Yesterday was my last day at work. For most (some of my closest friends included), up until this blog post, you had no idea I was even thinking about resigning from what was my dream job, the job I’d been hoping for since senior year of college, the job for which I uprooted my life in Florida and drove 2,400 miles to California. If you’re upset because I didn’t tell you, please try to understand that this isn’t something that just comes up in conversation, it never felt like the right time, and I really needed to make this decision on my own.
Yes, working at a startup that seeks to help people was a huge dream of mine, and gosh was it a beautiful adventure. I have learned so many valuable skills and lessons; I had the pleasure of working with the most multi-faceted, generous, passionate people I’ve ever met; and my colleagues helped me build confidence in my abilities. Turning in my two weeks notice, saying goodbye (I preferred “see you later”) to my coworkers, and walking out of that office were more painful than I had anticipated.
But I have another life goal that I don’t want to keep pushing to the back burner. If I want to be a writer, shouldn’t I be writing?
Okay, now on to the big questions…
In abstract terms, I have another dream that just wouldn’t leave me alone until I pursued it. You know, the type of dream that pokes and prods at you while you’re trying to sleep at night, jumps and waves its arms around for your attention when you’re trying to focus at work, and makes you grin with joy just at the mere thought of it.
In more concrete terms, I am starting a business as a freelance writer, and I’m also doing photography and videography. And yes, I have clients!
This blog has been a huge source of joy for me over the past eight months. I want to commit more time and effort to my writing here. I’ll also still be working remotely for the University of Florida.
How will you make money?
The same way we all make money, by working. It’s just that now I don’t work your typical 9-to-5-day schedule; I don’t have an office or desk I have to be at; and I’ll be doing what I love: writing and creating.
This decision was not made on a whim; it took lots of prayer and thought. I am aware of the potential consequences. After all, I had to pay my credit card bill yesterday; my car payment is due tomorrow; and my rent is due on Friday. I live on the opposite side of the country from my family. I also happen to live in one of the top five most expensive places in the U.S. If I let it, the weight of this knowledge crushes me until I can hardly breathe.
But to me, what’s more terrifying than running out of money is looking back on my life one day and thinking, “Why didn’t I chase that dream?” So, here I am.
Even if I fail, I will not consider it a failure. Having said that, I have no intention of failing.
Yes, I know, we’re all worried about how we’ll pay the bills. But over the past six months, I’ve learned that the most precious commodity we have is not money–but time. I can always make more money; I cannot make more time.
What Can I Do to Help You?
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
–The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The most moving and unexpected thing keeps happening when I tell people I’ve left my job to pursue my dream: they ask how they can help me. One friend is letting me borrow his desktop computer for video editing because it has better processing power than my laptop; a coworker told me his wife owns a store and is looking for help with social media, and he said he’d recommend me; a videographer in San Francisco, whom I’ve never even met, has offered to teach me how to do animated videos. People I barely know are offering to support me in some way.
Normally, I would balk at the idea of asking for or accepting help. Why? Out of sheer pride. However, I recently watched a Ted Talk by musician Amanda Palmer that changed how I view accepting help from others. Please watch it when you get a chance:
“The perfect tools aren’t going to help us if we can’t face each other and give and receive fearlessly, but more important, to ask without shame.”
I am not saying you owe me something or that I expect any help from you; I’m just saying if you want to help me, I’ll gratefully accept it. After all, aren’t we all where we are today partly because someone helped us?
So, here’s how you can help me:
- The biggest thing you can do to help me is wish me well and pray for me.
- You can also subscribe to this blog.
- If you have a spare computer monitor lying around, that would be a huge help as well.
- Oh, and cupcakes. I will always accept cupcakes.
Learning to Trust
“I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints.”
-“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
During my last conversation with my manager, I asked her if, back in September when she hired me, she doubted that I would make it all the way to California from Florida. I was surprised when she shook her head adamantly, smiled, and said, “Nope, I didn’t doubt it for a second.”
She told me there is a certain amount of “blind trust” that we must have in business. Back in September, she didn’t know me, and she had never met me except via Skype, but she trusted there was a connection, and she trusted me to follow through on my word.
She said that in entrepreneurship, there is a large amount of blind trust. I have to trust that this venture will work out. I have to trust that my clients won’t run out on me; they have to trust that I will do the work I promised. Perhaps most difficult of all, I have to trust in my abilities. It’s all about trust.
Today I go forth fueled by this “blind trust.” I cannot see what lies ahead of me, but I am saying to God, to my clients, and to the world…
“I trust you.”
To all of you who have supported me in some way these past few days (you know who you are): Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.