The Next Chapter
This is big y’all. 13 months ago I put on an orange apron for the first time in an official capacity, starting my journey in the sale of cabinetry and interior decor. At the time, I was expecting the journey to be very short lived. Something that would pay a couple months of rent and keep my mom off may back as she had been lecturing me to get a job since I started driving 6 years ago. Only a few weeks into my life in orange, I started to really excel at spending other people’s money. I ended up finding myself taking hours of classes through a school we will call ‘HDU’ to become a full fledged, National Kitchen and Bath Association trained, professional kitchen designer. I found something that I loved doing.
Last summer, I started thinking about what my future might look like and decided that spending some extra months in orange would be worth another year on my lease in my beautiful apartment. But, this change of plans meant that now I was without a plan. It occurred to me that if I really loved interior design, and interior design really loved paying my rent, then I should probably try to keep doing it for a long time. The question was where?
The other big section of my life that was without plans was my desire to get back on a stage. I needed to get back in to make believe or my cat was going to lose his mind with the mini performances I gave while stoned in my kitchen late at night with him as the only audience member. I needed theatre. And I needed design. And for a while I tried to make wearing orange and kicking face partners. I used vacation time and batted my eyelashes and cashed in more sick time than I had to be able to keep creating beautiful kitchens while also running the hustle of the performing arts. But it started to be a real struggle.
Like any good young person, my eyes were never fully closed to what might be next, so I polished up a resume and threw a portfolio of some of my favorite kitchens together and set off to the inter webs to see what was available to eager eyed folk like myself. As I searched, I stumbled upon the key to it all. Fully remote kitchen design. A job where I could design beautiful kitchens for real clients from anywhere in the world. A job that I could take on tour. A job with the flexibility to parallel the unpredictable nature of theatre.
Without any expectation for immediate and positive results, I threw my hat in the ring and sent my packet out to anyone who fit the bill. And in the mean time, I kept designing kitchens and honing my return to the stage. I wasn’t getting a ton of action from either category at first, but I wasn’t too concerned. I decided a good time line would be to say that ‘by the end of summer’ I would have secured a more flexible job in design and secured a more opportunistic location for being a performer. Then things started to change.
In the span of one week, I found out that I would have the opportunity to showcase in NYC with my fellow musical theatre grads who had been caught up in the pandemic, I hit ice and flew off the road crashing my moms car into a tree and ending up in the hospital while I was rushing from the theatre in one town to work in another, and I got asked my availability to interview for a company that was offering EXACTLY what I was looking for as a kitchen designer. I decided that given the pressure of my current job almost put me in the grave, and the opportunities of new jobs were knocking on my door, there was no time like the present to open it and embrace a new chapter that I am very excited about.
In April I will begin what I hope is a life long journey with a fantastic design firm based out of NYC as their newest remote kitchen designer, I will perform for the very first time in the city that is the beating heart of live theatre, and I will bid farewell to a job that gave me the tools I needed to excel in my future but was holding me back from grabbing my dreams.
Here’s hoping that with the sun returning to this hemisphere as winter fades away, no new variant in the news, and the world at my fingertips, I will blossom into my next chapter and out of the transitional footnote I have spent the last two years in. Ronna 2020 certainly was not what I would have planned for my life, but I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t had a full mental breakdown, got a job in an orange apron, and found something that I love just as much as I love theatre.
For now, my coffee and my sunbeam are calling. I’ll see ya for the next post whenever it may come.