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Loss, by design?

May 19, 2015

Newspapers-and-magazinesWe all know Rick is gone. In a fun twist, I am letting go of a lot of weight. It’s the end of school, so the kiddos are gone. I even lost my room at the school — and now I have to move to a new classroom. I’m am honestly trying to let go of things I don’t need anymore. I cleaned out a few closets and I’m considering what needs to stay and what needs to go. On a more emotional scale I’m trying to get rid of old ideas and practices that aren’t good for me too. And of course trying to replace them with better things.

It has been hard work both emotionally and spiritually. But I have been lucky enough to have a physical manifestation of the process in my body letting go of weight that is doing me no good. And I have been both feeling and looking much better.

But I hit a bump this week, when something else was taken away. Tuesday I lost a contract job that I had designing a special publication for the local newspaper.

I found out in an e-mail that simply said, “We will be designing the rodeo book in-house this year. Sorry for the confusion.”


That’s putting it mildly, in my opinion. I had talked to people about this way back in February and March. I’ve been getting e-mails about content for the book since then. I probably have 100 e-mails about it all.

My first reaction was anger – for the reasons stated above.

Then fear. What am I going to do without the money from that job? I do trust God to help me make any ends meet. So really something will just have to come up to help. I don’t have to know what it is. I just have to trust that it will be there. And when all else fails, I know for experience that I can live off my credit card if I have to. Okay, fear dealt with — for the moment.

A small amount of relief came next: “There must be something that I am supposed to do with that time instead,” I thought. “And I won’t be all stressed out and working late nights trying to get it done. I can relax.” Well that will be nice. I wonder what I’ll get to do instead. What will be more fun than designing the rodeo book?

That’s when the sadness rolled over me. At that moment I couldn’t really think of something more fun. I really wanted to do it. I really liked designing this publication – even though it meant a lot of computer time all at smooshed into one week. Even though it was stressful. I got to make something that I thought was beautiful. Something that had great typography, good photo editing and placement and something that those High School rodeo kiddos could save as a memento of their time at the finals. I haven’t really moved past that sadness yet. I really want to create this thing.

My final intentional thoughts were to assuage my anxiety about losing a print job. I wondered what I had done wrong. But to my best knowledge, I did a good job. The customer and I had a great relationship. She was happy with my work. I had gotten everything in on time and they had proofed each page, so I didn’t have to worry that there had been any mistakes set into print.

So, as far as I know I had done everything I could, and I had done it well. The rest of it is out of my hands – out of my control. So I just have to trust the Universe. Trust that it’s a “God thing.” That it is for the best – for me and everyone else involved.

So, I’m still sad that I won’t be designing this year. It is honestly a part of my identity at this point and not having an upcoming project messes with me a little bit. Am I a designer if I have nothing to design? I do miss it. I do love it. If I could have figured out a way to be a page designer without having to deal with the bull-shit of the newspaper industry (especially in our town), I would not have become a teacher.

But I am. I’m a teacher. Is this the plan? Do I have to completely let go of this part of who I am in order to step fully into being a teacher? Honestly, this is something I wish I could teach. Especially to some of the people laying out the local publications here in Rapid City. I guess for now I’ll just have to be a page designer in my own heart and mind, or figure out a way to completely let it go. I wonder which one the Universe is aiming for.

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