Self Made

I walked away from a big salary and bonuses and a company that up until the pandemic let me do whatever I wanted and I was good at my job- probably one of the best they had in that role. Why? Because I wasn’t fulfilled. I was frustrated. I was stressed from the effects of the pandemic and my newly deemed “Essential” status. I felt that the word “Essential” should be reserved for first responders and medical staff not a sales and marketing manager. I felt that I was deemed “expendable” and I was.

My company, though I was a “favorite” by some, viewed me and all my coworkers as expendable and by extension our families were too. That did not sit well with me. My husband had lost his job and I needed insurance for Scarlett but that meant daily risk of exposure to myself while I was going through weekly treatments.

Around August, I had re-developed suicidal thoughts.

I heard the L’appel du vide more loudly than before, it was becoming hard to ignore. The company I worked for was in bankruptcy and that was a new level of stress. I knew something had to change.

My husband had now found employment and had Scarlett and I on his insurance. And then the “small procedure” that I needed to do way back in April (that my boss refused to approve the 3 days time off) now was going to be a full hysterectomy (which took 14 weeks to heal).

I tried to file FMLA and my company kept rejecting it. But I felt that if I stayed I would one day very soon answer the call of the void- I have before.

So, I made the choice that some days I regret and every day I’m proud of.

I chose myself, my health (both physically and mentally), and my family.

I quit my job with no back up- none. I have a “do whatever it takes without sacrificing my morals” approach to earning money and paying bills.

I started my own business and it has already opened so many doors, created new connections, and sparked new friendships. I feel like I’m stepping into myself for the first time in my life.

Decades worth of feelings of being wholly unfulfilled are being washed away. And yet, I feel like I’m doing everyone a disservice.

I promise to be honest in my journey and I have omitted a big part… People comment on my social media and message me that I look happy, I’m glowing, they love my vibe (which I think is my favorite compliment ever), they knew I would be successful… thank you for that- I appreciate you following my journey and the encouragement.

I no longer hear the call and I am very happy- most days.

I will tell you though, I’m not successful in a monetary sense. I’m not. I’m not making the kind of money anyone seems to think I am. I think people just assume that if you’re in business for yourself then you must be successful, if this then that? It’s not true. The life of an entrepreneur is rife with peaks and valleys or, in my case, mountains and an abyss (<– my current location).

I’m debating getting a part time job and resurrecting my old bartender skills or as a cashier at a grocery store. No joke. I’m not too good for honest work and wages.

This is what actual fighting your way to the top looks like. Support your small business friends- were humans with real back stories trying to make it work just like you are.

From GED to MBA

I’m a high school drop out. Does it surprise you to know that?

That’s a serious question.

I don’t hide that I’m a high school drop out from anyone it is actually something I’m proud of.

I dropped out because I refused to play the game that an ego-tripping judge wanted to play all because I got mono and missed a bunch of school but still kept my grades up. I refused to be bullied and shoved into a box I didn’t belong even by someone in our judicial system who would lie to my face telling me my weekly drug tests for 6 months were for my “own good.” 200 hours community service too. I passed every drug test because I wasn’t on drugs and the silliness of having to miss school each week just to take the drug test brought on an additional truancy charge! I wasn’t the delinquent he wanted me to be. But he sure did try to teach me a lesson. (BTW I was 17, grown people get harsher sentences for worse “crimes” than mono-induced truancy 🙄)

He didn’t know me and he didn’t care to know me he had an idea that since I missed school I was a piece of trash he could make an example of. He didn’t know that I’m a fighter. He didn’t know that I stand up to bullies. He didn’t know that I would take the “hard” road over playing his game. The day I turned 18 I signed myself out of school. I immediately tested for my GED and at my next court date, I told him it was over I refused to allow him to dictate my life until graduation and hold me to ridiculous standards because I had the misfortune of contracting a virus.

Game over, dickhead.

I have to thank that judge though. He woke something in me. He woke a fighter. He woke the part of me that says, “Bring it” when shit gets tough. He is the starting point for the Warrior you see today.

But if you’re still with me I do have one more point to make. You are NOT defined by ONE decision or moment in your life.

If I let my dropping out of high school define me then I wouldn’t be the person I am today. One moment and one decision (good or bad) should not be a driving factor for who you are years later. Yes it can contribute to who you are BUT IT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.

If I was just a GED I would never have become the MBA.

There are going to be times where you have to make a choice or do a thing that you (and others) may try to define you as but you are a human and you are allowed to live your life (without infringement on others).

You are allowed to move past that moment.

You are allowed to grow and be better than yesterday.

You are allowed to make mistakes.

You are allowed to do things intentionally.

You are allowed to choose the hard road.

Do not ever think that because you made a choice years ago that you cannot move forward from it – that’s why you were granted this life and these days.

Friends, I implore you, if you are struggling to move past what you are holding on to as a “defining moment,” seek counseling be it through a friend or a trained professional. Just talk it out. Because you only get to be you once.