This lovely image from Saturday's post really got me thinking about work, goals, and my quality of life. Okay, so it can't all be attributed to the illustration since those topics are literally the only thing on my mind 99% of the time, but I really really think the sentiment was a strong one. (And I'm kicking myself for not buying the print, but maybe I'll do that as my "100% self employed" treat?) I've written about it sparingly here on the blog, but if you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr then you'll know one thing: I'm ready to quit my job. Like, beyond ready, drowning in misery, frustrated with everyone and everything, done with it all, quit. I feel like I'm giving my bartending job too much credit. It's not actually the black hole of karaoke and rude people that I make it out to be always, but time has wore on and after 6 years, I'm exhausted. It's not where I see myself long term, so why am I allowing it such a large portion of my life? While you may know just how badly I want to quit, something that I've been a little bit less vocal about is this: I'm terrified. Scared like you can't even imagine. I don't even know where to start when it comes to leaving behind a secure, yet insufferable, job that has paid my bills for more than a half decade. But I did a big thing Saturday... I told my manager that my "retirement" from bartending was imminent. And I told her with a smile on my face. (Then I maybe started crying just a wee little bit at one point but that's just an awkward add-in so disregard).
It sounds so silly to say I've upset myself over a bartending job, doesn't it? It's not exactly a noble or worthwhile cause, but it is a lot of work. I've had many people over the years try to make me feel "less than" for my job title, even while accomplishing what I had in the meantime. I'm a firm believer that the job doesn't make the person, but so many were hellbent on making me feel that way. Bartending has taught me a lot about people. More than I sometimes wish to know. I'd like to say it's made me a more patient person, but it hasn't. If anything in that regard it's just made me more irritated. But at the same time I've had a few life lessons that I otherwise would've missed out on. I'll save you the "bar-piphany" spiel though. I didn't give her a timeline really, aside from saying at the latest I'd like to be done by the wedding. Aka the last weekend of September. I really don't want to stay that long, but if I choose to then it'll help knock out Honeybean's loan, and maybe set up our savings so I don't have a breakdown on my first weekend sans bar. It'll be like starting new... a married woman, with a new last name, and a new job title.
I've loved building our little businesses from the ground-up. Growing as a business has been one of the best things to ever experience. I've always referred to myself as self-employed, but I've also always had that safety net. Only 10 hours a week but you'd be surprised at how lucrative it can be at times. Especially when you're 18 years old, living with 2 other roommates, sharing all of your expenses, etc. Living arrangements have changed a lot over the past 6 years and, my frustrations aside, that bar was the reason I was able to focus so much on college. It's easy to run your own business when you have something to constantly fall back on. Lulls in clients or sales just means that I work a little harder on the weekend, no big deal. But I'm ready to go at it alone. I think.
I try not to question myself, but I've never been more scared in my life. Maybe that's a good sign though. A really good one. For once I feel uncertain and 100% in control of my destiny. Cheesy much? It's true. I'm finally able (and required) to pursue things that spark my heart and excite me. I just wish I felt more at ease. I think with all great game plays come great risks. I never want to feel like my decisions put a strain on our family life, especially with a toddler. But I guess at the end of the day every single decision we make really does. It all comes full circle.
If I told you how many hours a day I spend a day obsessing over our business' future, our shopfront, our next move, our life... you'd think I was crazy. I know in my heart of hearts that this is supposed to be scary. Even with a solid business plan, even with everything charted out, it's supposed to be scary. It's so hard to know exactly what you want out of life but be a little bit unsure on how to get there. I think the fear in me is slightly exciting. It's a rush of something, anything, that I have never felt with bartending. Tending bar never empowered me or made me feel in control. Now everything is on my shoulders to make happen. My profit and gain directly correlates with my work ethic and output. Starting today my to-do lists are three miles long... and I'm looking forward to it.
I still have a few weeks/months to sort everything out and get a lay of the land, but I want to start preparing now for the major switch. I hope the wake makes its way to the blog, too, because I want to be 100% transparent about this shift in my life. I know so many of you are small biz gals or aspire to be, and there aren't a ton of resources out there for female-run business owners. It's definitely a time of protecting how you've accomplished everything you have in fear that someone else will use it and beat you at your own game. I don't want that. I want to share the successes, the failures, the broken times, and the triumphs. I tend to be the kind of person who likes stress (to a certain degree) so now I'm just asking for it. Crazy exciting things are buzzing around our little hive so stay tuned. I can't say it'll always be exciting, but it'll be real. Here's to preparing for my real switch! I may have only taken the (tiny) first step to freedom, but it's been one I've thought about for a long long time. I've gotta go through with it now, right?!
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Honest To Blog is a
weekly free-writing feature where I share whatever is on my mind. No edits, no filters. Just unapologetic, sometimes offensive, always truthful thought. Click HERE to read all of the past posts in this feature.