One of my worst nightmares came true yesterday morning, and it was one of those “wake-up sweaty in the middle of the night” numbers that’s guaranteed to leave panic and dread in its wake:
I crashed my website.
I was fiddling around with layouts, and I decided to switch my theme from “Olsen” to “Olsen Light.” I’d read somewhere that the latter had a few more formatting options, and I really wanted to find a way to enlarge the images on my landing page. I found “Olsen Light” in my customizer, watched a demo, then clicked “activate.”
The pesky theme that started the cascade of destruction
Excited to see what it looked like, I navigated to a live version of my page. In truth, it was a garbled, ersatz, illegible mess. My fonts were gone, my header menu was a list of every single page I’ve ever created (probably 150 at this point), and my content was unrecognizable. However, I knew that all I had to do was go back to my customizer and reactivate my old “Oslen” theme. I’ve literally done this dozens of times with no problem, so there was no reason for me to worry.
…when I went back to change it, I discovered that my old theme was retired. Gone. Non-existent. I tried everything I could to bring it back, there was absolutely nothing I could do to return my website to what it had previously been.
In short, I was f*****.
I furiously started started activating a range of different themes, hoping upon hope that I’d be able to find something that worked. But in a digital comedy of errors, I clicked on a theme that completely erased all of the content on my landing page, and I couldn’t get that back either.
Time was ticking and my school-aged daughter still hadn’t eaten her breakfast, so I slammed my laptop shut and hurried her through her routine. I felt awful having been the architect of such a hectic morning–I really love to send my daughter off with 30-minutes worth of undivided attention from me.
To add insult to injury, it started pouring on our walk to school, and I since I hadn’t had time to check the weather, we were sans umbrellas.
When I got home, I was soaked, wet, and miserable, but I was determined to fix what I’d destroyed. After scouring WordPress for hours, I found a theme that worked. I swiftly went about reconstructing my landing page, meticulously editing each component despite intense levels of resistance. I uploaded photo after photo, and I wrote new copy and re-introduced the Genius Garden Tarot. When I finally finished, I was brain-fried and exhausted, but guess what?
I was happier with my website then I’ve ever been. It’s the closest to realizing the vision I’ve always had for it, and I’d never have made it this far if I hadn’t royally screwed it up first. And maybe it’s because I’ve lost so much this past year and maybe it’s because I have so little to lose now, but I did something rather bold and gave myself the title I’ve always wanted:
JESSI HUNTENBURG Artist | Writer
Now that I’m one card away from being halfway finished painting the Genius Garden Tarot (OMG), I guess I finally feel worthy of it. I’ve painted thirty eight paintings in the past seven months, and if things go according to plan, I’ll paint at least thirty in the next two. And you better believe I’m going to write one helluva guidebook!
All this is to say…
1. Goat rodeos can sometimes pave the way for great creation and innovation (goat rodeo: a chaotic situation, fiasco, or, more vulgarly, a “shit show”).
2. Losing things can make us bolder than we would be otherwise.
3. I’m in LOVE with my website! I’m especially digging my “Personal Work” art gallery that includes some of the paintings and drawings I’ve done over the years. If you feel inclined, go check it out!
Have you ever lived a day where everything went wrong but turned out for the best, Beauty? If so, reply and let me know–I’d love to hear your story!