Seeing Again

by Megan M. on April 11, 2007 · View Comments (Projects) |

It’s funny how things change so fast.

One moment you’re doing what you want to do, proud of yourself for taking the next step. The next moment you realize that somewhere along the way you forgot the point, and you don’t know how you got from Point A to Point B, or what must have happened in the middle to make such a difference. That’s what happened to me.

In the beginning I just wanted something that was mine, really. It never occurred to me then that I might find a job working for someone else doing things the way I wanted to do them; looking back now I’m fairly certain I would have struck out on my own anyway. I started Virtual Magpie because I wanted to make something that was mine. Something big. Something wonderful.

I designed websites then because that’s what I was learning to do. The way I built them changed over the years but the job stayed the same because that’s what I was interested in and how I wanted to make my mark. It was a massive experiment. More kids should start their own businesses out of high school. It is great fun.

Over time I’ve gotten much better at the work itself, at handling clients and understanding what people need. But along with that I’ve fallen into a sort of disillusionment about why I’m doing this. I forgot that I was making something wonderful. I started to think I was trapped again, obligated to have some way of paying bills. So I stayed trapped, and kept paying those bills. And more than that, I stopped trying to find a way out. Because this was what I wanted, wasn’t it? I put myself here.

It’s been hard to see my way through all of this, but I think I’m finally starting to get it. No matter what they tell you, it’s not about paying the bills. It’s not about having a job. You will hear it from everyone but it’s not true. You are the best you when you’re doing what you love, because you love it. You are the best you when you’re learning and growing and making and building. You’re the best you when you love life and move forward. That’s the point.

I’ve been reading Alex Beauchamp’s blog from the beginning, when she quit her corporate job and decided to do what she loved, whatever the hell that turned out to be. I started reading this afternoon and I haven’t been able to stop. She reminded me of something I’d forgotten—it’s so strange to say that I’d forgotten it when all I’ve done is spout off about it, but I was saying things without understanding them. At a 9-to-5 I will never be the person I am when I do what I love, whatever that is. At this job, at Virtual Magpie, I will never be the person I am when I do what I love, if I’m not doing what I love for the sake of loving it. If Virtual Magpie becomes my trap, my only way to pay the bills, it’s no better than working at the radio station or the magazine. It’s the same grind and I’m no longer the best me.

And the best me will still pay the bills, all the while knowing that the bills aren’t the point. The bills stop mattering, because living my life is what matters, not complaining about it. Not finding new ways to be miserable!

There is no worth in any less than best—I might as well have stayed “gainfully employed”. This experiment, it has to have my absolute best attention, pride and affection. Virtual Magpie is a symbol of freedom and creativity and growth in me.

As long as I love it, it will love me back. You see?

I think I do.

  • Kyeli

    this made me cry happiness. You're so wonderful and awesome. I'm so proud of you, and proud to be your friend. (:

    *happy hugs*
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