Why do I feel like a fraud? Because it was so easy. Because I can't give you a 1-2-3 step process. There are tons o' people out there willing to sell you some products sharing their paths to success. They have the steps laid out. They can show you the way to freedom and it involves x y z. I can't give you that.
I can tell you this: I followed my heart and took leaps of faith.
Soul Nudging and Rebel Callings
I guess we can say it all began when I dropped out of high school at age 16. I liked learning, but the high school environment was petty and I felt I had better things to do. Plus, clinical depression was looming and I was out "sick" more days than I was in school.
Thankfully I have an understanding mama and she fully supported my decision to do it my way.
I can't tell you how relieved I was after my last day in class. I finally felt like I could be myself.
I'm sure there were many people who thought (and this misconception still holds true) that as a high school "dropout" I wouldn't amount to much. It's something we've been taught to assume. High school dropouts end up working at McDonald's and raising three babies.
I didn't go that route. Instead, I enrolled in university and scored a job at the local newspaper.
Here comes the second nudge from my soul...
You'd think a 17 year old with a love for writing would jump for joy at a job like that. But something didn't feel right. You may have read in previous blog posts that I felt confused about my lackluster feelings for such an opportunity. I just felt blah about having to do it someone else's way and answering to other people.
I took it anyway because that's what people do. They get jobs and climb the career ladder. Unsurprisingly, I was fired after three months.
The Land of Employment
I spent all day on the phone selling ad space, and I didn't take the "don't take no for an answer" seriously. Luckily, I did get to write a few feature pieces, which helped me build my writing portfolio. But it wasn't enough to keep me there. I resigned, reunited with an ex-boyfriend, and moved to Florida.
This is where my soul started talking a little louder.
I took a job in human resources for a national janitorial company. I got my own office with big windows. I spent most of my eight-hour day staring out the windows wishing I was doing something else. Something that lit up my soul.
I knew working for other people wasn't right for me, but I didn't see how it could work any other way. Society did a great job of convincing me that the "rat race" was the only way. So I kept waking up with alarm, making the commute, and pretended to work and care. I told myself, "Oh, I can just write on the side. It's just a hobby. There's no way I can make it work. This is just how life is."
When the Soul Shouts
It took me six months to secure a full-time job, so by the time I was hired, I was fired up, just so happy to have money coming in. But there was that pesky soul nudge again.
This isn't what you want. It's not your true path. Get out.
You probably know how frustrating this kind of thinking is. Of course I knew what I'd rather be doing - writing - but how in the world was I supposed to make a living from it? I was stuck in society's box and that's all there was to it.
Then all this stuff started coming into my life: books with messages I needed to hear, people with different perspectives on life, workshops and programs designed to help rebel souls live their true calling.
By August 2012 my soul was no longer whispering. It was shouting!
Take the leap! You can make it work! Go go go!!!
I looked at my bank account - there was less than $4000 and I figured I could at least make it three months without having to worry about money.
I didn't make it three months. I made it a whole year and counting.
Taking the Leap
No, actually, it's not. It's the best thing ever!
And how did I get the guts to take that leap? Because I figured doing what I had always done was more painful than trying to do what I always wanted. I didn't want to regret not trying.
On my first day of self employment I got on the computer and started looking for freelance jobs. I made a website portfolio, started a blog, sent out letters of interest.
I started writing for wedding magazines and blogs. I did a stint as a virtual assistant for a tutoring company. I wrote two e-books.
And now here I am in the Philippines, living on the beach with the love of my life and writing my little bum off everyday.
Why the Philippines?
You'll have to stick around and find out! For the sake of length I'm going to break this post into two installments. Next time around I'll tell you why we chose the Philippines, how we thrive, and what's going on in my biz and life now.
In the meantime, connect with me here or on Facebook and Twitter to ask any questions and let me know about your own soul nudges.
Much love, rebel angels!