It has been an interesting few years for the Gomez crew. Going from selling our house in Florida and everything we owned so we could live a different lifestyle. Then finding a downsized home in Beech Mountain, North Carolina and being a full-time family. We spent time with our kids, enjoying being outside and traveling as much as we could. All to have it flipped upside down during covid. This prompted us to move again and we found a great community in Jamestown, North Carolina. Our girls will both be in elementary school this year and I started back to work full-time last August. I guess that is what we all consider "normal". You might have thought that was the end of the story. Well, you would have been wrong. Apparently, I don't do "normal".
It was the summer of 2022, after 6 years of working part-time for an insurance firm out of Tampa we made a decision that I would take a full-time role. It was something we knew would need to happen eventually and a position was opening on my current team. Our youngest daughter was going to be at pre-school 4 half days a week and our oldest was going to first grade. It seemed like good timing and the role was a good fit. A huge bonus, I would stay with my awesome colleagues that I had worked with for years. Even though I did not get exactually what I wanted from a financial perspective I still opted to take the position. I often wonder if my gender and taking 6 years part-time to be with my kids had an effect on salary, but I digress. Fast forward 7 months later and I am finding out that our team is getting dismantled. Don't worry, they were very careful to word it in a better light. Layoffs were being hinted at but not executed. Discussions of letting extremely loyal, hard working people go after years of late nights and always meeting the very high expectations set by leadership. It was finally too much. I started looking for other jobs hoping to be able to continue working from home. I think Brant (my husband, for those who are new to the blog) was questioning my sanity at this point. I was bursting into tears, even having a panic attack and then basically going into a rage, that he needed to look for a job. He really got a bundle of joy marrying me. Ha!
He was very willing to start looking since he had been primary with the kids and working part-time for the past few years. I felt relieved he found something so quickly. Since I was not having any luck on the job search and quickly losing my mind with the unknown in my current position. While we knew it was not his ideal position long term, it would be a good start while he finished school, getting his degree in Homeland Security. As a marina operator at a local park he would be outside, taking boats out on the lake, and implementing safety measures as needed. At least those are the parts he was excited about. I was excited that this was going to mean I could be primary with our kids, which is my favorite job. However, we still wanted some additional income and it is always nice to have an outlet that is not kid centric. I was presenting a win-win scenario for the leadership at my job which included me going back to a part-time schedule. They would get full-time quality work on a part-time, no benefits, financial basis. Really a dream for a company having talks about layoffs. Or at least I thought. When my proposal was declined I was half surprised but mostly happy. I submitted my official resignation that same day. I knew I was finally free of a place I had a love/hate relationship with for 11 years. Ok, let's be honest I was a little scared but still mostly positive feelings!
Now at the end of April 2023 and we were taking on yet another big change. We knew going into it there was a chance my old firm would not keep me part-time, so we did have a plan B. Photography is my passion and I knew it is what I wanted to focus on. At least when I wasn't on Mom duty. Fortunately, I am not starting from scratch on a completely new venture or business. I have been a photographer since high school, starting my first photography business in Florida after college. Now that I am re-focusing this as my career, I am back to the drawing board of promoting and getting my business name out in the community. Like anything, there are ups and downs. Some ideas work, some flop. You keep on pushing through not giving up on your dreams, especially when you have two little girls looking up to you as an example. Stress is not eliminated. Owning and building a business has its own stress but now I am in control. Everyday I am balancing business ownership and motherhood. Mom guilt definitely kicks in at times, that is pressure I put on myself. We are our harshest critics and I am working on that.
A week after my resignation layoffs were announced. This was several months after they were first discussed. Colleagues who thought they were safe weren't and some that had been told they were on the chopping block stayed. It was an emotional roller coaster that I am so glad I exited before the final drop. Don't get me wrong we had our own adjustments and emotional moments on the home front. It is not always butterflies and rainbows, even when you are happy with the decision you have made. The girls struggled on nights Brant closed at his new job, missing bedtime. We all were adjusting to new schedules and routines. Our timing of this transition being right before summer break was probably not ideal but we are making it work. I am hopeful that I am giving the girls a memorable summer while making strides in growing a successful business. Both are to be determined I suppose.
Luckily, we like to go on adventures, including hikes. The girls are often by my side when I am working, capturing nature. When we are not out exploring I have the sweetest, most adorable models to help promote my portrait photography. I am excited to continue offering my nature and landscape photography for sale on my online store. New images have been recently added, go see what is new. If you are in the local area and are in need of a photographer to capture a life event.... or just life... I am happy to make it an easy process for you! Check out my portfolio. I have been so fortunate for the support I have received so far from this awesome small town we stumbled upon 3 years ago. I am excited to grow my business here and look forward to witnessing where it all ends up. After all, the only constant is change.