The scary steps of morphing

The scary steps of morphing / an inspirational post on how morphing is critical on becoming who you were meant to be. via

My first ‘real’ job was in a major department store. It was the big kahuna back in the day to land a job like this. It paid well, and it was always a comfort being in this big, impressive building that could protect you from all the elements. My little part time t-shirt / record store job led me to the big store so I thought I had it made.

 But then things changed. I was being shoved into departments that didn’t utilize my full potential. Yes, I could punch keys on $1.49 day and get people through a lineup like the best of them, but a little part of me died inside when I did it. It didn’t tap into my creative side.

My best days there were the Warehouse Sale days where I could go in wearing jeans and draw hand drawn signs all day long. Other departments took note how graphic my signs were and asked me to draw for them too.

That led me to my first sign shop job. I was able to get in there with no prior computer experience via a series of hand drawn sketches. They taught me from the ground up and I learned all about the sign industry.

I was fast on those keys, and excelled in whatever they needed me to do. But something still wasn’t quite right. I was more giddy about the sideline job they gave me of cleaning up and organizing than making signs. I decked out my computer station complete with a cow print office chair and had it looking so slick, another artist wanted me to revamp her space.

My next morph landed me in the auto-graphics industry. It was an extension of the sign world but this round, it was about getting out there myself and approaching body shops and car dealerships with the offer of vehicle graphics. I became quite the hot rod vinyl pin-striper in town.

But… I was still working for someone else, so I morphed my sign and auto-graphics abilities into my own business. I bought my own equipment, took a course and taught my way to success.

I worked from home but then opportunity knocked and I moved to a storefront. And eventually, employees.

But then we moved and my son came along and everything changed. I had a very successful business but I needed to be closer to home. So I built what I needed on our home turf and became home based yet again. And didn’t morph any further for YEARS.

My work became just about the pay.  I just wanted to be a mom and put the morphing on hold.

Basement madness sale... 2 for 1 today only!


pallet wood farm table styled desk via


Pallet wood farm table styled desk

The morphing of a downstairs office as I morphed

Luckily, life forced me into an unintentional morph which had me leaving my dream shop and property. So my son and I moved to a little town with nothing more than a city sized property… with no shop for my shop. It was an awfully bad time in my life. But I morphed the basement into what I needed and this became my downscaled sign shop. With bonuses I had NO idea of at the time.

(my full story is HERE)

This is when I started tinkering on the house. I was pretty much broke, but having a desire to make my broken house look pretty, I just started gathering junk off the side of the road and making it into something.

Then I came across the world of blogs. Interesting! So I learned how to fire one up and started sharing.

I was soon putting WAY more time into the blogging side of things while I worked and parented… over extended would be an exaggeration. Why? Because I felt alive when I tinkered on something I loved that felt like it was made just for me. Double duty in this case became my lifeline and saved my life. It wasn’t easy. No way. But I pushed and did it anyway.

I found I could exercise and push my talents in new ways.  ie:  If I wanted to learn photography, I just picked up my camera and pushed myself into learning, through self inflicting assignments. I soon learned the sky was the limit and listed all the ways I could potentially earn if I chose this for my life’s work.

But I had a big decision to make. The sign side was gnawing at my blogging side. Every day I had to get up to do signs, it was like being pried away from where I really wanted to be. So I became ultra choosy on whom I did sign business with so I could afford more time on the blog side.

Today? I do very little sign work and am going to expand in new and interesting ways in order to earn through junk. 

I don’t have all the answers yet and SO much to learn. But here’s what took me over 50 years to learn…

Everything you’ve learned prior to where you WISH to be is a huge gift. Your past experience will help to catapult you into becoming the person you were meant to be.

But you really have to have a serious chat with yourself. While we all want to love what we do for our life’s work, it comes with lots of uphills and self motivation and scary steps into the unknown. You have lots of ground to cut and learning to do.  Your willingness to learn can never end. Because if you stop learning, you won’t continue to morph. And morphing is critical to new success.

What have you got to lose? Part of / The scary steps of morphing / an inspirational post on how morphing is critical on becoming who you were meant to be. via

I learned to sell.

I learned what I liked to sell and what I didn’t.

I learned that I like to teach, educate and inspire.

I learned to use my graphic design abilities to help decorate my online life.

I learned to write, photograph, and post build.

