollars a month for such an upgrade.
#2: The working situation
As I said, certain circumstances led us to feel that we could afford to move into a better situation. Julie found work after several frustrating months of searching, and was quickly welcomed into her employers' good graces due to her high productivity, positive attitude and fun personality (not to mention that nice Masters degree...), and they have been encouraging her to apply for promotions and other such opportunities.
Hot on the heels of Julie's employment success, I experienced a little of my own. Since last May I had been working as a graphic designer for a local company that creates and prints phonebooks for publication and distribution in Arizona, California, Wyoming, Arizona and Utah, and while I was grateful to have a job to pay for wedding and honeymoon necessities, and to live on while Julie looked for work, it was always a temporary situation until I found something a little more profitable and relateable to my education. There were times I was so frustrated that I was ready to walk out immediately, but I knew I had to stick it out until something else came along, and I never stopped looking for new opportunities. When the supervisor for the Hmong interpreters at General Conference indicated that his place of employment might be looking for a new/additional graphics man, I told him to definitely keep me informed. Just two weeks ago I talked to him in length about the job, and he said they would definitely be looking for someone new. I had been waiting for something else to come along, and along came something! I submitted by resume, complete with link to my online portfolio, and by the next day I had been contacted and scheduled for a phone interview. Within the week I was offered a job making much more than I currently was, working remotely (at home!) and doing work much closer to my field of study! They wanted me to start immediately, but I insisted on giving the office some kind of notice, however minimal. The company is Pearson, and their work is largely products, presentations, programs and websites for use in every level of the education system; the job is graphic designer/animator, and the atmosphere is fun and creative; most of the interaction is via web meetings and phone calls. The only drawback is that the job was initially listed as temporary, but the company is very optimistic that it will turn permanent in the next few months.
By the end of the week they'll have me set up with a killer home office, including a new Mac and fancy tablet, and I'll be learning a lot and adjusting to new things, I'm sure. I look forward to and welcome the challenge. I've also worked out a deal with Dad to rent some of his unused office space so I can spread out and have a more roomy studio space until we have more room at home.
So that's what's been going on! We love our new apartment, and I'm looking forward to some new work. It's not my dream job of course, but until Disney calls me up, I'm glad to expand my skill set, build my resume and do some creative work on the way.