I was hired right out of school at age 20, and working for a full service agency was a great opportunity. For a while, I learned something new every single day and it was amazing. The job had some silly quirks — ladies weren’t allowed to wear pants, an impenetrable wall existed between client and designer, etc. But I really liked what I did day-to-day. It wasn’t difficult work, my manager was a dream to work with, my coworkers were great, and the building had a gym.
In the 12 years I worked there, my title changed twice, but my job description didn’t.
And that was totally okay for a time. I spent most of the evenings (and some very late nights) of my twenties locked in invigorating brainstorming sessions with friends. I also: completed a young adult trilogy and have nearly finished a second; embarked on a yearlong illustration project and self-published a book; experimented in a variety of different artistic mediums — watercolor, knitting, felt; became a part of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators; joined a writer’s group and helped self-pub another book.
My boyfriend became my husband. We bought a house. We got a dog.
All these ventures were financed by the day job. But as my twenties wound down, I realized I was unfulfilled at work and needed to expand my skill sets. Like a lot of print designers, I struggled to learn code — didn’t care much for it. I tried to initiate some growth in my position at work, was met with nods and yes’s that did not actually materialize into any real development. I recommitted myself to my role there, thinking I was the problem, but found myself more caged than ever.
It was time to go. But to where?
Unfortunately, a print designer with no web experience was a hard sell. I applied, sent out resumes. A year passed.
I gave myself a hard date to leave no matter what.
A week prior to me delivering my resignation, we found out we were expecting.
A baby. A human baby.
I have always loved stability, predictability. It’s the main reason I stayed at the same job for over a decade. But after longing for a new situation for so long, I was gunning for some serious change.
Welp, a kid certainly fills that order!
Impending parenthood does funny things to the human brain, and one thing it did for me was reposition my priorities. It refocused them, and turned the volume up on a lot of different aspects of my life so far. At a time when I should have been clinging to my beloved stability, I found that I was more than ready than ever to toss it out the window.
I’m confident in my abilities as an artist and designer and writer. There are amazing people out there that I’d love to collaborate with, sketchbooks full of half-thought-out ideas that want to be made into Real Things. And hey, we’ll just throw the madness of keeping a baby alive and thriving into that mix because why not?
Baby Sager deserves a mom that is living. A caregiver that dyes her hair pink if she wants to, embraces the time she’s got left with her geriatric dog, becomes the artist/designer/storyteller she’s always wanted to be.