I learned social media to help broaden my online world.

I learned working from home is where I not only want to be, it’s where I need to be. I was able to get up umpteen times to cater to my sick son while writing this post.

I learned that I have so much more to learn.

I learned that if you follow your heart, you will ultimately be led to the very place you were meant to be. It all works out. You just have to believe.

And the biggest of all?

I learned taking the scary steps of morphing into whom you wish to become was vital.

I mean, what does one have to lose?

Only yourself.

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Categories: Inspiration, Off Topic, Personal, Rambling

54 thoughts on “The scary steps of morphing

  1. I’m reading this with tears in my eyes because that speaks DIRECTLY to my soul. It kinda ties in with another post you wrote a week or 2 ago when you went to Hope. I (my family) need for me to find my passion. I KNOW what my passion is and where my gifts are, I just have to have the courage to teach myself those things I’m not 100% sure on, ie. writing, photography, selling … I seriously need to read and re-read this weekly. Donna, sometimes I wish I had you right in my living room to absorb your energy. You give me faith that at 43, I’m not too old to live the dream I have for myself. Thank you ~

    • Deanna, if you KNOW what your passion is, the hardest part is done. It took me 30 years to see what I needed to do.

      Start small. But DO start! I’m living proof it can be done. You have many that will follow you and support you because they want you happy. Do it.

      • Donna…I so needed to see this today also…Like Deanna, I have finally found my passion and it is junking and re-furbing. I need to work from home because of responsibilities I have here…and because I want to work from home…for myself, not for someone else. I have to learn to make a living for myself and my family (long story…let’s just say I need to get “OUT”…if you get my drift.) So at 50 years old this is what I am faced with, it is scary to think at my age I am basically looking at starting over…on my own, but I know it will be worth it. I just don’t know how and where to start. I have had some success at my local vintage fair with selling some of my thrift store re-do’s and it felt so good and inspiring. I would eventually love to have a little store front to sell out of. I know that probably isn’t considered working from home…but at least I’ll be working for myself. The problem I am facing is not knowing where to sell until then…I can’t really go all over the state to vintage and antique fairs…but I do have a somewhat local flea market that people do sell vintage and antiques at. I am going to start my Etsy shop back up and sell some smaller thrift store finds from there. I know this is long and so sorry for that but if you have some suggestions on how and where to get started selling my re-furbed & re-purped furniture I would love that…Thanks again for this post…I’m feeling a little more inspired because of it.

  2. Ah, life is full of hills and valleys. I’m so glad you shared your journey with us…wonderful proof to remind us to take that next step and keep moving forward…something most awesome may be right around the next corner. God bless!

    • Might need not apply here. Just do it Pete! Guaranteed smiles to come! Just make sure you watch the clock so you remember to stop. 🙂

      Brushed work is a long lost art. The world is waiting for your next brush morph…

  3. You have given me a lot to think about. I have a job I like doing and I make good wages but I feel I am stuck in a job that I work at just for the paycheck. Five days a week I go in, do my job, come home and then the fun begins. My family knows what my dream is….they keep saying “Go For It!” but the fear of not making it has held me back. I enjoy eBay (which on a part-time basis, I have done well,) and I love tinkering with junk. Your blog inspires me and just maybe, it is time to venture into the dream business and enjoy my work.

    • Connie! Sounds like you’re already doing your dream job on the side! Just put more into it so it grows. I need to write another post on how to juggle the day job and the dream job me thinks. I’m on it!

  4. And now you teach…you taught me how to build a tote using power tools by telling me to try… you taught me how to brighten up my pictures by sending one over to me that was brightened up… and you are teaching me every day on Facebook about different ways to promote my blog….
    Thank you for passing on your genius!

    • Thank-you Susan! I’m learning so much from you too… and many others, on how sharing the wealth of what we know will pay us back in countless ways. Thanks for being a part of my story! 🙂

  5. You’re an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your journey. I can’t speak for everyone else, but you have inspired me to try new things and think out of the box. Who knows where that will lead. 🙂

  6. Excellent post and very true words! Like you, my morphing went on pause for quite some time… until I took the very scary step of resigning from my then job.

    It’s been quite the journey since then and I’m so glad to have you to journey alongside.

  7. Boy did I need this. Looks like others are in the same predicament as me. It’s been a crappy year and I need to rethink where I am going and what is the best path to take. Thank you so much.

