A few months ago I was really struggling and stressing about what I was going to do once my youngest started school: how was I going to find my dream job?! I have been a stay at home mom for ten years, and my family has made it work with one income during that time. I was coming up on a crossroads except instead of 2 roads to choose from it felt like there were endless routes and possibilities. On one hand that was exciting and freeing and on the other it was completely overwhelming and almost paralyzing. If I was going to choose to re-enter the workforce I wanted it to be the perfect opportunity worth my time and energy and all the things. I was overthinking in ways that were extreme even for me – a very skilled and practiced overthinker.
I brought all of that stress to my therapist and as I was word vomiting about all of my fears, hesitations, possibilities, etc. she said, “Can I pause you?” I immediately felt the tightening in my belly that always comes when I know she’s about to say something that will change everything. And then she said, “What do you want to do?” The audacity.
I didn’t have an answer. I had absolutely no clue at the time what I wanted to do. Or if I did, I was so far gone down the road of overthinking that I had lost sight of it completely. My therapist coached me through a few exercises that ultimately led me here, and that’s really what I want to share with you today.
The first thing she had me do was give myself permission to dream. I was given homework to sit down for 5 minutes and just brain dump a list of anything I may want out of a job. On my list were things like: I want to be able to be creative. I want to do work that fills me up and excites me. I want to be able to connect with people, ideas, goals, etc. I want to feel joy-filled at the end of my work day. I want to use my skills to help others. I want to have fun with what I’m doing. I want to be challenged but not exhausted.
After I had that list my next task was to brainstorm what I would want my perfect day to look like. Again, this was in my most dream scenario. On that list I put things like: be able to design my own day, be able to take my kids to school and pick them up, have flexibility to work in different environments/places, have time to work out everyday, have time to take a walk when I need to clear my head, have time to eat real meals during the day…Basically I wanted to be able to prioritize myself and function as a whole human being who is also working and not feel like I was sacrificing myself for a job.
I would love to tell you those exercises were easy for me. They were not. I’ve shared many times about my own chronic people pleasing and my limiting belief that I have to be giving or serving in order to have value and be worthy of love. How dare I dream of a potential career where I am in charge and I get to prioritize myself?! It was really difficult for me to work through those feelings and allow myself actual permission to dream. Thank God for good friends who consistently reminded me that it was going to be vital to my well-being that I carve out time to breathe and rest as I make this transition. Our family has had a very hard few years and throwing myself into a new job title was not going to be the answer to my healing. With that in mind, I finished my lists.
I brought these lists back to my therapist and shared with her what I had come up with. Then I said, “Now what? Now is the time you tell me what to do, right?” And she laughed at me for a minute then she said, “What if those dreams could be your reality?” And I had a full body response and immediately felt it in my gut with every ounce of my knowing that she was onto something. She let me verbalize all the thoughts that started swirling in my head. How would that even work? What would that look like? What would I do? Could I really do that? Do I trust myself enough to do that? Is that batshit crazy? All the things.
The next step was answering some of those questions. She asked me, “What do you already do or what skills do you have that someone would pay you to use?” Without hesitation my answer was writing. Then she said, “Great, do that. You’ll figure out how to make it happen.”
And here we are. Many months later after a few online courses, lots of youtube videos, countless hours of website building, and some internet scouring of my favorite mentors and inspirations I am offering my services as a Freelance Writer. My hope is to connect with other female entrepreneurs and help them better tell their stories through the written word. This may be for their website copy, their social media posts, their own blog, or their email newsletters; but regardless of the format it’ll be helping them share their stories and their passions with the world. It’ll be using my creativity and my overwhelming desire to listen and connect to capture their heart and soul and voice in my writing for their audience. And even typing that gave me full body chills which I think is a pretty darn good clue that I’m on the right path.
I know I have immense privilege to have the flexibility, time, space, and security to choose this for myself. I’ve spent a lot of time grappling with that. I wish it could be a reality for each one of us, but there’s too many broken systems and red tape for that to be true. However, if you’re someone who is in a similar position or you’re feeling stuck and know you need a change, I would love to connect. I would challenge you to sit down and let yourself dream. Dream about what you could do or would do if someone simply asked you what it was you wanted. And then take one tiny step towards that reality. If you’re anything like me, that first step will feel so good and so invigorating that you’ll keep going.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. Your love and support mean so much. If you or someone you know needs a Content Writer, you know where to find me.
With so much love and gratitude,