When people ask me what I do for a living, it always begins with something like, “Well, in June of 2015 I quit my job.” Aside from everyday inquiries, I used those similar words during my first #GirlsWriteIn blogging event. “Ever since I quit my job, I’ve been give more attention to my blog.” After the event, a good friend of mine pulled me aside to congratulate me on the successful event and she passed along some great advice, “You did a great job, Tyler. There’s more… Playa I don’t mean no harm but you need to stop telling people you quit your job because a.) that doesn’t sound good and b.) that’s not what happened. Let’s find something better like, ‘I switched careers’.”
Well I hadn’t thought of it that way.
As I grow more comfortably uncomfortable with this unpredictable freelance life, I realize that telling people ‘I quit my job’ was my way of saying ‘I took a risk, now I’m starting over’. While this sounds simple enough, I’ve struggled with busting out of restraints placed on me by public opinion. There’s comfort in trying to explain yourself before someone finds their idea of error in your ways. For months, I’ve had to deal with the reality that I am starting over from scratch. In uncertain times, the enemy always has a way of invading your thoughts. “What are people saying about you?” “Should you ask for one of your old jobs back?” “Maybe you should go home for a bit.” “This just isn’t going to work out.” “How did you get here?” “You’re not really happy, are you?”
Exclusive image of me every time I think I’m making the wrong decision with my life.
And then I came across this quote.
After restlessly putting my mind at ease, confronting the fact that I wasn’t going to get anywhere contemplating the past, I pulled myself up from the slump only to be pulled down again. Seriously, I could rule the world if I would just get out of my own head. (quote from a friend) You have to refresh your mind everyday. Instead of waking up in the morning overwhelmed by my extensive to-list, I began listening to TED talks, watching online sermons or just praying. I needed a quick attitude adjustment, so I cut out the TV and really started thinking about my thought processes. Why all of a sudden am I doubting God’s plan for my life? Why should anyone?
While I’m maintaining my best positive attitude, learning new skills and polishing old ones, I came across a photo from a going away party.
March 7, 2012 one of many leaps I would take in my then 24 years.
I left my first full-time job out of school to pursue another position where I had very little experience. As I ate lunch with my then soon-to-be former colleagues, I was nervous and excited all at once. They saw a huge smile, and on the inside I was freaking out. For the next four years, the road was met with >much opposition and plenty of heartache, but like before, I made it through with faith and wonderful friends. Then I realize this day in 2012 wasn’t the first or last time I would step out on faith.
Even looking back at childhood, I made leaps.
My parents put me in positions to make difficult decisions on my own. They taught me to weigh the pros and cons, look at what direction I’m headed and to realize if the decision was meant to cure temporary feelings or if I’d be in it for the long haul. From choosing chorus over safety patrol in 3rd grade, which eventually morphed into deciding which offers to accept for my undergraduate studies at age 17, I’ve noticed that life is all about walking into uncomfortable spaces. No matter which path you choose to follow, we can never predict the outcome. Take inventory of your life, you’ve likely taken several leaps that you never gave yourself credit for.
Life is all about faith leaps. They’re essential for progress.
There is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” decision. You did what you thought would work best at the time and the rest just so happened to work itself out. If you have a heavy spirit telling you to pursue a new career, take a chance on a new relationship, or just to simply invest in yourself, go for whatever will bring you the most peace. You are losing precious time waiting on the right time to jump, or the perfect opportunity to make a move. Life doesn’t come with a crystal ball to foresee what the future holds. You kinda just walk into it. Life would be extremely boring and far less of a challenge if we knew what was ahead.
The conditions to where you’re going may or may not be sunny. Pack an umbrella because storms are inevitable in life. You just have to know when it’s time to come out of the rain. Will every decision work out in your favor? Nope! Setbacks are positioning you to open your eyes to what is rightfully yours. The time is always right to do what you’ve been called to do. What is that? Who knows. Give yourself time and test out the waters. You may not reap financial rewards up front or gain the recognition you deserve, but the most gratifying feeling comes when we give ourselves permission to live the best life possible.
You don’t need a map or a compass to step out on faith, just clarity that you’re ready to take the journey and all that comes with it. Your legs grow just a little bit stronger with each step you take in life, giving you the aptitude to leap as many times as you please. You never know how strong you are until you’re forced to flex your muscles. Flex on your fears.