A big part of becoming an Army wife is coming to grips with the related career realities. I’m still at the beginning of my career and, regardless of good times or bad in the job market, a good chunk of jobs are the kind that require you to stay at the jobs while you work them.
And since staying in one place is off the table for me (have I mentioned that our five-year plan includes three PCS moves and several resultant nervous breakdowns?), my career options have dwindled down to the ones I can pack with me every time the Army commands. To be proactive about my prospects, I drew up a short list of careers that seem suitable for the unpredictable Army-wife lifestyle:
- Over-the-phone psychic
- Pet rock manufacturer
- Selling things on Ebay in my underwear
- Phone sex operator
- Door-to-door magazine saleswoman
- Town drunk
Unfortunately, none of the careers that came to mind really spoke to my skill set. Unless there’s a phone-sex hotline out there that needs a good copy editor, but I’m willing to bet the industry’s clientele has something more arousing on its mind than a properly placed semicolon (though I can’t imagine what).
In a perfect world, my freelance writing and editing jobs would be pouring in like an unseasonal autumn blizzard. But in a real world, I’m still paying my dues, building my resume, and sacrificing lambs to the literary magazine gods while I wait.
The plus side to the current career lag is that, rather than filling my free time with worrying about my job-less doom, I try to fill it with activities I enjoy. And it only took constant reminders from my friends and family for several years for it to sink in that, sometimes, an activity you enjoy can also be a job you enjoy.
So I took the plunge and finally opened up my own Etsy shop:
(I’ve subtitled it “Patriotism with Pizzazz” because I decided to base my success on how many Z’s I can fit into one subtitle. I’m doing very well.)
I have an irrational fear of turning a hobby I love into something more serious. I applied to colleges with every intention of majoring in English, but when I got to school and realized that reading and writing might become a source of stress rather than relaxation under this decision, I panicked. Which is how I wound up with a degree in drama and a lot of delusions of grandeur.
I don’t necessarily regret that decision; struggling between my love for writing and my love for theater revitalized my passion for both, and I worked just as hard on and off the stage as I did trudging through literary criticism. But I learned that having purpose, and goals, and drive is worth the fulfillment, regardless of related stress.
The shop is brand new, so the selection of products and variations are growing every day. I have a few more items up my sleeve that will hit the virtual shelves soon, but for the time being take a look at a few of the pieces up for sale:
These come in so many combinations of red, white, and blue that you’ll think an American flag (and maybe also a British flag) threw up on your screen.
Patriotism is awesome, but I can make these in any colors that yarn comes in. Which is…most colors.
Which also means you can custom order these Harry Potter house ear warmers and wingardium leviosa leftover Halloween candy from all the kids in town.
For those of you more into sports than Harry Potter, you’ll notice that those colors might also reflect some of your favorite teams. Go team. Yay sports.
Crochet is my main medium, but I also have pieces for those of you lucky enough to live in climates where your ears are never in need of warming.
The bangle selection is also pretty wide, but its patriotism is much more subtle. Mostly because the only American flag trim I can find locally is too wide for the bracelets. But I’m working on it.
Though a lot of my listings in the future will be made to order, I’m working with a daily deals website where some of my pre-made pieces will be available in bulk at the end of the month. But for your support and your help spreading the word, I’m giving away some pre-made pieces RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW TOTALLY FOR FREE ALL CAPS MUST BE IMPORTANT.
You can enter to win one of the two following Red White ‘N’ Bows items:
The giveaway runs until Sunday at midnight. Enter, enter, enter!
But if you don’t win (and/or want to look great this winter and forever), I’ve got some pre-made items up for sale now at discounted prices on my Etsy website. Which I’ve linked, like, 20 times in this post, but somehow 21 seems gratuitous.
Thank you to all the friends, family, and strangers at craft fairs who have supported my hobbies and given me the courage to pursue them.
What kind of items would you like to see in my shop? If you’re currently in or have been in a military lifestyle, what kind of welcome-home-ceremony or care-package products would you be most interested in seeing up for sale?