A couple of month’s back I had breakfast with an old friend. It’s someone I’ve seen two or three times in the past twenty years. Prior to that we had a close friendship. The conversation was mostly catchup because through the years our interests and commonalities grew far apart.
What was interesting and caught me by surprise was his comment on my retirement. He said that I had a lot more time for design and gardening.
That was so then.
When I was much younger I was an avid gardener seeking out the unusual flowers and colors. I would rip out grass to add huge flower beds. I had annuals and perennials and all sorts of shrubbery.
I went to school for landscape and floral design and worked in that field for ten years. That was when he knew me.
As with a lot of things in my life it was a passage. Much as I still love gardening, it’s demanding physical work. It’s not something I want to do now, not on that scale. Give me a few tomato plants and I’m happy.
As for design work, I found it a tough field to earn a good living. I switched back to my corporate roots.
The break in careers was good for me. When I went back to the corporate world, I had a different appreciation for it. I would scold friends who complained. The pay was great and the benefits much better than working independently or for a small company.
Not everyone is cut out for the corporate environment. Some people do better working for themselves. It didn’t work for me. I am not good at marketing myself and I found that I had to do a lot of crap work to be rewarded with one plum project.
In the corporate world, I got to be the boss. I liked that.
There have been a lot of stages. At one point I thought I would start a candle making business. I shed that idea with my tie-dyed tee-shirts, head band and lace up sandals. (Too bad I don’t have a picture of that. Well, maybe I do but you won’t see it!)
I did high-end floral design work for many years. Tough field. Bad pay.
There was a very short stint catering for friends. Yikes! It gave me a great appreciation for patience.
I have friends associated with the different stages. Some people still see me as I was 20 or 30 years ago.
Others, who only know me through my blog, have no idea what I can do outside of writing.
As you look at people all you see is the “now.” Often we don’t see all the parts that went into the “now,” which can be very interesting.
What about you? Been through some reinventions? Would your now friends be surprised? ‘Fess up!