  8. How does one get the privilege of seeing
    some of your signage?!? I had an amazing
    job at a university with another woman. We
    ran the graphics department. Hand lettered
    signs, vinyl signs, calligraphy, for the entire
    school. We even used an old sign press!
    I learned so much and believe I will always
    love signage and fonts and art supplies!!

    • Hey Sharon! I don’t share a whole lot of my vinyl work, but I do moreso of my revamped sign work in my home decor. If you select “My Projects” right under the blog header, all my coolish work is there. 🙂

  9. Wow, this is such a good post, and perfect timing to inspire me. I just found out I’ve been accepted into a Ph.D. program, which begins in January 2014, and I have to move to another state, quit my job, and start all over. At 51. But I’m really happy! I have been reading your blog for a while and please know I enjoy it so much. You are very talented!

  10. Awesome post Donna, your timing couldn’t be better, I needed this today! Thank you.
    Even when building our dream businesses we can get sidetracked doing what we think is right & serving others but at times we can get lost in that. Every once and a while we need to put on the brakes and search our hearts for what makes us sing!



  11. what a great story. just the kinda of thing i needed to read about. am retiring from a state job which leaves me not fullfilled at the end of the day. i have a disabled daughter to take of also. i am thinking of doing something along the lines of what you do. my father owns a salvage yard. i am always gathering stuff up. just got an old granite sink. iam glad i read this today. thank you. kim

  12. This is such a great post! Last year I walked away from a pretty good job. I was a miserable, sorry shell of my former self. I had been following the whole do what you love movement for some time. So I jumped…one problem though…no plan or any real knowledge of how to sell. I knew art\photography\junk were my passions but how to make a living from them, no clue. So I got stuck and couldn’t start.

    Panic soon followed. Job hunting began and went on for a year. Turned out no one wanted to hire a 51 year old IT burn out.

    But just when things were really getting scary I was presented with the perfect job for me to do right now. Working for a small family owned business. I get to be a part of making their business successful and learn more about the ins and outs of how to make the one number bigger than the other!

    So now I’m all about starting slow and putting something together on the side. And this was a really long post…sorry…looking forward to reading more from you! Thanks!

  13. This is such a great post! Last year I walked away from a pretty good job. I was a miserable, sorry shell of my former self. I had been following the whole do what you love movement for some time. So I jumped…one problem though…no plan or any real knowledge of how to sell. I knew art\photography\junk were my passions but how to make a living from them, no clue. So I got stuck and couldn’t start.

    Panic soon followed. Job hunting began and went on for a year. Turned out no one wanted to hire a 51 year old IT burn out.

    But just when things were really getting scary I was presented with the perfect job for me to do right now. Working for a small family owned business. I get to be a part of making their business successful and learn more about the ins and outs of how to make the one number bigger than the other!

    So now I’m all about starting slow and putting something together on the side. And this was a really long post…sorry…looking forward to reading more from you! Thanks!

  14. Love, love, LOVE this post!

    I’m 57 years old. I began taking a jewelry class to learn to solder metals and expand what I already knew about making beaded and wire jewelry. Yes, it is my passion. I love every single thing about it. Even the frustrating days when I can’t solder two pieces of metal together to save my life! And you are soooo right. Everything I have ever done in terms of career or craftiness has led me to this point. In the past few months, my pieces have ceased to be crafts and become metal art. And other people have begun to notice what jewelry I’m wearing and you know what? They like my stuff too.

    I have everything I need inside me to have a creative and successful jewelry business. I’m on my way!!!!

  15. I so agree that figuring out what your passion is, is the hardest part. I had to quit my job due to being diagnosed with a disease. I then had all of this free time, I could finally decorate my house and do fun things, but having no job meant having no money. I felt like I was stuck. I kept hearing Oprah say to “find your passion” but how do you know what it is? So I started taking my yard sale finds and tweaking them and using my creativity to make them what I had seen in stores and in magazines. Then others saw my creations and it took off from there. Now I am working way more hours than I did when I worked full-time. I am fully convinced that the job I worked before contributed to my illness. If I continued to work there it would have killed me mentally and physically. Now I work so hard but the difference is I’m the boss and I love what I do. Great post Donna!

