DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a politically correct post.
That’s a lame title.
“My First WordPress Post” I suppose tells you that this is my first post, but it doesn’t tell you my purpose for my first post. I am sure I will update the title when I have it nailed down. For now, though, it remains “My First WordPress Post.”
In fact, I’ve only had WordPress installed for about two hours. Last summer and fall I went on a URL shopping spree. Every time I had an idea for a new business I bought the .com, if it existed. Some URLs I own: sipandsavoritaly.com, bespokevoyages.com, vacationsinelegance.com, and my personal favorite that I bought on my birthday last year while drinking some very expensive French champagne in Italy (an oxymoron, don’t you think?), tiarasandtesticles.com. Yes, eventually that one will be put to use. Just imagining the logo makes me laugh out loud!
I pulled out digitaldesigngal.com today, decided to host it, pointed the nameservers where I bought it to point to where I have it hosted and waited a couple hours. Or less. I’m 51 and don’t really remember. That’s a story for Tiaras and Testicles one day…
Why Digital Design Gal?
I got laid off 10 years ago and have not had any work since then. In March 2009 I decided to purchase a travel franchise because I thought working from home, traveling, and making money all at the same time would be the dream job. The franchise was inexpensive due to the economy and my veteran status so I went ahead with it. I had visions in my head of customers coming to me out of the woodwork. Did that happen? Nope.
What I didn’t know was I had no control over how my website looked, the way I answered my phone, the way I marketed, or anything other aspect I thought of when being an entrepreneur. I was HIGHLY disillusioned!
I sold a few cruises, made about $10 on each of them, and in the end I ended the 5-year contract early due to the controlling nature of the beast and the cost of running such a thing with no income coming in.
During this time frame I ended up divorced and nearly homeless with a teenage daughter. I applied for work at all the IT houses in Jacksonville, Starbucks, Apple, and various stores at the mall like Dillards and Costco. Multiple times. Did I get a response from any of them? Nope. It was soul crushing with the new found realization that my age (45-48 years old) was now a problem in getting work.
I spent the next seven years proving to myself that ageism is a thing. It totally destroyed any semblance of self-esteem I had of going back to work. I mean, of going back to gainful employment where I can buy a car, a house, furniture, etc in a safe and clean neighborhood. I began to think my only option was to find a rich man to hook. That thought disgusts me.
The Turning Point
I “moved” to Italy in the summer of 2014. I was 48 years old at the time. After a year of coming and going every 90 days, someone kicking in my apartment door in Italy, and my ex pair of testicles suing me to stop the alimony (which kept me out of Italy for a full year) I finally decided to return to Italy for good. Except it wasn’t for good, but I was trying to make it for good. I got a small payout from ex-testicles and I transferred some loot into my Italian bank account so when I returned I was able to buy a car and have money to do a few things and live.
This was during the summer of 2016 – I had just turned the big FIVE OH. Shortly after arriving I ended up in Ljubljana, Slovenia because my man friend (Italian) had a job opportunity there. What a pretty place! But, the food was terrible. Rice. ALL. THE. TIME. And in EVERYTHING. GMO’s. YUCK! Anyway, I was bored and started thinking about making money again.
We were thinking about starting a travel agency / tour company in Italy. But I wasn’t sold. I fully understood that I didn’t know what I didn’t know about running a successful business. I did try the travel agency gig again, but as an independent contractor with a host agency instead of a franchise. I paid for that for the year my ex was suing me, and it was another failure and money killer. I didn’t make a dime and every month I spent hundreds pretending to be in business.
But, I decided I would spend the time I had to research more how to be successful at a travel business. I did, after all, LOVE travel. What it came down to was marketing since I have no personal network to start it off with. This is the problem with moving every two years your entire life. You NEVER get to have long-term friendships.
I figured in order to start building a network I might as well get back on LinkedIn. I began looking for a mentor which led me to Veteran’s Mentor Network, and the very first post was about coding boot camps for veterans. I read the post, and in order to apply to that boot camp you had to complete some certain parts of FreeCodeCamp‘s program.
I never heard of them so I went to their website and started going through their program. It was fun. I sat at the computer for hours doing algorithm challenges and then projects like building an online portfolio. I started to think again about getting back into IT, but as a freelancer.
The Yo-Yo Effect
I remembered how I felt being a programmer at the turn of the millennium. It was like being in the navy all over again, only better… and worse…
I was one of the only women which meant it was crass, like the navy. And full of sexual harassment, like the navy. But I was free…
I literally have PTSD from being in the navy AND being a programmer.
I kept having visions of working in the same environments as before – with punk young men who think all women are stupid. My entire life has been full of men who think that way. I AM OVER IT! You know how it is: You tell them (that saggy pair of testicles in front of you) something, they acknowledge you, then continue to complain about the same thing you told them how to solve. After six months or so they say Dick just told me such and such and it worked! Yeah, well, you fucktard, that’s the same thing I told you 6 months ago.
