I grew up with a strong work ethic. As teenagers, if we wanted something (name brand clothing, cell phone, car, etc) we had to pay for it ourselves. I quickly found my identity in trying to be the hardest worker in any job that I took on. At my first job, I was always given the jobs no one wanted because I did them without complaining. In turn, I got more hours on the schedule and gained my boss’ trust. I believed that I had to work the longest hours in order to be the most productive. When people called out sick or took days off, I judged them.
Making myself available 24/7 was an expectation I set for myself.
I took on unnecessary stress because I believed that I was responsible for getting things completed even if they weren’t my responsibilities. Some may call this being a workaholic. I didn’t know any different.
But then I hit a wall.
I was tired and burned out.
I found myself dreading work in the morning and in the worst moods throughout the day. It wasn’t good for me or anyone else around me. I got bitter. I felt unappreciated. I didn’t like who I had become.
Bob and I talked endlessly about our options- looking for another job, going back to school, moving to a different city. I kept coming across quotes similar to this one:
I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I had dreams, why wasn’t I pursuing them?
Our local coffee shop put tabs on the coffee tops that had inspirational quotes and I’d text them to Bob whenever I got one.
After endless conversations, Bob stopped me mid-sentence one day and said – “Let’s do this. We can keep talking about it or we can just do it.”
So we did.
When we made the decision to move, we had two goals.
Find jobs that we enjoyed and felt challenged in, but more importantly live life to the fullest.
I know, it’s very millennial of us, but I don’t care. Millennials get a bad rep. Just because those before us worked jobs they hated, doesn’t mean we have to do that.
It doesn’t mean you quit every job you take and leave bills unpaid, but finding a job you care about shouldn’t be a lofty goal.
That should be an obtainable goal.
I am a firm believer that if someone is doing a job they care about and are good at, they’ll be a more productive employee which benefits them and their employer.
I’m not afraid of hard work, I’d just like to spend my energy doing something that I feel passionate about. The issue was that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and I needed a paycheck.
When we got to NC, I was lucky to find a job quickly at a company owned by people that I knew. It is a small company owned by two smart entrepreneurs and it couldn’t have been a more perfect fit for me as we settled into our new life.
Blame Shark Tank and hours spent listening to How I Built This (check it out if you haven’t already!), I’ve always had a dream of owning my own business. For a while, I did photography and loved it but quickly realized there were a lot of very talented fish in a rather small pond. I tried to talk my husband into buying a building downtown and opening up a coffeehouse by day and wine bar by night, but he wasn’t into it.
I’ve never considered myself to be a creative person. I’m far from an artist – you should see my attempt at stick figures, and while I’ll belt out The Greatest Showman soundtrack in the privacy of my car, I’ll never be in the running for American Idol or The Voice. You’ll never see me open an Etsy store as I am most definitely not a crafty person and no one is coming to me for style advice as my personal style is usually whatever is most comfy and will work with my ratty pair of chucks that I really need to replace soon.
So my options are limited.
I’ve maintained a blog for most of my adult life and have always enjoyed it. I have seen other successful bloggers and wondered what it would take to reach their status, but always assumed that wouldn’t be an option for me. Creating a blog is easy, anyone can do it. Maintaining a successful blog and making money from it is the challenging part. And who has time for that?
But with my husband’s strong encouragement and a very flexible employer, I am excited to say that I am taking the leap!
While Facebook wasn’t around until half-way through college, I’ve always enjoyed technology and social media and learning of the many ways it can be used within our society. My new schedule will allow me to spend more time focusing on this blog, learning how to improve my content, grow my audience and hopefully take it further than I thought was possible.
I have big goals that won’t happen overnight, but I’m determined to reach them, despite the many steps it may take to do so.
It may be a little crazy. It’s definitely a little scary. Most of all though, it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to pushing myself out of my comfort zone because that’s the only way anyone can expect to grow.
I have always viewed blogging as a type of accountability. If I’m writing it here and sharing it with you, it helps me push through the ups and downs because I know someone is expecting something of me.
You may see subtle changes to this blog as I learn more and really try to create content that people are interested in.
I will also be working on another project Carolina & Main (www.carolinaandmain.com).
The goal of this website is to spotlight local business owners in the Charlotte Metro area. Even if you aren’t local, you should still check it out! There will be interviews with local business owners, getting a chance to not only hear about their business but learn their story. The goal is to create an online resource for small business owners and our local communities. I’m really excited and looking forward to launching the website very soon!
As each day goes by, I am less concerned with making it up a corporate ladder or keeping up with the Jones. I care more about creating a life that allows me to take care of my responsibilities but living a life with purpose. I don’t need a fancy house or job title because no one cares about that at the end of the day.
Days are short and life goes by quickly. I don’t want to look back and realize that I’ve wasted my life trying to pursue something that wasn’t worth pursuing. While this won’t be life-changing work, it will allow me the time to chase my dreams and live with less stress. Life happens, stress is a part of life. Why add unnecessary stress when you don’t have to?
I really hope that you will stay with me on this journey, wherever that leads.
I’d love to hear from you. Comments, questions, random jokes… I’ll take it all!
Thanks for reading friends! We’ll talk soon!