Questions of “What If?”
I’ve been playing online in some form or another since 1996. When I was in high school it was a strange concept and I had other things to worry about. My first few years of college we spent most of our time on MSN chat and sending emails. It was an amazing novelty. As the years passed and I used technology more there have been numerous questions.
Around 2000 (after the whole Y2K scare) I discovered eBay. I was searching for an original edition of a book for my father-in-law. The world shrank that day as my resources grew by leaps and bounds! All of these things at my fingertips. This was also the start of one of my “what ifs”. I purchased things on eBay. I read about people who were making a living selling on eBay. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that it was something that was possible for me.
Three years later, I was graduated from college, had a baby and was trying to make some extra cash so I could stay home with her. I went back to playing on eBay. Selling paper piecings and scrapbook pages became a decent source of money for 4 years. If I had implemented the code that I had learned then creating templates and my very first website for a scrapbook kit, I would be leaps and bounds further than where I am now. If only….right?
After I started teaching I taught myself to use Photoshop and Illustrator and started selling my art as graphics on Etsy. It’s been a great source of “fun money” that I use for trips with my kids, books when I make it to the city to visit Barnes and Noble, and sister trips.
This created the “what if” about my degree. If only I had gone to school for graphic design instead of education. If only I had bought the print shop that I worked at when I graduated from high school. What if? What only?
These really aren’t productive questions. What’s the saying? Hind site is 20/20. If all these things had been different what would I have missed out on? Who would have never been part of my life if I hadn’t been a teacher? If I was only working in a print shop or an office all these years what would I have missed out on while my kids were in school and I wasn’t.
What Did I Do
As I look back at the things that I could have done, I also reflect on the things I was able to do. Technology has allowed me to stay home with my kids when they were younger. Later, I was able to teach myself how to use graphic design and art tools because of classes and tutorials I found online. I’ve added to my education credits by taking classes from colleges as far away as California. The past few years I have taught myself yoga with online audio downloads, how to code and create websites with Team Treehouse, and all about WordPress. I’ve made friends all over the world. I live in a very tiny town (population 800) and because of technology the world has become a smaller place for me.
Just Keep Trying
Take advantage of opportunities as they arrive. Make the most of what you are offered. But don’t look back. If things don’t work out the way you want, just keep working and trying. Life is short (and long at the same time). Make the most of it!