This past October makes it 5 years and almost 2 months since I left my career as a Validation Engineer to pursue my passions of the culinary arts and dance. As I reflect now, December made it more of a reality that I no longer had a job with a decent pay check coming in 2 weeks. The thought of this at that time almost drove me insane. I was scared and scrambling to find other option to fill the financial gap. Did I mention I was scared and scrambling to figure out what was next? Well, if I did, I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it, because I couldn’t fall asleep at night and when I did, I wanted to wake up with the job that I once had so I didn’t have to worry about how to generate income. That’s right, I was depressed and partially lost. I had no idea what to do next or how to fill that void financially.
I had spent 4 years in a career that no matter how hard I worked, they never recognized my efforts. I spent 4 years in a job that frowned upon my passions, and it started to push me further away from them. So I made that decision partially due to minor infraction but majorly because it was time to move on. The only thing that kept me from completely losing it was that I knew I had the grit and skill to recover through my passions.
It was the Winter of 2014, and I had no job, but it made me more focused than I had ever been in my life. I knew what I needed to do, but I also knew that I needed to find a temporary job that would allow me to make ends meet while I figured it out. So I applied to NOCO as a part time Administrative Assistant to fill the position of one of their valued workers who went on leave to give birth to her first daughter. That kept me sane for a short while, but it reminded me why I never wanted be in a position where an organization controlled my future or my time. Therefore, I used my 401k from my previous job at Home Depot along with my final pay check from my previous career, that included all of my personal/vacation time, to buy all the necessary tools to start my pursuit as an entrepreneur. I worked at NOCO for about 6 months until it was time for the new mother to return to work. Unfortunately she did not return, but I still decided to move on to pursue what was in front of me.
It was a huge decision, because unlike everything else in life, most if not everyone told me that it was not the right thing to do. However, I listened to my quivering gut and put everything into my decision, because I believed in my abilities. I transformed the fear I was feeling from taking actions towards the dream I wanted. With each decision I made, I lost the build up of reservations and doubt I held on to for my entire life.
From that point in my life, I have been making decisions against the grain not to be a rebel but to prove to myself that my happiness is worth it. I have made so many mistakes, and I have failed miserably so many times. However those moments I’ve succeeded knowing I listened to myself has made the difference in where I am today. Then I figured out how to repeat those small victories from continuous self evaluations of my inner thought patterns and motives.
I am thankful that I listened to myself, because it has enabled me to influence so many others in the process. So many of my friends and family have expressed how much they are inspired by what I have done. Though they are not aware of my mistakes and failures they have shared that they have been watching as well as cheering me from a far. Some have even decided to start their own small businesses because of how far I have come over the years.
So this winter, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for those that watched in support as I grew my business. I am thankful for those that reached out and told me to keep my head high. I am thankful for my best friend/business partner Susie K who believed in me, joined me, and supported all of my crazy ideas. I am thankful for my stepmother who lifted me up countless times when I was down in the dumps. I am thankful for the friends that allowed me to vent my frustrations, who understood where I was coming from because they are also entrepreneurs. Most of all, I am thankful for all the clients who gave me the opportunity to wow them as a chef and share my joy with them as a dance instructor. I am grateful for the support and love you have all shown. This season reminds me to be thankful for everything and everyone that has really been apart of my life. So with my heart and soul, Thank you!