A change would do you good

May 1, 2015

It’s 90 degrees outside, day 18 of the Whole30 and I spent the day purging my closets AGAIN.

Is it over yet? Will it ever be? No one say margarita!

I’ve spent the better part of this week testing donut recipes for the restaurant. Might as well make a bunch of doughy, sugary things while you’re unable to eat them. Helps the pants fit better, is what I keep telling myself. Truthfully, my pants ARE fitting a little better and my skin looks clearer, lighter, happier. Difficult to describe in words, I guess.

Trimming the excess is a process I started a few years ago. It began with my diet and progressed to my closet. Looking back now, I think it’s when I started coming out of the fog of workaholism. There was one trip to Palm Springs in particular that really made me question what I was doing with my life. Of course right afterward I went back to hyper speed, but it definitely sparked a change.

Yesterday a former boss/client of mine called to see what I was up to. She’s been great, always championed my work and I’ve learned a lot from her. I think I rattled her. Finally, after more than a year, I admitted I don’t know if I want to continue in our line of work. It was scary to say it out loud because what if I ultimately decide that I do? What if she thinks I’m a flake? I said it anyway because not saying it felt like lying. Just like the guy from last year, my admission was met with silence. A giant pause. Was I in a funk? What did I mean I didn’t know if Southern California was for me anymore? Did I think I might be having a mid-life crisis? I mean shit, it’s not like I haven’t asked myself the same questions over the past few months.

She went on to describe a similar time in her life using words like bored, bleak, fearful, afraid to run out of money and fear of dying.  I could relate to all of those. But the thing is, I also feel oddly excited, nervous, curious about what I might do next, what doors might open. For years I’ve talked to the masterminds behind some of the coolest entrepreneurial brands and, after awhile, became acutely aware I wished it was me.

Now do I have a big brainwave idea? Not yet. But do I have some ideas? Sure!

Uncertainty is a freaking scary thing, especially when you’re well-established in something you’ve done for a long time. But I think that small voice inside me in Palm Springs, the one telling me I needed to slow down, may have been the precursor to a series of stressful events that ultimately led to me having a stroke and, possibly, the door shutting on my line of work. Let’s face it, I hadn’t been listening to anything else my body had been trying to tell me in the years prior to it. Bald patches, eyebrows falling out, weird skin rashes, all things linked to stress from overworking. What more did I need before I slowed down?

Everything leading up to and since that first stroke has been about clearing out old stuff, doing tough internal work, getting real with myself and trying to make space for something new, even though I don’t think I fully realized it until recently. I’m scared only because I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be doing. The truth is, I’m even more scared to keep doing what I’ve always done and end up dead or just looking back wondering ‘what if?’.


Well, I guess what if I end up going back to what I’ve always done, but in a smaller capacity? At least I’ll know it’s my thing, the thing I’m meant to do, and I’ll have the tools to do it in a healthier way.

But what if I end up surrounded by donuts and pastries and denim and cats? Now THAT sounds like something worth looking into!

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  • Reply fshnonmymind May 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Ugh, get out of my head. What if indeed! Although the uncertain future is a scary place to go even in just your mind, I think that if you actually get excited about the possibilities, you’re already headed in the right direction. Or at least that is what I try to remind myself. Besides there’s no harm in trying, there’s no reason you can’t steer in a different direction in the chance things don’t work as expected.
    Let me know when you find that good creative/business mix. That’s exactly what I’m looking for in my next career jump (whenever that will be). I refuse to be behind this desk for the rest of my life.

    • Reply This Free Bird May 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      I think the fact that you’re stirring behind the desk and recognize the desire to get out is the beginning of change for you. That’s exciting! I’m just day-by-daying it, trying to figure it out. Will keep you updated 🙂

  • Reply This Free Bird May 5, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Thank you, Jenn. I’m so grateful for Chris’s place to let me have a bit of a creative outlet while my own ideas continue to formulate. I love your dreamy idea! Not far off my own 🙂

  • Reply Jenn May 2, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Yasss! I’m so happy to read all of this and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! I would love to open a store with lotions and potions and vintage and locally-made tchotchkes. Just fun, sustainable, and responsibly-sourced things to brighten people’s day. It’s so easy to put these dreams off in the pursuit of a the “easier” success that is right in front of us or working towards whatever thing in life we think we need to obtain to be happy. Keep on keepin’ on! I’m so excited to follow your journey.

  • Reply Annelise May 2, 2015 at 2:01 am

    This anticipation, this excitement, is awesome *Insert punch emoji here*

    • Reply This Free Bird May 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Annelise! Trying to stay open to new things and not eat all the donuts. Hahaha! Seriously though, it would be so great to find something that linked creativity and business. I’m hoping for it and staying open to it!

  • Reply Faiza May 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I am so glad to read the word “excited” in this post because while reading about your journey the past several months, I cannot help but feel excited for whatever doors you choose to open.

    • Reply This Free Bird May 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you, Faiza. I can’t help feeling a little freaked out, but really try to focus on the possibility of something new. There is a lot of freedom in that!

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