There is always a tremendous sadness that comes with the final day of a Wayzgoose event. You spend nearly all day and all night with these super creative design powerhouses and make so many new friends, and then suddenly they have to return to their corner of the world and don’t get to stay close by. The Wayzgoose weekend is ever more precious for this reason as well. You find your once a year friends you have to fill in about everything, share ideas, and hopefully make plans to visit each other at some point, which may or may not work out but you can both invest whatever amount of hope you desire into it. Still, even with visits pending and heartfelt well wishes, there is a tremendous amount of time between seeing one another in person.

Dave Peat, a well known Master Letterpress Printer who had given me my first set of letterpress type the year prior, had once again returned in all his grandfatherly sweet and kind glory. However this year his demeanor seemed a little more sad than years previous. I had inquired if he was doing well and if he would return to us next year.

“I hope so.” He said with that deep sorrow in his eyes as if he wasn’t sure there would be a next year. I nodded knowingly.

“I’ll pour some prayer in to that.” I told him.

This year it was wonderful to see old friends and catch up, but this year was my year for making new friends. I met two lovely designers from Montreal who were desperate to put their English speaking skills to work, and put up with me trying to mimick their French accents. They were amazing, kind, and just the sweetest young ladies to befriend and we clung close together all through the event, and just like that, they’re gone. Whisked away by the other demands in their life, because at the end of the day we all have to return to reality.

Returning to my reality wasn’t very well met this time, though it was still an improvement to returning to a retail job. I’ll take design over that any day. Still, the return was met with an annoyed boss.

“I tried e-mailing you over the weekend. Did you get it?”

“No I was at a conference. I didn’t have my work phone on me.”

“Well from now on can you check your e-mail on weekends? This time wasn’t a big deal anyway, but just for next time.”

“Um…I guess?”

I’m not salaried mind you. My contract agreement is 8-4:30 with a 30 min lunch break Monday thru Friday. Most of the time I do working lunches so I can leave at 4. I told them in my interview, “I want to work to live not live to work.” My exact words. I was offended. Angry. I was not required to work outside of my contract. So I wasn’t going to. If they gave me crap, I intended to add an extra 15 min onto my time sheet every Saturday. All the same, coming back to work after an amazing weekend full of creative inspiration I had to return to updating packaging and Care and Use Guides. Not the most inspirational activity.

At the end of Wayzgoose this year my friend (a fairly well known artist and designer) told me to “Make more big decisions this year.” Mostly in reference to my past year’s big decision to quit my retail job and try for a bigger design job. I’ve been pondering this since my return to work. While I’m updating CuGs and packaging I’m often asking myself what other big decisions I ought to be making? Should I give this job a couple years and move on to something else? Should I think about where else in the world I could move myself to? What could I convince my husband to do? Should I be concerned about that?

I’m trying to decipher what pieces of my emotions are the  let down after the high and which are the well founded ones. At the end of the day I’m sure top designers in the world are constantly on and working too. They probably have employees, teams, and others who constantly demand action and attention. When they work for themselves I imagine that they can make the call to draw lines to keep their lives private. I could do that, but my anxiety hits and I wonder about health insurance and life insurance and many other kinds of financial concerns.

So for now I decided that my big decision is to wait it out right now and learn some things. Give a few years to this company and decide to move on when I feel I have learned all I can learn from them. Next year I intend to attend Wayzgoose instead of volunteering. Mainly because I feel like it allows me to socialize a bit more than volunteering did. I think I might just buy myself a new car…something flashy. That’s a big decision after all…albeit a little frivolous.  We will see.

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