Sunday, January 19, 2014

Finally think I found what I'm chasing after...

“Well, shit,” I said out loud as I tumbled to the ground and sprawled across the sidewalk, trying to land as gracefully as possible.

The time between that millisecond when you know you’re about to fall and when you actually fall can seem like hours. Your mind processes a million thoughts. At least, mine did.

Shit, it’s almost rush hour and there are a million cars passing by.


I can’t break a bone! I just gave up my chance at health insurance for the near future.

Oh God, is this how it’s going to go? Am I going to quit my job and fall flat on my face?

It was, indeed, how the day went. I was in the middle of one of my last work days at the office in Bellevue. I’d already broken the news that I was venturing out on my own the week before, when Boss Lady had called me into the office to offer me a full-time position (on the condition that I, you know, “improve my focus”... the focus I was already giving them!) and I’d broken the news that I’d be venturing out on my own. I’d just left another meeting with her where she explained that they would not be taking me up on my offer to do run their social media accounts part-time. They needed someone to be there full-time, she’d explained, who could do it all (and be under their watch).

I understood, and I wasn’t upset at all, but I was nervous. The acceptance of my proposal would have given me much more security and more of a financial cushion. Now I was truly taking a leap of faith, a leap with only two clients. The income would be enough to pay my share of the bills, but I would have to hustle for more work, and soon. And with that on my mind, I left the building to walk to the bank to get some cash for my upcoming trip to Eastern Washington.

And on that walk I lost my footing (while wearing sneakers!), in broad daylight, in front of half of Bellevue, and I fell hard onto the pavement.

No bones broke, and miraculously, none of my clothes ripped. But I had a few bloody scrapes I’d need to explain to my co-workers. I stood up, dusted myself off, turned around and took a giant bow to the oncoming traffic, as if I’d just completed a performance. Somewhere in the sea of traffic, a horn honked.

“You go girrrrl!” someone yelled.

A nice woman who’d witnessed the whole thing from the bank parking lot rolled down her window as she passed by. “Are you all right?” she asked.

“I am, just embarrassed!” I said.

And I was. There was that brief moment where I’d thought maybe it had been a sign, that maybe I should go running back inside and beg for the job on my hands and knees, promising to only focus on their company and never freelance again. But I couldn’t. Even though I was a bloody mess and a little shaky, my decision felt right.

Six months later, I can honestly say that it was right. And that’s a pretty confident statement, considering I didn’t do one damn thing the experts recommend doing before you quit your job and start your own business. I did not have a year’s salary saved up (HA!). I did not have a vast array of professional contacts or even a ton of clients. But I had enough.

And since that day, somehow, I have always had enough. And better yet, if there ever comes a day where I don’t have enough, I’m confident that I could find another full-time job. The economy is good here in the Emerald City, and honestly, I don’t care what I’d have to do to scrape by so that I could write at night. Job titles have never meant much to me. Passion, on the other hand, is everything.

Time management has been an issue. It’s impossible not to be distracted by the internet when you’re tweeting from a ton of accounts every day and SO many links have to be clicked on. It’s tough to tell your friends who want to chat all day that you can’t, because you’re no longer watching the clock and filling the hours with distractions until it’s time to go home. And I had no idea how much time to budget for anything, at first. The first week was a little bit what I’d imagine having a new baby is like…. long hours, pajamas all day, stress, fear, forgetting to bathe on occasion, and a couple of all nighters.

Eventually, though, the dust settled. It’s still settling. I have worked almost constantly since I quit the party invitation company. I have worked evenings, I have worked weekends, and I was scheduling Facebook posts on Christmas Eve. But I have not ever regretted my decision. Not once. Besides, every minute I DON'T spend working I spend doing what I want to do... like traveling without having to ask for time off.

I love what I do. I love that I work with amazing small business owners who care about what they do. It makes me care about what I do. I love that if I absolutely don’t want to work with someone...I don’t. And I love that, to a degree, I control what I earn and I control my motherfucking destiny. 2013 was the most empowering year of my life, and it’s carrying over into every other aspect of it.

And while I recognize that a small part of it was luck and being in the right place at the right time… if I can do it, anyone can do it. We can have what we want in life, if we’re brave enough to go for it. Things have a way of falling into place… and, as I’ve come to understand only very, VERY recently….things happens when they are meant to happen.

P.S. I still have a scar from that fall, which I have named “Battlescar Galactica.”

Also... I fell in love with this song during my transition, and I feel positive and happy every time I hear it.


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