Well, it’s my 29th birthday. And I love birthdays — especially mine. I love the cake and the well-wishes and the opportunity to take stock of the year that’s passed and look forward to the year ahead.
I’m the type of person who really milks it, who celebrates all month long and maybe even a few weeks prior. And this year, I have a lot to party about.
You guys. I’ve taken a step. A big, scary one.
I quit my job to go full-time freelance and focus on building up this blog while writing and self-publishing a collection of memoir-style stories.
I didn’t do it on a whim. I agonized over it. Labored over it. Tossed and turned over it for months and months. Decided to do it. Decided not to do it. Decided I had to do it. Decided I could do it. Finally decided, I was doing it. And then I did it.
I gave a month’s notice, wrapped up as much as I could, and said goodbye to the wonderful people I’d have the very big privilege of calling my coworkers and friends at Kasasa, one of the top ten companies to work for in Austin. I also said goodbye to its generous benefits package: 401k with matching, unlimited paid time off (seriously), affordable health insurance, paid gym membership (I know!). And all for something that looks like a long shot, even peering through rose-colored glasses.
Seeing at it all on paper like that…seems a bit rash for a quarter-life crisis. Maybe I should have adopted a puppy or shaved my head or bought a timeshare or gotten a tattoo.
But the truth is, this isn’t a quarter-life crisis. This is my dream and has been for a very, very long time. When I was an English major in college, my mom mentioned meeting a woman who wrote freelance for a living and traveled the world. And then when I moved back to Dallas from New York, I met a friend of my dad’s who spent her twenties and thirties writing for political campaigns and hopping across the country meeting all sorts of interesting people while the bigwigs kissed the babies.
I looked up to these women, sought out stories about countless others doing similar things, and kept thinking, I want to do that. I can do that. And now, I’m going to do that. Well, not exactly that, but my version of that.
Here’s what that looks like for me:
- Waking up and working on my manuscript first thing in the mornings.
- Trying new, scary things and blogging about them here at least 2x a month.
- Taking on copywriting projects and additional side jobs to pay the bills.
- Traveling as the opportunities arise, but keeping my home base in Austin, where I have some truly wonderful people in my life who are cheering me on as I embark on this crazy adventure.
My last day at my job was July 15, so I’ve been on my own for about a month now. And it’s been just glorious.
This first month I’ve been traveling more than freelancing, giving myself a bit of a break before I put my nose to the grindstone. I’ve made it to New Orleans, a sweet town in Washington called Sequim, and the beautiful islands of the Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean. I plan to post stories about these trips in the blogs that follow, along with new stories about different things I’ll try in the months to come.
Please subscribe to this blog for updates if you’d like them. And thank you all for being here with me while I try this latest new and very scary thing!