Baby steps

Since I left my full-time employment, I have been trying to let myself take my time to figure out what I will do next. This part-time grant job I have is only funded through the end of next year, so I have moments when I panic because I feel like I’ve made no progress toward creating a workable model of self-employment, and time is marching on! But for the most part, I’ve been able to let that go and wait for answers to spring up on their own.

I’ve been watching for hints of new life to spring up from the ashes. I’ve been listening for those quiet little whispers coming up from my intuition. I’ve been waiting for a signal to show me where to take a step forward. I’ve been hoping for that inner urge to action to bring life to my dreams.

I’ve realized in the last week or so, that it’s finally starting to happen. Oh, it’s still little baby steps. Little ideas here and there like tender shoots from the earth, but they are ones that I’m actually following up on and investigating to see if they are real possibilities. Whispers of intuitive direction floating in on the wind to make me see things with new eyes. Possible options are shimmering into view in a real enough way that I’m starting to mention them out loud to other people. Pieces of a puzzle are slowly and gently coming together in ways that look like they could someday make a whole picture of a joyfully jobless life.

I don’t have the answer yet—or really even any answers yet. There is still no grand plan. I couldn’t even begin to articulate some of these little ideas in a way that would be coherent enough to make anyone do anything but shake their head at the ludicrousness of it all. And yet I do think that some ideas seem to be rising to the top of the heap and staying there—they are starting to feel like real options that I am willing to start taking little actions toward—while other ideas seem to be fading away into things that need to be let go (at least for now).

I’m also noticing that I am increasingly viewing the possibility of self-employment, even a joyfully jobless form of self-employment, as a given. I no longer see it as some pie-in-the-sky dream that only a madwoman would go after. I’m finding myself thinking of it as a rational, healthy option that I don’t need to be ashamed of. In fact, I’m even starting to get truly excited about seeing how I’m going to make this work. (And you’ll note the confidence in that statement—no hedging ifs or maybes!)

The best part is that this all seems to be happening organically in its own time, just like I had hoped it would. I am so used to forcing myself into action, trying to make things happen on my pre-determined schedule, muscling things into place, that this gentle waiting for things to happen however they will in their own time feels foreign. It feels lazy and irresponsible. And yet it seems to be working.

It’s actually rather exciting watching this unfold. I think I’m as delighted in watching my attitude shift as I am in seeing what the final business plan may look like. I’d forgotten what it was like to feel confident in myself like this—and to feel this confident that I am going to succeed at this when I don’t even have a clear plan yet is mind-blowing. And the fact that it is all happening without me beating myself into submission to a plan … well, that just boggles the brain! It turns life as I’ve always known it on its head.

Don’t get me wrong! I still panic regularly, and I still have plenty of moments when I think I must be insane to be doing this at all. But the balance of confident moments to panicked moments is slowly shifting in the direction of the former. I think I keep getting too distracted over my excitement of watching these baby steps spring to life to remember to panic. That’s a good thing.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.

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