Because of my PTSD and memories I almost started another travel & tour company – Vacation Boutique. I purchased the Make More Selling Travel Blueprint. I went through it module by module:
- Business Models – easy
- Create a Core, Compelling Message – HARD & TOOK A LONG TIME
- Build Your Foundation Marketing Tools
- Essential Website Pages for Marketing Your Business Online
During the process of step 1 & 2 I applied (last second mind you – like on the last day possible) to attend Code Platoon in Chicago. I didn’t know if it would help me or not. I had to do a whole bunch of freeCodeCamp stuff, answer a whole bunch of other algorithm challenges, and make a video answering a few questions, another video of explaining one of the algorithms so someone without any background in programming would understand.
Let me just say that was a feat considering it was about 900 degrees every single day last summer AND there is NO air conditioning in Italy.
Anyway, I got it all done, and I was accepted into the program. But, I needed to find $2,500 and a mac computer, and I needed to get to Chicago, AND have somewhere to sleep, AND wonder about my dog (a Yorkie and she is known as HRH, The Roman Dog). Plus, I was trying to get my visa in Italy extended so I would never have to go through the hassle of having to do it again. In the end, I decided it would be best to not go to Chicago and try again during the next cohort in January.
I continued to work on the MMSTB and I got to Module 4 (of 10). I hired a professional photographer to follow me around Umbria for a couple weekends and I was getting very excited because it was all coming to fruition. I was working hard on my website and loved it! I bought a WordPress theme and was customizing it, but delayed the launch of the website because I thought the code base could be done better. Specifically, I didn’t like how the sidebar was at odd places on the page – never on the side unless the page was WWWWIIIIIDDDDDDEEEEEEEE and never stacked at the bottom if the page shrank. I started rewriting the code.
During this process I ended up with a broken ankle and face due to an incident at the end of last October. I spent the better part of the following month asleep. When I was awake the only thing that came into my mind, other than pain, was how much I LOVED building my “essential website pages” for what was Vacation Boutique turned into Bellissima Journeys.
Sometime in the middle of November I had an email from Code Platoon asking me if I had any interest in starting the boot camp in January. I deleted the email due to PTSD, but a few days later I pulled it out of the trashcan and replied. The director and I decided to have a phone chat at the end of that week to see what we could do. During this time frame between bouts of sleep I would ask myself do I really want to get back into IT?
We worked out a deal where I could do the class from Italy online, with a way to use a mac in Chicago via google remote desktop, and the fee: A big fat Zero. I paid a $100 deposit thingy jigger, but the rest is not due. So I signed up and began working on the prework in December when I finally was able to stay awake and start thinking again. However, during those two weeks I was still yo-yoing between do I want to be in IT, can I even get a job, is this just another avenue to raise my hopes to come crashing back down again? I still have no answer for that and we just finished the 6th week of the boot camp.
What I do know is this: I love building websites and working on logic problems (aka algorithms) MORE THAN I like selling travel. I really don’t like selling travel. I really like to travel. They are two different things. Plus building websites does not come with litigation liability.
I feel passionately about helping other women (NO TESTICLES PLEASE) near my age who have been dealt a raw hand due to some fucktard get back up on their feet in a dignified manner. I NEVER WANT ANOTHER WOMAN TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH WHAT I AM GOING/HAVE GONE THROUGH.
We are brilliant. We are smart. We learn better at this age. We have already raised our children and husbands; therefore, we have no distractions. We know what we want out of life finally. We can support each other instead of being back stabbers. It’s time we stand together for the common good: SISTERHOOD. We have it in our power to make the world a better place if we will just come together. Ditch the competitiveness. Stop trying to be like a man. Be the feminine beings we are meant to be together, and we will rise and be successful and NOT NEED another effing pair of testicles for our financial security.
Maybe I ought to work on that mission statement.
How I Want to Be of Service
I am going to teach you how to build a WordPress website through building child themes. To be honest, I’m not even quite sure HOW to do it myself. We can view this as a learn along.
I did NOT chose this theme (the way this page looks) – it’s what came when I installed WordPress on the server. I want a feminine and sophisticated presence online. Since I purchased Genesis and a child theme (which I like, but it behaves badly) I will start from almost scratch and create a new child theme resembling the one I purchased but that behaves like a good-natured child at dinner in a restaurant – the way my two children behaved. The way children should behave. Well, it’s really not the child’s fault that they were never parented. That’s more testicular behavior there. Digressing….
Anyway, since we are all my around my age within a decade on either side, I’m going to assume that you have NOT worked in IT like I have (unless you’re younger than me – then maybe you have), I will start at the beginning. How do you even get online? That beginning. How do you install WordPress? How do you make it look prettier? How do you inject your style? How do you chose the right name?
Admittedly I need help with that one. Digital Design Gal is a name I came up with to use for my portfolio for freelancing work. I’ll probably change the name when a new one comes up that makes some sort of sense to me. Right now I’ve got loads of anxiety about coding boot camp, returning to the US, or not, life after boot camp, etc. A name is NOT a high priority on my list of things to create.
In the end I hope we all will feel confident in being able to create WordPress Child Themes for the Genesis Framework. I hope you will love it so much that you can earn money doing this. Weather you just want to do it for yourself, as a hobby, or for your full-time income I hope you will learn what you need here.
P.S. Now I need to come up with some categories, tags, and a featured image for this post. It’ll be interesting to see how I go about this! I’m not sure I want a tag to be fucktard or testicles…