Keeping My Options Open

This month marks 10 years since I graduated college. Being the nostalgic person I am, I've been reminiscing over my life and how I have evolved during those 10 years.

Some may venture to guess that the biggest change I have made in my life has been the move to Los Angeles, which is in part true. I would instead pinpoint something more internal - my commitment to my dreams.

You see, when I landed in Olympia in September, 2006 I needed a job. Any job. Just one that paid and allowed me to stay in Olympia without having to move back to my parents couch. I landed a Receptionist position with a small contracting firm. It was easy and mindless work that I was skilled at. 

A month later they offered to promote me, and again four months after that, and again two years later when I passed my certification exam. Over the course of eight years in that field my salary increased by a multiplier of 6.5. As a single girl in her mid-twenties, I couldn't ask for more than a great salary and benefits - could I?

The problem was that I wasn't happy. In fact, I finally admitted in January of last year that doing that job made me want to die. It filled me with anxiety, stress, guilt, anger, resentment, and more than I care to go into here. 

Most people haven't known for the past several years that I've had a job in addition to running my brand. I have been dividing my time, my focus, my energy, and my heart for the past eight years. And it's beginning to show. This year I have let more things slip, missed more opportunities, run my body ragged, and been generally miserable. That is, until I let my job go in June.

This month also marks an important milestone for my future. My certification exam that I passed 5.5 years ago is set to expire. Parts of me have thought, "Maybe I should just renew it. It's a good credential to have and I do NOT want to take the exam again." Advice from peers has been, "Well, it'll be something to fall back on if your business doesn't work out. Keep your options open"

Except I don't want to keep my options open. My fashion brand and The Inspirational Woman Project is my calling. It's my gift to the world. And it makes me happy (yes, stressed too.... but still happy).

What I've realized over the past week is that keeping my options open is akin to me saying, "I am anticipating this to fail."

This marks the moment that I say goodbye to my certification with gratitude for all that it has brought me. It. month marks the moment in my life that I no longer keep my options open. It marks the moment when I make the commitment to doing whatever it takes to succeed. It marks the moment when I say, "I believe in my dreams. I believe in my ability to change the world."