I’ve made my bed and this is what sleeping in it looks like.
It looks like me sitting at my dining room table with a notebook to my right and a coffee to my left, a batch of dishes soaking in the kitchen and my hair up in a towel. And I’m at work.
Not pictured: my anxiety asking me, “Just who in the hell do you think you are?”
Last week I had my last day at my full-time job. My husband came by and spent the last hour with me and then he took me out to lunch where we ordered strong cocktails in celebration.
And on the way home from lunch, he grabbed my hand and told me that he was proud of me and reminded me (like I’ve been asking him to do every day for the past three weeks) that everything is going to be okay. And suddenly I was struck with this silent flash of the reality of this situation. I felt something deep inside of me come out and say the words, “I can’t… believe… I quit… my job.”
Well, I quit my job so that I could be a writer like I’ve always wanted to do. I was in college for five years (that first Freshman year was just a very expensive trial-run) and the whole time people would ask me, “What are you going to do with your English degree? Teach?” And I would recoil and say, “Ugh, no! I’m going to be a writer.” I said that for five years. Until I got my first, post-grad, to-pay-the-bills job and then I completely forgot about it. People would ask me about my writing and I’d wave it off saying that I had a hobby blog but that was it because I’m an adult now and people can’t live on words alone. And maybe they can, maybe they can’t, I can’t say whether or not it’s possible for me yet. But I have kind of learned that you can’t live very well by denying what your spirit needs either.
So here we are. We aren’t rich but it’s now or 30 years from now and I can’t wait that long. Our life is changing big because of this decision. But I don’t know if I can keep myself healthy and keep denying my creativity any longer.
One thing I know for sure is that I couldn’t do it without Ryan. I didn’t know how crucial it is to have a supportive partner until we started tossing around this idea. I want to take a little space here to publicly tell the world that I don’t know if there’s a better person in this world than this man who married me and loves to build me up.
I pray that one day I’ll be able to hold back the curtain so that he can explore his dreams, too. Thank you so much for loving me in this deep and tangible way.
Here are a list of my doubts, just so that I can get them out there and come face to face with them. I might not conquer them all right now but here they are:
1. Is this something that people are really allowed to do? How am I allowed to do this?
2. Is this horribly irresponsible? Aren’t we supposed to work hard and save all the money that we possibly can when we’re young so that we can make all of our dreams come true when we’re old?
3. What if I’m not even successful at it? And what does success even look like to me right now?
4. Other people aren’t allowed to do this so why me? Why do I get to be the one?
I don’t have answers for all of those questions but I don’t really need them. If you can put words to your anxiety you’ll quickly see that it’s pretty unreasonable and only serves as a distraction.
One thing that I know for sure is that when doubt looks at you and says, “Just who the hell do you think you are?” make sure you answer that question.
Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for sharing my words. Thank you for your input. Keep it coming. You’re a crucial part of this, too.