A year ago today, I got up early, went running, reported to work, and was fired.
I packed my things and left, feeling set adrift, lost, unsure of what I would do to pay my bills. A local group I helped to run was hosting its first big Town Hall event that evening, which we’d started planning many weeks earlier. I threw myself into that, letting the nervous excitement wash away the dread I felt at being untethered from a source of income.
Our event was an overwhelming success, and it far surpassed our wildest expectations. As I was walking around that evening, gobsmacked by how well things had come together, I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a change-maker, a community organizer, a person to whom others looked for ideas. But how would I make a living doing that?
I like to plan eight steps ahead, and at that moment I couldn’t even plan the following day.
A day later, at the advice of a friend, I signed up for a freelancing website in an attempt to scrape together a few hundred dollars to tide me over while I tweaked my resume and blasted it out all over town. I booked my first freelancing job the following day, then another, and another. The rest is history.
Over the last twelve months, I’ve worked with several clients, written hundreds of thousands of words, started my own blog, and found a way to get paid to do what I was already doing for free in my community. If someone had stopped me on the way to the parking lot with my bag full of personal belongings and told me that in 12 short months I would be living my dream, I’d have scoffed derisively and walked on. But it’s true. I’m exactly where I want to be right now, and I can only see good things on the horizon.
Twelve months. 365 days. 8,760 hours.
So little time, and yet it was enough to realign the ground beneath my feet. My world trembled after I was let go from a job I didn’t love, and then it expanded. I walked through an unlocked door without knowing what lay on the other side, and I’m grateful to have been in a position to take that chance. I’m also grateful to all the folks along the way who have encouraged me without even knowing it, and stood by me, and pushed me to be better.
Starting over at this stage in the game is terrifying, but I wouldn’t change a thing about the last year. There are so many unlocked doors on the path ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.