There are two quotes that have been hanging on my bulletin board for many years. These phrases are ones that have gone with me to all my jobs and remind me every day what I’m working toward.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step at a time.” — Lao Tzu
“If your ship hasn’t come in, swim out to it!” — Mary Engelbreit
After many years of reading those pieces of inspiration everyday, I am proud and excited to tell you that I’ve started a new chapter of my life. Today marks the first day I am a self-employed writer and marketing consultant.
Being able to work for myself has been a goal of mine for so many years. But many things have kept me from making the leap. Having enough money was certainly a big one. Scared to leave a stable job was another. And just having the strength to make a big change also played a part of my hesitation.
But for the last few years, I knew this is where my life was heading. I worked tirelessly to build up my writing portfolio. I’ve taken jobs that have helped me learn and grow. I’ve attended business networking workshops and learned how I can be an entrepreneur. It hasn’t been easy. For the past few months, I’ve been essentially working 2 – 3 jobs, along with my full-time job as a speechwriter. Most night I was up working until close to 1 a.m. (Did you notice my posting was more scarce?). I was exhausted a lot of time. I was on the computer when I should have been spending more time with Sophie. But I knew this is what I needed to do. So finally, last month, after thinking, deliberating, having long conversations with Bryan, and evaluating what I really want in my life, I decided that it’s time to make the move to be my own boss.
With this new chapter beginning, I also closed a HUGE chapter of my life. Last Friday was my last day working at San Diego State University. While this may seem to many people as just leaving a job; to me, it was much more. I worked in several different positions at SDSU for the past 14 years. Before that I was an undergraduate student living on campus for four years. I earned both my master’s and bachelor’s degrees from SDSU. This weekend marked the first time in 18 years I have not had an SDSU parking permit in my car.
Bryan and I met as SDSU undergraduate students in 1996. And I grew up with the campus as my father has been working there for 33 years. Needless to say, I never thought I’d leave the campus before he would! I will always have fond memories of the university and my many years there. But I knew in my heart it was time to move on.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other reason for this change. It’s one word: Sophie. She grows more and more every day and I find myself sad I’m not more a part of her daily life. I wanted more time with her. I want to pick her up before 5 p.m. and take her to school with the other parents. I want to attend her ballet recitals and school performances without guilt and worry about going back to work. I just want to enjoy these years with her because they go by so darn fast!
I told Sophie last month that in March, I would leave my campus job and be able to spend more time with her, drive her to school, and pick her up earlier. I didn’t realize how much it resonated with her until we changed the calendar on March 1 and Sophie said with such joy, “It’s March. Now you get to spend more time with me and take me to school!” Hearing those words, I’m even more certain I did the right thing.
So here I am — my first day of my new venture. I am so excited to write — for me, for small businesses, and publications. I’m excited to put my marketing and social media skills to work. And I also plan to feverishly work to publish my children’s book. Feel free to check out my work website (and don’t hesitate referring me :)).
Now pinned above my desk is a picture of Sophie. Her photo hangs next to the words of Lao Tzu and Mary Engelbreit, who still take up residence on my wall and in my life.