lori: finding my life

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Good morning! Today I’d like to share Lori of Chic Geek Designs‘ story about how she’s re-designing her life. As you’ll see, she’s done a great job drafting a new plan and has actively made changes to pursue her purpose.

Enjoy!

I first wanted to thank Jess for letting me share my story. Before I start, I want to introduce myself. My name is Lori and my “home” is over at ChicGeek Designs.  The name of my blog and my blog itself actually leads me into my story. Within the name of “ChicGeek” to me there is a contrast, a struggle almost, and that’s what I’ve always felt within me. I’m an IT professional by day but within the last year I’ve felt my “Chic” self coming more and more out. And then you throw in “Designs” and it takes it one more level beyond to a company or business. To get to the full meaning of this name was a journey and still is a journey of self discovery which hasn’t been without its struggles, both mentally and physically.

This journey started almost two years ago when I started to realize that IT wasn’t my first passion anymore. I was getting burnt out in my job and the hours that I was putting in. I knew I couldn’t keep doing that forever, but I didn’t know what else to do. I’m such an introvert, that I will sit on the couch and keep all my feelings inside for a very long time. And that’s what I did. I didn’t know what to do; I thought I had to do IT forever since that’s what I was doing. And that’s where the money was. I needed it to pay the bills. So I worried myself sick but no one knew why and I wasn’t going to tell anyone. Why bother? I can’t change careers at this point.

During this whole time, once every few months, migraines suddenly started coming every day. I went through every test in the book while they tried to figure it out, but nothing could be found. So instead they decided to play with medication. Going in every month for follow-ups and just getting medication adjustments but no easements from the daily migraines was very frustrating. And it still is. I hate being told, “just take your medication earlier, once you feel the symptoms come on”. I just want to tell them to fix me.

I finally had enough feeling sorry for myself and decided that if I couldn’t change my job, then I at least needed to find something to do to keep me happy during the other hours. So that’s when I decided to start a blog. A blog on Interior Design. I knew it had to be on Interior Design because that’s all I looked at when I wasn’t at work – the magazines, the books, the blogs, etc. Interior Design was something I’ve always had an interest in ever since I was younger, but never really thought about it seriously as it just wasn’t a “career”. There’s just something about colors and textures that memorize me. That’s why I knew my blog would be Interior Design related and something that would release me from the day-to-day world.

As I started the blog and read more Interior Design magazines and blogs, I realized I was missing something in my blog – education. I didn’t want to miss out on the education. So I asked my husband and next thing you know, I was enrolled in the online Art Institute working (and still am!) toward my Residential Planning diploma. So one day I hope to own a part-time (or full-time) Interior Design Business!

The other thing I did to try and pull myself out of the “funk” (as I called it) was open an Etsy shop to sell some of my photographs as I love to travel and take pictures. So it’s not a successful Etsy shop but it was fun and kept me busy.

There are so many things I’ve learned and am learning through this year of self-discovery. First is that I can’t keep everything to myself. I have family and friends that love me and I want to share my thoughts with them. Second, it’s not too late to change career paths. There still might be time for me. Thirdly, I am a creative soul, I just have to get there and listen.

So I did get to ChicGeek Designs by combining all my interests. Chic for shopping, Geek for IT and Designs for Interior Designs. That’s how my blog started and the short version of my story!

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  1. Piper

    Lori, thanks for sharing your story – it was nice to get to know you more! I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through with your migraines – so awful that they can’t figure things out. But I love that you’re going forward – how exciting getting your degree in residential planning!!! you’re doing it!! 🙂

  2. April

    Hi Lori-

    This is such an inspirational story for anyone who feels stuck in their day job and yearns for a career change. I recently made a huge career change. I went from family therapist to artist/writer/blogger, and it took a lot of planning for me to make that change. It’s scary going from a stable job with amazing benefits to running your own small business–but it was the best decision I ever made.

    I hope you get your full-time interior design business. All you can do is take small steps to get to where you want to be!

  3. Anna

    Hi Lori, I can relate to your post. I never knew how your blog name came about so I learned something new!

  4. Cathy

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story!!! I feel exactly the same way. There’s obviously stability in my current job, but I’m not in love with it. Since I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do yet, I started a blog. As for the migraines, do you think they’re due to stress? I know I start to feel sick to my stomach/chest pains/headaches if I’m super stressed. Either way, good luck with everything!

  5. cailen

    congrats on following your true passion! that’s amazing (and so so so fulfulling)

    going to visit your “home” now

  6. Thaís

    Hi Lori, your history is very interesting, I’m happy interior design has changed your life so much, I’m an architect (I’m from Brazil) and I love to work with interior design! I didn’t know your blog before, that’s what I’m going to do now!

  7. Lori

    Thank you all! It’s been a journey so far and I know it is not over yet but I’m glad there is support out there. And it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one making the switch! 🙂

    Cathy – I don’t doubt there’s not some stress related tension there but I don’t think it’s 100%. But I am curious to see what will happen when I am able to change jobs and see if they do lighten up any. Funny how the body works, eh?

  8. Ginger

    Thanks for sharing your story Lori. Fortunately, every new experience in our lives is built upon every old experience. You will be able to utilize your IT expertise in you interior design work in a way others may not. That’s what will make your designs ‘you’.
    I just read in the little book ’50 Truths Worth Knowing’ ~”It’s up to you how colorful your life is”. That’s what you are doing – deliberately adding color to your life and sharing your color discoveries with us via your blog and beautiful photography.

  9. Lori – It was wonderful to read a bit more about your background today. I think your process of discovery is like what so many people are going through right now; I certainly have tried a lot of different hats in the last few years.

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