I went back and forth as to what I wanted to write about for today’s Wellness Wednesday. I initially thought about compiling a post about what I have learned about myself since becoming a mom (given that Mother’s Day is this weekend, it seemed almost fitting). Yet, then I made a pretty big life change, a pretty scary one, and I felt a pulling to shift directions a little. Then I realized, the two went together.
When I found out I was pregnant with Harper, I had every intention of going back to work part-time. I felt that I would be the type of person who really needed that outside connection and interaction on a daily basis. That getting up and dressed in the morning to head out to my 9-5 would be what I would need to maintain my sense of identity. So, when I went out in December, it was “See you later,” not “Goodbye.” Yet, as the months began to pass, I started to feel differently. Not that I didn’t want to work, but that the work I was doing was no longer fulfilling for me. It had become a job, one I was incredibly blessed to have, but one that I wasn’t excited about on a daily basis.
Now, press pause, and rewind to about 3.5 years ago when this blog began. It was conceptualized and created out of a need for an alternative outlet than my everyday job. I felt that I had so many different interests (travel, balanced living, and fashion) that I wasn’t able to explore on a daily basis. I always loved writing (I was an English minor in college)…. not in the grammatically correct sense, but in the “let me just write and see where it takes me…” sense a stream of consciousness so to speak. And so, this blog was born. It has undergone many changes over the past several years. It started as a blog written by me and my sister. She has since left the field of mental health and gone on to pursue a teacher’s credential (which is why she no longer writes on the blog! Her time is occupied in pursuing her dreams!). It has evolved and transitioned with me through my pregnancy journey, and gone on many trips with me as well. I have always felt that this space was where I was meant to be… where I could share the things that excite me in life, and be fulfilled. Over the years, it became a dream of mine to be able to blog full time…. I loved it that much. I loved the creativity, the different challenges of creating a story, working with brands I loved to bring new products to life. Meeting new people, and most of all challenging myself to new limits. To become my own #girlboss so to speak. Yet, it never seemed like the right time to “take the plunge.” To really throw myself into it fully. Or was that just fear telling me not to?
Okay, you can hit play again and pick up where we left off. Present day. A lot has changed since I went out on maternity leave. There were shifts at work and shifts within my personal life that made me stop and look at myself. At the mother I wanted to be to Harper. At the wife I wanted to be to TJ. At the life I wanted to live. I had to examine it all and make a decision. I had a choice. If I went back to work, it would no longer be possible for me to balance the blog, work, being a mom, and being a wife. At least not in the way I wanted to be able to do each role. I prayed. I prayed hard and God answered my prayers in small ways over the past few months. I listened. Really listened to him. Probably the most I have ever done. I had countless conversations with TJ about this choice. Asked my parents what they thought (yes, at 30 something I still look to my parents for advice), and the answer became very clear last week. It was time to make a career change. It was time to quit my stable 9-5 job, and throw myself into the world of full time blogging. So, on Friday I gave notice.
I’ve heard that saying so many times “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Yet, I always said, “I know all of that, but I don’t know if I can overcome the fear.” Being a mom has forced me to look at myself. What example do I want to set for Harper over the years. Do I want to look back and tell her “I wish I had…” or do I want to look back and tell her, “I did, and this is what happened.”? It was my call to make, and one that I had a lot of support in making. I had several nights where I cried to TJ, my parents… sharing my fears… which were:
I worked so hard for my degree and license… am I throwing it away?
What will people think if I walk away for this dream of mine? (that’s something I am always working on… not caring what others think.)
What if I fail?
To which everyone had a counter.
No one can take away your education.
Who cares what people think. (okay, thank you!)
The flip side of failure is success… and here are all your successes thus far….
My grandmother had some of the best advice which was, “I’ve never met someone who regretted the decision you are making.” Thank you 87 years worth of wisdom, I will take it.
In all honesty, another fear I had was that I still needed to maintain my sense of identity. I did not want to be solely defined as a “mom” or “wife.” There is nothing wrong with that. At. All. It was just not something I wanted for myself. I needed an external avenue to be a part of my identity. Which is why this blog is such a blessing. I can honestly say when Sunday rolls around I am excited for the week ahead. I am excited to create, to write, to share. I am excited for meetings I have with brands. I am excited to reach outside of my comfort zone. It fills that part of me that isn’t tied to being a mom or a wife (although those experiences certainly provide a lot of inspiration). Most importantly, I am able to balance it. I am able to be with sweet Harper and not be completely spent at the end of the day when I want to spend time with TJ or some girlfriends. I feel lighter.
As TJ and I sat and reflected on the decision Friday evening, we laughed about how far the blog has come, the challenges and changes it faced over the past 3.5 years. We also talked about the benefits it has brought to our little family. In this reflecting, I realized that becoming a mom has taught me so much. Hiding behind my fears helps no one. Someday I will have to answer to Harper as to why I made certain choices in my life. She will be curious (I know I was always curious about the path my parent’s life took, and loved hearing their stories) and I want to be able to answer her with something I am proud of. I want to be a model for her. That to reach a dream, you have to work hard. You have to be willing to face your fears, to take a risk. And that women really can be their own boss.
With that, I have to take a moment to thank you all for your support over the years. Whether you are a new follower, someone who has been following from the beginning, a regular reader, or an occasional visitor, thank you. Without your comments and support none of this would be possible. At all. xx
And in a bit of transparency, if you are curious about the blogging world, check out this article which explains it nicely.