I haven’t given y’all a good, raw free write in awhile. I’ve been juggling a lot of things with the business and of course we all just passed another Thanksgiving Holiday season successfully and for that I am most thankful. That said, I’m not really sure what I’m about to talk about so we’ll just let it flow and see where we go.
I am still working to get a handle on this major life change of leaving a full time establishment job and moving into to world of self-employment for real for real. This type of life I’m finding requires an entirely different type of discipline than what worked for me in a more “corporate” structure. Of course, I read commentaries by others who had made this leap prior to making my own. They gave lots of sage advice like how important it is not to allow yourself to get isolated when you work from home. And make the investment in your professional development. And be sure to set a schedule of some kind for yourself. Stuff like that. I know that I am on my way to getting there and that’s another thing that I am thankful for.
My business is also going to clear in the black at the end of our first “half year”. While there have been some bumps, I can honestly say that I wake up every morning now excited about what I do in a way that I didn’t know was possible until I let go of the safety net I’d been holding onto.
The biggest revelation of my transition has been that for the second time in my life I have come face-to-face with how unbalanced of a life I have led. I worked WAY too much and did not take the time to rest that every human should. I was on that grind. I had to make friends and influence people. I had to stack degrees and network and build a portfolio of “demonstrative experience in blah, blah, yickety yak”. Push, push, PUSH! Run, Marta, RUN!
And you know what, that’s okay. But now it’s time for a new phase in my life.
Now, is the time for me to make time for more family and friends time.
Now is the time for me to make time for reading for both work and leisure.
Now is the time for me to focus on writing (and publishing) my stories.
Now is time for me to take time to create.
Now is the time for me to set the pace for the next half of my life.
There is a part of me that wonders if perhaps I should have pulled back a bit on the road here. Not in a “I regret I didn’t do this or that,” but I guess I wonder if the first forty years are just designed to be push, push, push, rush, rush, rush. Is it possible to have a more balanced approach to this thing than what I did? Sometimes when I talk to people and I describe things that I’ve done in my life they question the validity of what I’m saying once they learn my age. That makes me think that perhaps our paths have dips and twist that would appear quite alien to the other.
And that’s okay too.
Looking back from this vantage point I can say that I know much more about myself now than ever before. I know better what I am willing to do and what I need to be happy and feel successful in every aspect of my life, not just work.
So I celebrate the me that was and embrace the me I am becoming. A woman who takes her time more to live in the moment. A woman who is learning to allow her friends and relatives to know the joys of minding their own business while she minds hers. A woman who is learning to put her needs in the appropriate position for her list of priorities. A woman who rests for wellness, laughs when she’s tickled and walks away from things that are no good for her mental, emotional and physical health.
And that is definitely okay with me.
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.