“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself.” -Brittany Renee
Not too long ago, I was working at a job I dreaded going to every single day. I lived for the weekend and the mere thought of Monday made my stomach drop. I felt uninspired, unable to express myself creatively and was working to make money for somebody who treated others poorly, simply because of his position. I didn’t like the direction the company was heading in, so I made the decision to take on more hours at my serving job. It was a huge step for me because I was doing very well financially between my full-time property management job during the week and my part-time serving job on the weekend. However, I rarely had days off and was always stressed out. (I once went 36 days in a row before having a day off.) I knew something needed to change, so I took the leap.
I didn’t know what my family or friends would think. Here I was with a college degree and I was going to become a server? (And, eventually, a nanny as well.) I must admit, I didn’t know how it would all pan out. Would I be able to support myself? Had I completely lost my mind? What about a job with health benefits (such a hot topic in the adult world)? The main reason I wanted to leave my office job (besides the toxic environment) was because I wanted to write more. But, when I went to say those words out loud, I often struggled. What would other people think? How could I even consider writing when it wasn’t even close to what I went to college for?
The truth is, maybe this was one of the crazier things I’ve done. Is that so bad though? How many of us wish we could take that step and chase after something we love? This all came about while I was speaking to a volunteer coordinator at my church a couple weeks ago. I’m new there and was wanting to get more involved because it seems like a great community. She asked what I did for a living and I told her I was a server and nanny. I told her a bit about my background and how I had arrived at where I was at today. And then I did it. I inhaled and said, “I want to write.”
It felt so strange, those words escaping my lips. But it also felt…freeing. It made me feel alive. Why are we so scared to step into the roles we so desire? Why does owning your passion seem so frightening? I’ve been debating these questions for awhile, ever since I made these changes in my life. The truth is, we are scared. Of failure. Of what others might think. Of not being good enough. That’s a normal reaction, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your dreams. Be scared. Be unsure. That means, for once in your life, something is actually important to you. But never, ever diminish your passions or dreams because of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s.” You know what I’m talking about. All the scenarios your brain makes up as a defense mechanism. The things that might happen in the pursuit of our dreams but more than likely never will.
About a week ago, I was telling one of the new servers about my jobs and blogs. She said, “Oh, so you’re a writer?” I laughed it off and replied with a firm “No.” Maybe the line is fuzzy right now. Perhaps I don’t know when I “officially” get to call myself a writer. Minor details that I’m still working out. But, I do know this. The only way to get there is to say it out loud. With conviction. With presence. Like you own the whole damn room. So, from now on, my answer will be, “Yes. I am a writer.” Because if you don’t speak your dream out loud, who else will?