Creatively inspiring you to follow your dreams.

GMDL Day 8: What’s Your Story?

Last Friday, I took the opportunity to rest after I had Lasik surgery. But while my eyes took in some much needed slumber, I used the time to catch up on all the webinars and audio recordings that I had been too “busy” to listen to in the past. It was a blessing and I hope to share what I learned with you.

Two Lessons

In one webinar, hosted by the Savvy Freelancer’s Lexi Rodrigo interviewed Pamela Slim, author and blogger of Escape from Cubicle Nation, I learned about one woman’s jump from the chaos of corporate life to pursuing her dream of working for herself.

In another, I was inspired by the importance of telling a story. So I will tell you mine.

In 2000, I graduated with my BA in English. I laughed when I saw Avenue Q and heard this song. It’s exactly where my state of mind was at the time.

There was no way in heck I thought I could truly make a living as a writer, so I took whatever job came my way. This led to everything from secretary, administrative assistant, communications assistant to a private investigator.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, there was a part of me that hadn’t completely died when I pushed away my desires to be a writer inside. I still wrote poetry and submitted newspaper articles every once in awhile. And surprisingly, a handful were published. But I just didn’t think I could really do it, so I pushed on.

Pushing on from one job I dislike to another was fun as a novelty for awhile. But after I got into my thirties, repetitive jobs, jobs I was bad at, just didn’t work for me anymore.

A Turning Point

The turning point was when a supervisor continually commented on my one strength – my data entry skills.

IF typing and entering numbers were my slice of heaven. If doing so made my heart sing, then I would have been happy where I was. But I was resentful, upset and disappointed in myself. I knew I was not fulfilling my purpose and lifting my spirit up. I was settling and you can only do that for so long before it begins to wear on your heart.

{photo by: So Sylvie}

I wish I could say I stopped fooling around and started writing. But it took a few more years before I had the courage. And even after I reached my dream and worked as a professional copywriter for a retail company, I still didn’t feel content.

I realized that my purpose wasn’t to be an administrative assistant or to work at a 9-5 job serving a boss or a company. While I admire those who work hard and do so, it just didn’t feel right to me. My purpose was to work for myself so that I could freely help and serve the needs of others.

At first, this directed me into the role of therapist. I went to graduate school and obtained a degree in Marriage and Family therapy. But a few years in, I knew I was fulfilling someone else’s dream. After I graduated, I said good-bye with trepidation over a decision that would leave me thousands of dollars in debt and further from where I had started.

For a little while, I went back to what was safe. I needed to pay the bills so I took another freelance job for a big computer company with the same name as a fruit.

Instead of feeling happy, I felt more in despair than ever before. I knew this was it. Either I wised up and at least attempted to fulfill my dream as a writer or I would forever be jumping from job to job unhappy and confused.

Finally in 2009, I GOT IT!

I left all sense of sensibility, practicality and every other adjective my parents wished were as important to me, and I took a BIG leap.

Happy to Be in Freelancing

I have been freelance writing ever since and I am happy to be doing so. While it is never an easy path, it is the one that feels like my piece of the pie. If I have any regrets, it is that I wasted time getting here.

It is a long-winded story. But it is my story of how I got more (my life, my heart, my passion) back by doing less (struggling with what is, applying for jobs that didn’t fit).

What’s your story?

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