  16. Thanks for sharing, Donna. I’ve been following you for a while now, and I love your style. I’m happy your ventured out, you are good at it.
    This is a lift to me, as I am a designer who just quit all of my part-time jobs to jump full in. I am 46 now, and moving to a place in my life where I want to be in charge of my destiny. I am so excited to see where it takes me.

    Thanks again,

    • Donna, Thanks again for sharing, you are such an inspiration! I wish I had your confidence and courage… I start and stop, and never seem to move…Every night I say tomorrow, so maybe this tomorrow will be my tomorrow. Anyhow, Thanks for caring and sharing

  17. I love your story. It helps me to bolster the idea (s) I have about wanting to really get into ‘junkin ‘ and repurposing and decorating…if you will. I have found a new passion, in part because of your site that I happened to stumble on. I love so much of what I see from your site and the other sites yours has led me to. I am searching for those unloved, discarded finds and am beginning to paint, distress, wax and see what I can come up with. I would love to make this my ‘job ‘. I did hair for about 27 years. I sold real estate for 6 and a half years. Went into banking and mortgage sales for about 3 years ..then worked as a mortgage closer for about 10 years. During all those years I had always been doing things of a creative nature….painting, decorating, remodeling, landscaping, sewing, cooking. All forms of creativity. And I am so excited about this new leg of my life. I am morphing again. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing me to share a little piece of me!!

  18. I’m in the same place as you right now and really appreciate you laying it all our so clearly for me. There are days when I question my decisions, though I know in my heart they are the right ones for me.

  19. Donna,

    I have to say that I am happier at 41 playing with tools, junk, digging through rusty bits of random things & using my creativity than I was years ago utilizing my skills from college. I was supposed to be an airline pilot, but along the way, life changed & I believe that I am doing what I should be doing. I’ll never be rich, I won’t have a fancy car, but I am at peace & happy. I have a fabulous man in my life who accepts our overloaded garage, the piles of projects, my tools (I have more than him) & that’s all I need!!

    Love the post & thanks for inspiring so many!

    Kamichia 🙂

  20. Thanks I might have needed that! Many years ago after a rough patch, I discovered that putting the focus on anything but yourself is good. I used to say “If you will let them, your kids will save your life”. Now the kids are grown and and you might just have reminded me of what is next, I could use a good morph!

  21. Hi Donna, I am brand new to the world of blogging, having just started my own blog over the summer. I’ve followed you for a long time now and your blog was up there in the top 5 blogs that inspired me to follow suit. I aspire to look as professional as you do and write from my soul like you did in this post. THANK YOU for this post. I admire your courage – having your own business is a risk and you have made yours pay off. Thank you for encouraging others to take a leap of faith and do what they love! Oh, and PS keep making super cool stuff : )

  22. Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes when I’m down I forget others are and have been in the same place. Your blog gives me that jolt every Saturday morning and gets me excited to start projects. Just this week I’ve been cutting hydrangeas with gusto. I’ve been piling them in old crates and wooden boxes and baskets. I’m grateful for all you do and you’re in my prayers. I love hearing how much you enjoy your son too. My 14 year old is my saviour.

  23. No joke here….I started creating things out of junk and blogging for the same reason! And it has turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

    Love the story! I just wish I could make a living off of junking and blogging too! I would be set with my dream job!

  24. Oh this speaks to me! I have been morphing this year and feel that I am finally coming closer to the “true” me. I love my work and the creativity of my “job” feeds my soul. Thank you for sharing your story!

  25. Donna,
    I loved hearing your story! I work FT and have a home based business-and a single parent of 3… My dream is to quit my FT job and work my home based business full time, but as you know there is a mortgage, car payment, etcc… But I will keep on keepin on till I get there! You’re story was so inspiring I shared it with my AVON Facebook sisters all over the US… Love you girl you are AWESOME!

    • I do get the bills thing. I’m going to follow up with a post on how to do the dayjob and the passion job at the same time. I think it’s overdue. 🙂

      Thank-you for sharing my post!

  26. You took a little piece of the pie and went with it. Great inspirational and motivating story. So many times we don’t step back to look at the whole picture. You did, congratulations.

  27. Thank You for your inspirational story…. I get frustrated. I work in a hospital during the day, and I love the patients and helping them, but I enjoy a “creative” change… I make home-made vintage clothespin bags, that you can’t purchase anymore. I need to find out, how to sell to shops… I don’t feel I charge alot. Would a business class help? Bless you and thanks!

