With sweaty palms and my stomach doing backflips, I’m beyond thrilled to tell you I’m turning the page on another chapter of my life.
You see, I grew up with the mindset that you should find a good company, do a good job, and keep climbing the ladder. I got really good at this.
I have always loved work. I loved contributing to something in a meaningful way and feeling like I was part of something bigger. I’m also not afraid to say I love money. It certainly doesn’t solve all your problems, but if you spend it on things that make you happy – it sure as heck can make you feel good.
After I had each of my two kids, I was both anxious to get back to work to flex my brain in a different way, talk to grown-ups, and keep growing.
I wanted to be an example for my kids. I wanted to show them that moms can be successful out in the world and still have a healthy meal and a happy mom to come home to. Shit, I felt so passionate about being a working mom and not apologizing for it that even wrote a book about it. I woke up every morning at 5am, spent countless hours inhaling lattes at Starbucks, and stayed up way too late for months to get it done in time for my 35th birthday, and I did it.
Then something changed. I was doing so many things and I was sucking at all of them. I was doing the minimum at work, rushing around all the time to get to the next thing – work, hockey practice, horseback riding, dinner, rinse, and repeat—oops, forgot to shower! I was too stressed and scattered to spend more than a minute saying goodnight to my kids.
Something was broke. I was doing it wrong.
I feel like an ass telling you this because these are all the things I preached about in my book, and I wasn’t even listening to my own advice. I got lost somewhere along the way.
I felt like I was having an emergency. I needed a change—and I needed it so urgently that I dove in face first.
It was time to create a life I looked forward to living.
Last year, having been a few years into blogging, and writing internal communications as a side project at work—I realized that doing that kind of work lit me up inside. I wanted to do it all the time. I craved more. My corporate job gave me a lot of creative freedom with some of my work—and I learned to find my voice.
I wanted to help more people with their writing, so I reached out to some of my friends and former colleagues with an offer. I told them I’d give them a few hours of my time to write or edit anything they needed help with in return for some candid feedback and a testimonial.
A few people took a chance on me—and I was able to give them things they could share with the world that they’d been holding onto for ages – a LinkedIn blog post that made magazines pick up the phone, bios that make photographers confident to share their website, proposals that make clients say, “F*CK YA!”, and even a job description that got someone a big fat promotion.
I was onto something. I updated my website, told a few more friends, threw up a price list and carried on. I didn’t do any advertising, I didn’t pimp my services to everyone I knew, and something magical happened—people found me, and hired me. Every evening, I’d write and edit my ass off for my new clients. I received rave reviews and they’d pass my name along to someone else, and someone else, and someone else. Before I knew it, I had so much extra work in addition to my day job that I had to start turning it down.
I explained to my kids, that for the next few months mommy would be really busy with work. I told them, it might seem like I’m working all the time—and really, I was. I’m doing this extra work now, so that I can be around more for you later. I hope they understand someday, or that I’ll make it up to them in the coming years.
I told them I’d be able to get them from school at the end of the school day, I wouldn’t need to drop them off at 6:30am anymore so I could catch the early train or beat traffic. I’d come on field trips, we wouldn’t need to eat breakfast in the car anymore.
This week, I close a chapter that has been so familiar to me – 12 years to be exact. I officially resigned at my corporate job and am diving into this new life full time. With the support of my husband, kids, and former colleagues, I get to work wherever I can have an internet connection.
But first, coffee.
PS – I could not have done this without the support of my husband. Last year he asked me to “prove it” – that I could be successful at this. Well, I accepted the challenge and I did. Now I can’t wait to make you proud… and stop nuking frozen veggies because that’s all I have time for.