Happy Tuesday afternoon everyone! I’m holed up at a coffee shop, coming from a meeting for my non profit, heading to catering in an hour. It’s just another day of being stressed, and feeling resentful of my jobs.
I’m closer every day to freelancing, but there’s a lot of time in between then and now, and I’m trying to see that time as an opportunity.
I’ve never been good at living in the moment, and it’s really been on the back burner for the last year and a half. Freelancing will be a welcome change of pace, but it’s not a magical solution to all my problems. So I’m working on structuring my current life with more purpose and design. I want to carry that mindset into freelancing, not try and develop it while trying to get that career going.
Last year my purpose was easy: pay off debt. Everything in my world revolved around achieving that goal.
Now it’s not quite so clear. There’s not an exact deadline I can strive for. My goals are more ambiguous- be happier, find more balance. Less easily achieved, but no less important to me than being debt free.
As I did with my debt pay off, I’m sharing my new goals with people. I’m opening up to friends about how I haven’t been really happy for awhile, and that I’m making a transition that will hopefully fix that.
The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. People are thrilled for me, and the amount of excitement and support has been really good for me. I am surrounded, both in real life and online, with wonderful people.
It also has come with some good reminders. I really pushed myself through debt payoff. Any extra shift was picked up, any extra cost was slashed.
Freelancing will require a lot of work and time, but I can’t go through my life constantly pushing myself. Shannon, from Off the Rails, and I spoke this past weekend, and it was a valuable session in so, so many ways. (Go give these ladies a follow on Twitter!)
I think most importantly, though, was speaking to a freelancer, someone who has been killing it in her own way, and hearing them say ‘slow down.’ Shannon told me I couldn’t exist solely in hyperdrive, and she’s 100% correct.
I seem to think that if I throw myself into something 100% I can ignore everything else in my life. And that my friends, is 100% false!
I can’t ignore my health, I can’t ignore my friends, I can’t ignore my creative interests. What kind of life is that? Not one that has worked for me, as I well know.
I’m first and foremost a deadline person though. I love them! So I’ve divided the time I have left at the non profit into two periods. The next three weeks I’m dedicating to really thinking about
The next three weeks I’m dedicating to really thinking about what kind of life I want to design for myself over the next six months. What do I want to be able to do? What do I want to pursue? What are sacrifices I feel comfortable making- really comfortable, not ones I can justify somehow.
The four weeks after that I’m going to do everything in my power to put myself in that place. I don’t have clear to do’s on that yet, and that’s ok. First things first!
By bringing a greater sense of purpose, and working within a greater design, I’m hopeful that my happiness will increase in leaps and bounds over the next seven months. I’ve already got the support of the people that matter to me. I just need to know the direction I want my next seven months to move in now.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.