Why A Jellyfish?

I'm often asked why a jellyfish? 

My knee jerk response is, it's pretty. Is it my power animal? No. Is there's something erotic or exotic about a jellyfish? Yes. Please Simone explain to me why you use that jellyfish picture as your avatar everywhere you post, because I just don't get it. Okay, so here's the answer to the question why I use a jellyfish picture.

When I first became an adult, my family still bought me birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. I was very lucky to grow up in suburbia, middle class for the most part. By twenty-five, my family announced to me that it would be the last year they chipped in to buy me a gift and what did I want for Christmas that year. At a young age I preferred money to an actual gift. I liked picking out my own gifts and as I transitioned into adulthood, I was already in the habit of purchasing whatever I truly wanted. Sometimes I used gift money to cover bills or saved it for a rainy day. I didn't need huge gifts from my family and the money just helped me to be able to breathe when my purse strings were tight.

I rarely buy myself birthday gifts anymore. I was so used to my favorite gift of money, which I just used to purchase what I wanted anyway. I wasn't even fazed by my family's choice to stop buying me gifts. I was working a good nine to five. I'd gotten to a point in my life where if I wanted something, I could afford to purchase it. So I did.

My birthday approached one year and although I knew I'd be getting some money from most of my family I still didn't own a digital camera. My father had given me his hand me down camera in high school. I needed it for a photograph class. It's a classically awesome camera and although I still have it today, of course I never use it anymore. When digital cameras were fresh on the scene my father was still using the older model cameras and he refused to purchase one. 

My love of photograph, writing, basically all things creative were shelved at the time of my approaching birthday. A friend from college who lived in Michigan decided to gift me with her presence for that year. The first thing she noticed was I no longer did anything creative. I didn't take pictures, I didn't write, I didn't read for pleasure, I didn't play music, the only thing I was really doing in my life at the time was working my nine to five. 

I loved my job, my career, but my friend commented on the fact that in college I had a lot of creative aspirations with my life and I wasn't working on a single one. She asked me if I was truly happy now? In college I wanted to write a novel. I wanted to travel and take pictures of the world. I wanted to play bass in a band. I wanted to script and produce a film. I'd graduated with a degree in Telecommunications so that when I went into the workforce I'd be ready for a creative career.

I thought I'd found working as a Client Service/IT Manager rewarding creative work. I was using my degree because I was also handling a lot of the computer programming side of my job and working multiple roles. I was the company expert at all things Microsoft and software related. If you needed a trick to run a program, or needed to learn how to use the interface I was the go to gal. I had a lot of responsibility. I realized my friend's evaluation of my life was true, I wasn't on the creative path I'd always planned to walk.

So for the first time in many years, I bought myself a birthday gift, a digital camera. After I charged it up we went to the Georgia Aquarium, a place I'd never been before, and I filled the memory card up with videos and pictures. It was fun, exciting, and fed my muse in a way creating Excel spreadsheets and SQL queries never could. The picture of the jellyfish was one of the only pictures I still had after the camera was stolen along with my computer when my house was broken into about seven months later. I also found myself unemployed at the time.

People often say things like, God has a divine plan for you and it is your job to find your way to that path in life, to me. I have a minister for an uncle and religious and spiritual people come in and out of my life all the time. Basically, when I took stock of my life because I was forced to really take a look at myself, my goals, my dreams, while stressing about what to do next with my life as a whole at that time, I discovered my plan for my life wasn't working. Kinda, 'you plan and God laughs'. I had to ride it out to find out what God's plan for my life was and when I got to the other side of things, I realized that the picture of the jellyfish I'd taken was the creative catalyst for my new path.

That digital camera I owned for such a short amount of time was the spark for me to start working towards a more creative endeavor. I started to write again. I studied the tools of the writing craft I would need to create a novel. I even wrote a novel, I will probably never share with the world. I started to publish my writing on Literotica to force myself to share what I was writing. I set up a blog and poured a memoir of content onto it under a different name. I've since removed that blog from the world, again I'm quite embarrassed by the writing, which is why I will probably never share my first novel.

I've made leaps and baby steps toward my goal of writing for a living even though I'm not there yet. I've had a lot of experiences as a result, but without the encouragement of a good friend I never would have started down what I believe to be my true path in life. That's why the jellyfish. It has powerful meaning to me and oh yeah, it's pretty.


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