Today’s Secret Word is “Opportunity”

Who’s tired of update posts? I know. I’ll write more stupid things soon. Hang in there.

But whenever I’m out for a significant chunk of time, I feel the need to start fresh, which for me means explaining my absence to feel better about it. Unlike most times I’m out though, I actually have mostly legit reasons!

Dip-dip-dip-bum-bum-bum-bum-bum, get a job.

After just over a year at BigWing Interactive, I decided it was time to move on. The people there are extremely talented folks who I admire and who inspire me. For me personally, it just became too much. My work/life balance was off and I found myself stressed and drained creatively, which was really messing with my self-esteem and whatnot. So, it was time to get out of the job that I thought would be my career after just 14 months. Life is funny like that.

As with anything, there were things I learned from that experience that I now have clarity to see.

1. I am not a career person.
Money is nice, but it doesn’t motivate me. Time is valuable to me. The ability to create is essential for my happiness. I’m not a lazy person, but if you want me to fully engage, it needs to be for something meaningful. Anyone who has worked with me on a passion project knows that once I’m committed, I’m all in.

2. Time management is not innate; it’s a skill that has to be learned.
And it’s really effing hard to learn it. It turns out that when you have a real life adult job, your time management skills are tested. I failed more than I passed, but I learned a lot about how I work best.

3. I am talented.
That seems like a weird thing to say and I felt awkward writing it, but it’s true. Thanks to some amazing, encouraging co-workers, I learned that I can do things. Some of those things I actually do well, like writing. I was hired for that job based solely on my writing skills and I was consistently reminded that I was the strongest writer in my department. I have no idea whether or not that was true, but the fact that a few people said it to me unprovoked was and is one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive.

BONUS TIP: Take time off between jobs! I’ve worked 16 years and, unless I was fired (which is not relaxing time off), have never been able to take time off between jobs. Those two weeks saved my sanity. I desperately needed that time to do nothing, rest and be okay with it. It was glorious.

Anyway, I have a new job now as a legal secretary at a respected law firm. Yep. I just decided to go the complete opposite direction from content marketing. But you know what? I get paid the same and when I leave my job, I don’t think about it again until the next morning. The ability to leave the job at the office without it creeping into my free time is invaluable to me. It’s also the only job I’ve had where those tiny sticky notes are actually useful and not annoying.

Mama, if that’s moving up then I’m moving out.

I’ve lived on my own since, much to my chagrin, my old roommate (the best roommate in the world) fell in love (with my cousin) and got married. *insert mouth fart noise here, just because that’s what happened in my head after I wrote that sentence* So about 5 years. That’s a long time to live by yourself and really my only cons to living alone are the money and the occasional loneliness.
However, the pros are vast:
No pants
You can be as loud as you want without waking anyone up
You don’t feel anti-social if you crawl straight into bed right after work
No pants
You can eat an entire pizza, then dispose of the evidence without anyone judging you
Peeing with the door open
Clothes everywhere? Who cares?!
No pants

So why did I give up this glorious, unadulterated pant-free life? Logical thought processes and a gut feeling. And while the logical thought processes should have been the driving factor, it was the gut feeling that I couldn’t ignore. After self-reflection, I could see that I was heading toward a life mostly shut off from the world. For whatever reason, I struggle with just being among the human race at times. It’s easier for me to withdraw. Obvs that is not healthy. With some changes coming later this year, I knew that I would need a good support system and there is no better support system than my friend Jessi, her husband and her daughter. Moving in with a family can be challenging, but living with the three of them feels natural. And it’s really nice being a part of family moments again, like watching Thunder games together, making dinner or attending one of her daughter’s many recitals, plays or concerts. (She’s a pretty remarkable little human.) The logical part of it, of course, is the money. I pay much less than I was in my own place and they have more money in their pockets. Win-win, even though I have to put on pants now.

BONUS TIP: Moving sucks! Don’t do it. This particular instance especially sucked since I purged my belongings, then moved things three different places – things I didn’t want to a friend’s house for a garage sell, the stuff I can’t fit in my room to my parent’s house to store, and the rest of my ish to my new house. But hey, if you read my 2015 year-end review, then you will note that one of my goals was to own less. Score one for me!

If you’re keeping track, you should note that a new job + a new home = more time and more money. And with time and money comes… OPPORTUNITY!

Dream on, dream on, dream on, dream until your dreams come true.

Every time I tell someone what I want to do, I feel a little silly about it. I’m 32 and have accomplished nothing significant with my life. Shouldn’t I have given up the dream a long time ago? Adults are supposed to be crushed by the reality of life, right? And yet, here I am, the dreams in my heart still intact. I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for the mostly wise choices I’ve made in life that have put me in a position with nothing really locking me into anything other than my own fears. I have no spouse, no kids, no pets, no crippling financial obligations and no long-term career tying me down. Realistically, if I wanted to get up tomorrow, get in my car and go where the road leads me, I could do that without any real problems other than running out of money eventually. At 32, that’s so so so so rare. Not that my life is better than anyone else’s with families and careers, but it presents different opportunities.

Within the last week-ish, I’ve finally regained that feeling that I can conquer the world. Or at least conquer my world, which is much smaller and attainable. Maybe I’ve just listened to one too many motivational Markiplier speeches, but really, why can’t I live the life I want? Why can’t I make a difference in the lives of the people around me? There’s nothing stopping me but me.

I won’t bore you with the details and I prefer keep my plans to myself until I’ve fleshed them out a little better, but for the first time in my life, I’m actually mapping out goals, like paying off my car two years ahead of schedule; boring responsible adult stuff like that that will open a world of opportunity.

There you have it. Now let’s get back out there and dream! Go team, all for one and one for all, and so on and so forth.

OPPORTUNITY!

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