Elizabeth Gilbert spoke about the idea that you can’t write your story while you are living it. You must be through-it…whatever “it” is, before you are ready to tell your story.
For me, I’m through it. Finally.
Yesterday marked my one year anniversary of quitting my job and going full-time in my business. If you were to ask me then what I would have thought the year would have been like, no way would I have said this: exhaustion, deep sadness, despair, heartbreak, red-hearted anger, fear, and confusion. But all of those were there. But so was: hope, laughter, excitement, exhilaration, satisfaction, service, love, support, and success.
Would I trade any of it? HELL YES. I have regrets…huge regrets. But I learned from them and am carrying them forward with me.
I’m so excited every day again. I wake up and grab my computer and write. I’ve discovered that I am a writer. I always wanted to be one. In fact, a secret wish of mine is to someday write a romance novel. Isn’t that funny? The story is all in my head, it just has to get out onto the keyboard. But I am a writer. And I am writing a book! Not a romance book yet, but a business book. A real book!
I also am a salesperson. This one is harder fought.
When I was 14, I decided I wanted to have a business…a real business. I started selling Avon door to door in my neighborhood. Turns out, I really just wanted the discount because my sales drive was severely lacking. And when I did sell, I didn’t always deliver. One of my neighbors, Anne, ordered a bottle of Skin-So-Soft and a lipstick. I never delivered it to her. I felt guilty, at first. Why didn’t I just go and deliver it? What was I afraid of? I still can’t tell you. But that guilt turned into shame as the weeks went by and I didn’t deliver her items. I avoided her. I avoided her kids. And I labeled myself someone that doesn’t finish things. Doesn’t follow through.
And I have carried that label with me into adulthood. And I can tell you right now, it no longer fits me.
I am a follow-through-er. The last year could have sent me back to a regular job; instead, I pushed harder. I threw out what wasn’t working and started over. I have never given up. I am working hard to over-deliver on my promises.
It’s funny and tragic how long we carry labels with us. I finished a Master’s degree with a 4.0 and still thought of myself as someone that didn’t follow through. I am married to an amazing guy, and have been for over 6 years. That’s following through. And I have clients that love me and what I provide because I work hard to follow through on what I can do to help them reach their goals.
Starting over, in my case, means pealing back the layers of dust and dirt on top of who I really am. It means facing what others think of me, and asking myself, “Are they right?” and if the answer is “No”, then walking away and creating new boundaries. It means throwing out what doesn’t work and keeping what does. It means loving and being of service. Mostly, to me, starting over means dropping the old labels and creating new ones.
I am a writer. I am a salesperson. I am a follow-through-er.
Here I come, year 2.