Five years ago I was adrift. Laid off. Ahem, fired… Collecting unemployment. Moved back in with my parents. Scraping by with a fraction of my former salary.
But, wait. Let me back up a bit.
When I was young, I saw how much my mom worked to be self-employed and I swore up and down that’d never be me. I’d graduate college, move to the city, have a fancy corporate job at a magazine by 25 and by 28, I’d be getting married and thinking about having a family,
Ha. So much for childhood plans.
In college I switched majors so many times, I finally graduated college with my BFA a full decade after I’d started. My fiancé and I split up that same year. Most of my job experience was retail, babysitting, and house cleaning. And I lived in Tucson, AZ – not anything like a big city. Absolutely nothing like a warehouse loft I’d dreamt about. And I sure as hell didn’t use public transportation.
When I landed a teaching job in 2007, I was elated. Finally – a real job. Salary and all. For the 2 years I was there, it changed my life. Once I was laid off, I really scrambled to find a new real job.
But, a part of me was beginning to know something… “real jobs” weren’t for me.
None of the scrambling paid off. Out of hundreds of applications I submitted, I did not land one interview. Not even at Starbucks, people.
I decided to defy that little girl plan and open up shop. What did I really have to lose at that point? Nothing. Did friends think I was crazy? For sure. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not.
I did it anyway.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve made so many mistakes – I don’t even think I can begin to count. I’ve accidentally and intentionally burned bridges. I’ve also done so much right… Learned from my mistakes. Kept going when I thought I couldn’t. Made people happy.
I made it count.
I’m established. I’m an expert. I can do some crazy things that I don’t really even know how I figured out.
What I set out to do 5 years ago, I have done.
And it continues to be ridiculously hard. But, it’s SO worth it. It’s also the best time of my life.
I say to you: Reflect.
Give yourself the credit you deserve for the amazing place you are today and the places you’ve taken yourself by being true to your journey.
Where were you 5 years ago?