So, I suppose that the first post that I write after I quit my job to write full time should be on an enlightened topic. I could write about the "easy way" to start your own freelancing business, how to get the gumption to walk into your boss's office and quit your less-than-stellar job in corporate America in chase of "the dream." I could tell you that working for yourself is exactly like in the movies. Adorable casual clothes, coffee shops, all the time in the world to do your laundry, look perfect for every outing, and send all your friends birthday gifts on time.
If I wrote about all of those things, I'd be lying.
The truth is, that April 15th was my last day of work in corporate America -- for now. I don't think I publicized much how much I hated my job, but I worked as an insurance adjuster, dealing with injuries from car accidents. For those of you that know me, it was likely the most ill-suited career I could have ever chosen. I just can't do glass-half-empty all day. I need passion and creativity, something that was seriously lacking, even while on the office Events Committee. And so, I quit.
On the morning of April 18th, I woke up and went to work in my new office, my dining room. So far, working from home has been interesting. I did a lot of leg work. I got all new office equipment, including a brand new MacBook Pro laptop. It's lovely. The first few days flew by because I had quite a bit of work to do. It's the days that aren't so structured that are a bit odd. Like when I wake up and don't have any assignments from my clients, so I spend my entire morning searching for new work, doing research on writing, and brushing up on AP vs. Chicago Manual of Style; or I spend two hours comparing health plans. And then I find myself feeling guilty for having time to listen to the Fashion 140 conference online, and being able to throw myself completely into some guest blogs that I wrote.
The thing that I wasn't prepared for was all the alone time. I've lived out on my own for the last 12 years. I've had roommates at some points, and lived alone at others. I really don't have any problems spending time alone; that is until I was doing that very thing 24 hours a day, seven days a week for weeks at a time.
The last few days I've started to get a little stir crazy. I've started to doubt myself. I think, "do I really have what it takes to be a full-time writer? Do all my friends and family think I'm crazy? Are they secretly just waiting for me to fail and come crawling to them for help?"
I know these thoughts are ludicrous, but you get a LOT of time to think about your life when you don't have physical contact with the outside world. I mean, I go to the gym, and have dinner with friends, but I've never spent so many large chunks of time with myself. And I'm starting to think that having this much time to think when I'm in the last few weeks of my twenties is possibly a bad idea.
I've always been an over achiever. I set extremely high standards for myself, and I'm pretty self-critical. When I was twenty years old, I thought I'd be living in NYC and working at a big magazine by now. Or I thought I might be in Nashville following my dream of singing. If anything I thought I'd be in a serious relationship, and possibly married. I never thought I'd be single, living in Fort Worth, Texas, having just quit my job, and essentially starting my career from scratch. Over the last few months, I just felt like my life was heading in a direction that just didn't make any sense to me. The more I prayed about it, the more I felt like I was supposed to start over again. I sincerely believe that God doesn't give people talents that he doesn't want them to use. In my heart of hearts, I think He wants every person to use every bit of talent they've been given. Because of that belief, I'm hoping that this bout of loneliness and doubt will pass quickly. I know there is an extremely confident women lurking inside me who just knows that big things are on the horizon. It's one of those "heart vs. head" moments. I just don't know which one will win this round.
In the mean time, I'm recommitting to my blog again. I will share my life's adventures with the few people that choose to read it. And for those of you that do, I really appreciate it. I know that even if no one reads it, it's the most therapeutic thing in the world to me. At the end of each victory and set back, I can come here and relish in how far I've come from even a year ago. And that in itself keeps me going.