New life, new hair!
Last week I changed my hair. I haven’t been a redhead in a long time so when my new hairstylist/colorist encouraged me to go red, I went with it. The bottom half was done in foils and the top was a glaze, giving an ombre look (and when the glaze fades, as glazes do, my natural brown will look cool with the lighter shade of red, that’s like a strawberry blonde on the bottom). Note, this photo does nothing for the color — in real life it just pops!
Anyway, why the dramatic change in my hair? Because I had a dramatic change in my life!
It happened about a month ago, but haven’t told many yet. After working for myself for nine years, I took a full time job in the editorial department of a magazine!
For nine years I’ve worked as the sole proprietor of my business, Pear Tree Enterprises: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/
When I first started Pear Tree, I had just left an editorial job I worked at for seven years and was trying to find myself. In the past nine years, being my own boss: I’ve helped at least 20 people write their books for publication; I’ve written my own two books (with a third coming out later this year, published by GenZ); I’ve become a public speaker, speaking on various topics at libraries throughout New Jersey, including my Learn & Listen series, which made the front page of The Caldwell News (http://www.mypaperonline.com/library-patrons-learn-and-listen-about-famous-musicians.html); I’ve also put an entire magazine together, learning to use a design program.
During this time, I’ve been interviewed on blog talk radio shows across the United States; have been on well known NJ radio shows; and was featured on a Long Island cable show after starting a non-profit animal rights organization called R.O.A.R. (Respect Our Animals’ Rights) (https://respectouranimalsrights.wordpress.com/).
I’ve also done countless book signings and have met so many famous people I’ve highly admired.
So, with all this success, why would I ditch it all to go back to the so-called rat race?
Three words — I was exhausted.
Running your own show is hard. Trying to find the right help is harder. My husband put it best when he said that I never made the right connections to keep Pear Tree going on a full time basis. I’ve interviewed countless people to be my assistant, and I wasn’t “feeling it” for anyone.
Once I made the decision to re-enter the workforce, I decided to do it wisely. I took my time. I approached job hunting with the same seriousness as I did while looking for a husband. I found my soulmate in 2005 and have been happy together ever since. I was 42 at the time — a true late bloomer. I didn’t marry the first guy who asked me.
So, while seeking a job, I kept an eye out for all the signs of what could be right for me. I don’t even know how long I was actively looking because I didn’t make a job out of seeking a job. When I saw something desirable, I applied.
Then about a month ago, I was hired for TWO jobs! It was a tough decision because both were interesting and both were editorial related. Then I made the RIGHT CHOICE — and almost two months later, I am ecstatic! Not only do I have a position I deserve, with great team players, I can still work Pear Tree as a side gig. I am still giving lectures and helping people write books; as well as writing my own; and freelancing for a magazine I love and believe in. And it’s not like I’m “overworked” either. I simply do freelance work when I feel like it — an hour here, an hour there and the pay adds up. And it’s a damn good feeling to be able to pick and choose what you want to do in life — and the people you want to do it with!
Like being with the right mate, a marriage feels extremely free and liberating. That’s how it is when you have the right job. Work just never feels like work! It’s a time for learning. And I’m so fortunate to be working in a creative environment, using my talents. But best of all, I now have help. Working in a company means you’ll always have someone to fall back on; unlike running the whole show myself. That said, words just can’t express how happy I am!
Unfortunately I had to let some freelance things go like the low-paying blogging jobs; and doing lectures during the week, as I’m now limited to weekends. But to move ahead, you always have to leave some things behind. But it’s worth it. Everything fell into place in such a beautiful way. And while I was always pleased with my life and at times couldn’t imagine it getting any better — it always gets even better!
So, now, I’m officially part of the “rat race” — but it’s a cute rat race! Kinda like a pet rat race.
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of three books, including “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon. If you like positive, fun, silly books that don’t go in a downward spiral, this one’s for you: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X
Her third book “The Gypsy Smiled” will be published by GenZ later this year.