My name is Kim and I am a wuss.
Not necessarily in all things, but it two very particular arenas in my life: Breakups and quitting jobs.
One of those arenas has become null (You hear that Fella? You put a ring on it, there will be no more breakups in this lifetime), the other…well, that’s another story.
When I took my current jobby-job I did so because I was in this weird place of having dropped many of my regular freelance jobs to write my book, and that book having been written, I was jobless. I knew almost immediately that taking the job was a mistake, but having a regular paycheck was a really nice change of pace to the constant invoice chasing that being a freelancer consists of. I always go into new jobs thinking that I have the same insane stamina I had when I was 19 and taking a full course load and working three jobs. I just can’t do that anymore. My brain no longer functions without sleep and a few hours of vegging in front of the television. But I quickly learned that my new gig was much, much more than your regular 40 hour a week office job; I spent the summer living in someone else’s home, I had no lunch break to divide the day, no normality in my hours. Which of course meant, no regular exercise schedule, no time to focus on my next book, write articles or my blog. Not to mention the effect on my relationship–the weird thing about living with someone else is that they actually want you to be there with them.
Last weekend, while visiting the beautiful coastal city of Saybrook, CT for a book signing, it became glaringly obvious to me that I’m really not happy with the way I’m spending my days. I made the decision that come Monday I would sit my boss down and tell her that my priorities reside elsewhere; in front of another computer, in another apartment. While I certainly don’t enjoy the endless money chase that is being a freelance writer, being my own boss is what I am good at. I work best on my own, striving for my own goals, obsessing over the newest fitness trend or pondering the way our imperfections are what make us the amazing people we are. While certainly not a cookie-cutter profession to strive for, I have always done best when I have been true to myself.
And yet…oh my goodness what if we STARVE TO DEATH!!!
That wouldn’t happen, but yeah, not having an income scares me. So, I did something I am often reticent to do. I asked for what I wanted. I spoke to my boss and was honest–even a bit selfish. I told her that I needed to focus my energy on my career, but that I wouldn’t mind making some money when I had down time. A plan was hatched. She’s a busy lady and I wouldn’t quit my job cold turkey, so she has agreed to let me work part-time until the end of the year as I finish the projects I’m currently working on. Come January I will work when I can, when they need extra help, when I need some income, when I have down time, but my days of working office hours are (relatively) over. Which means I can start working out during the day again (score!), I can devote my mornings to writing (when my brain functions the best), resume studying for the personal training certification, and still put in a few hours in the afternoon while pretending to be a productive member of society. I took a bit of a pay cut, but the freedom of not being completely jobless while I work on a new book and being able to focus on the things that are important to me and my goals, is worth it.
As I am often reminded by someone tall, not particularly dark, and handsome who shall remain nameless, I’m no spring chicken. But that doesn’t mean this old chicken can’t learn new tricks…or important life lessons.
Don’t let me feel alone in this, share a time when you asked for what you wanted!