  28. Alright, this is seriously something that every young person needs to read. At 25, about to have a second college degree under my belt, it’s what I’m only beginning to understand. For the longest time I was adamant that I only wanted a job “in my field,” never mind that those are few and far between around here. But I’m beginning to get that if I have to take something that will let me pay my bills, even if it’s not what I really want to be doing, that’s alright too. Because I can take something away from any job, and not just a paycheck. Kinda reminds me of my favorite quote by Bill Nye, “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”

  29. Donna,
    After reading your story and the replies to it, I see I am not the only one that needed to hear this today. NOW ~ it is to act on it!
    Many, many thanks for your inspiration.
    Kari-Anne Robinson

  30. Morphing: so that’s what I was doing! And here I thought I was unable to stick with a job for very long. Not to mention that all of my jobs had been so different. Thank you, Donna, for writing this article. It has allowed me to see my life differently and in a very positive light.

    I grew up believing that once you had a job, you stayed with that occupation — or at least with the same company. I believe that’s the concept most people had as we started working in the 50’s. Let’s see, I was a secretary, campaign manager for a U.S Senator, consultant, high school counselor, marketing manager, outside sales person, and probably had several other job titles that I’ve forgotten. And amazingly, I have loved all of these jobs. But with each job, at some point, I felt/knew it was time to move on to something new. I retired five years ago and now at age 75, I’m seriously considering morphing into a new (and different) job: home decorating. I’m anxious to see what the future holds for me . . .

  31. I needed this. Thank you. You and I are so much alike it’s scary. I recently left my desk job to stay at home and figure out my niche in life as well as helping my husband farm.

    I’ve been following your blog for a long, long time. I’m more of a quiet follower. I need to comment more. I apologize! I’m just so in awe of all your projects and posts.

    3.5 years ago when we started our house plans, your blog was a huge inspiration for me to think outside the box. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

    Thanks for all that you do and please continue to keep inspiring us all! I think you may have finally found your niche. Now, to just “morph” your niche to make it work for you financially and emotionally. You’re amazing.

  32. I love you Donna! You are so inspirational. I’ve never quite fit into any sort of “work” box. I’m a crappy employee and I know it. If I don’t explore my creative side and live a life unique to the person that I am, I will lose myself. Thank you! 🙂

  33. I really enjoyed reading your blog for October 11th and scary steps of morphing.Thank you for sharing your journey. Your blog has really inspired. I sure like the before and after photo’s of the desk you’ve created . Thank you again.

  34. Thank you for sharing all of your journey 🙂

    I loved reading it because when we get on the computer, we have such a limited view of where people come from and why and how they are where they are.

    We think people are just born with funky junk ideas oozing out of them and sometimes women can get really down, thinking that if they weren’t born that way, we can’t “morph” into it one day.

    By telling your story, you are letting women know that we are sometimes moved by necessity. It encourages growth and stretching and we all need that.

    Anyway, thank you for the encouragement 🙂 Although I am a woman who completely relies on my husband to do the hard stuff, you’ve inspired me to learn and grow.

    God bless you and I hope you are completely healed and enjoying this season that God has given you.


  35. thank you!!! this mirrors my life so well, your blog is the best… in fact I think we might be junk-twins, *standing with hands on hips* “junk twins activate…” *touching rings* “form of…” *magical hillbilly music sound* “a reciprocating saw…” *said saw appears in hand* “an old truck bumper” *said truck appears with rust and all- covered in kudzu vine* and lets get to it!!! thanks for your inspiration, I have got to go find my ring… “do or do not, there is not try” -yoda

  36. Donna – again you amaze me with inspired thinking. I can spend hours in my studio, making things that I love and that others say they love. Fear holds me back. In my vision, you must never be afraid, then you write from your heart and I know that you understand the fears of morphing and the ramifications of doing that very thing. Facing those fears.

    Thank you for this post. I’ve added it to my list of “read when fear comes again” posts.

  37. So timely and inspirational! To so many readers I see.

    I am a mother of 2 little ones…and an art teacher in a high risk school…and own an online shop…and I am a studio artist…and I blog.

    Feeling stretched thin. Some things I love to do. And some of these things I have to do. Some are a combo of both.

    Feeling like I’m *almost* to my a-ha moment. Guess I need to keep morphing.


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