I should have quit my job the day some psycho coworker snuck into my office and killed my succulents.
Actually, I should have quit a year before that even happened, but I wanted to continue to build my resumé and had put my blinders on and trudged through. Then on January 19 of this year, the day after my birthday, I finally did it! I quit my career as a recruiter. I endured years of an extremely toxic and hostile work environment at the company, plant murderers aside. My life ended up completely revolving around that job. I was working up to 12 hours a day (sometimes more), unpaid weekends, and stressing constantly over what fresh hell the next day would bring. So I made the leap and gave them my notice. They sent me home that day and paid me for my last two weeks and holy shit... I WAS FREE.
When I got home that day it was still early afternoon. I walked into the apartment and dropped my stuff on the floor, including the cliché copy paper box full of things from my office. Then I walked over to my couch, sunk into the cushions, and took a deep breath. Something dawned on me in that moment: what in the actual hell am I supposed to do with myself right now? I had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to be productive. Like, should I start a load of laundry? Should I start looking for another job? Take Wingnut for a walk? I felt like I had suddenly lost my purpose. How was I going to keep myself busy without having 50 terribly-written resumés in front of me? I was alarmingly close to missing the sound of my office phone and the way it grated against my nerves. I called my mom and shared how I was feeling. I asked her what I was supposed to do. Celebrate, she said.
I bought my first DSLR and all my lenses the month before I quit. I had been saving money in any way I could to make it happen. If you read my first blog post, you know that I've always loved photography. I've always wanted to make it a career. So I did. It didn't take more than a day after quitting to decide that I was going to pursue this goal. I posted my first photo on Instagram on January 7 and had already posted a few more by the time I decided to put the pedal to the metal. I knew right away that I wanted to start a blog. I also knew I wanted an actual business -- to have clients who would hire me to do photoshoots or commission certain work. So I began reaching out to bloggers here in Nashville and eventually started getting hired! I will never forget cashing my check for my very first shoot. But I'm not going to sugar-coat it, this has been a pretty nerve-wracking process and it's only just the beginning, but I'm having a blast doing what I love.
I'm continuing to work to gain more clients, I'm selling prints, doing a variety of photoshoots, and getting out in the world. Instead of spending all my time in a depressing office, I get to sneak through the woods like a crazy person to get a photo of a deer. No words can describe how awesome it is getting shamelessly thrilled seeing an Eastern Kingbird while dawning my binoculars and camera around my neck. I'm channeling the best 80-year-old version of myself.
Sometimes I still can't believe it's actually happening, but here I am sitting in my sun-lit home office with my dogs snoring under my desk. Well, one is snoring and the other is shredding her toy into tiny, wet pieces all over the floor. I'm so lucky.