I spent the majority of 2017 really examining my life, my career, my personal interests and the needs of my family. Years of long commutes, stress at work and getting home closer to bedtime left me exhausted, frustrated and with little left to give the ones that deserved the best of me. I knew that something had to give, but I didn’t know where to begin.
One weekend, while performing a long overdue closet cleanout, I came across a scrapbook of articles that I wrote for a local newspaper when I was in college. Now, I’m not normally a very emotional person, but tears came to my eyes as I read. This, my inner voice whispered, this is what you should be doing. The more I read, the more the tears began to flow. I had been asking for a sign, and I thought this was as close to a flashing light as I was going to get.
In my infinite wisdom, I had also kept letters and cards from people thanking me and encouraging me during the time I was writing for the paper. It was almost as if I somehow knew that I would need just this combination of reminders for this future moment. At the time, it was hit or miss on whether an article would make it to the Internet to be saved for all eternity. I should disclaim that there were a few letters blasting what I had written as well, but they reminded me that even though everyone didn’t always agree, life moved on.
While reading, I laughed at the memories of the people that I had met while I was writing and the things they told me. It’s amazing how people will really open up when they know someone wants to hear what they have to say. It’s also amazing what people will tell a reporter when the threat of it being printed and read by the public is almost a certainty! In these situations, you quickly learn what to include and what to kindly omit. After this trip down memory lane, I realized that of the various roles that I’ve had since, writing was the one that made me feel the most alive.
I began planning, plotting and praying about how I could get back into writing full-time while cutting out the daily commute, earning money to help with family finances and regaining some of my spark. I scoured the Internet and came upon freelance writing. My inner voice rejoiced! I should also disclaim here that having the luxury of even entertaining this idea was made possible by having a spouse who is comfortably employed, having a savings cushion and by cutting expenses. So, having a safety net makes making a drastic change much more feasible and just a little less scary.
After a lot of thought and fighting self-doubt back with a stick quite a few times, I resigned from the full-time job that I had for eight years and decided to go for it! Gulp! This is the beginning of my journey and I’m nervous and overwhelmed, but also very, very excited. My friends, family and former co-workers have been very supportive and have built me up to near Rocky Balboa levels. No pressure or anything! If they aren’t supportive, well that’s motivation in itself.
As the famous quote by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So, I’m taking the first step by working on my website and submitting proposals for posted writing jobs now. My writing may be a bit rusty, but I hope it’s like riding a bicycle-once you know, you always know. If anyone knows of an organization that needs writing (blogs, website content, product reviews, business brochures, etc.,) please send them my way.
Well folks, here I go [cue Eye of the Tiger music here].