Photo by Rachel Kaye Photography
Article originally written for the Yellow Conference blog
“What do you have to do for the rest of the day? Nothing?”
He asked me after his last bite at lunch. It was meant to be funny, an innocent joke, but the final spoonful of my black bean chili tasted sour before my reply,
“No, I actually do stuff.”
Quite the convincing statement, huh?! Since becoming a full-time freelance designer, lunch dates with old friends are of a different flava. Longer silences (a dash of salt, please) with a lot of me guiding conversation as they obsessively check their phone for the time (a little more spice, doll). I’ve got the sneaking suspicion they think my day’s consist of pajamas with cable & calories at my fingertips! Of course, I won’t deny my mastery of making pajama pants lunch date-ready but the transition to freelance is anything but laid-back.
Do they wonder what is it I do while they’re at their 9–5’s? How I sustain my lifestyle, if I make any money or why in God’s name I took a sharp right with my career when the road ahead was paved with a fresh coat of guiding yellow lines?
Because the sharp right led me to a world unpaved. It brought me to the girl inside not-so-patiently waiting to be given permission to follow her gut.
It’s something I wish I had a year’s worth of lunch dates to explain. Because the sharp right led me to a world unpaved. It brought me to the girl inside not-so-patiently waiting to be given permission to follow her gut. It challenged the safety net of salary & demolished the boundaries of my self-imposed rules. Sometimes you miss the opening if you’re not looking or you may not be ready to see the opening or you may have already found yours & go you if you have. Let’s schedule a lunch date, I want to hear all about it. Maybe you really love pavement—also very hard work—which is beautiful too.
But for me, I couldn’t control the pull from that pathless opening. The smell of fresh dirt, heavy foliage, promising nothing with the opportunity of anything. I’m still caught up in it. Pajamas, spices, forest & all.
Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I stayed on the paved path. I’d probably identify with my friends as they hustle back to the office after lunch. We might have more to talk about. I might not feel “I still do stuff” is a sufficient answer.
- That flame inside you is there to keep you warm as you explore your purpose. Ignite it, don’t stifle it.
- Self-sabotage is tempting, especially when business is slow. Don’t be fooled. The Universe is conjuring up something for you as I type.
- You have just begun to crack the surface of what life has in store for you. Keep following your gut. Or your heart. Or whichever part of your body is speaking to you now (I know you can hear it).
More of my freelance notes on the Yellow blog this week: 3 Reasons to Be Real in Your Creative Business