Best of 2017Life
Like every other blogger in the free world, the end of the year is prompting this Best of 2017 post. Since I just started my blog this summer I’ve never done this before, but I love seeing the rest of the blogosphere take this opportunity to reflect on the past year. So I’m jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and sharing the most impactful moments of my own 2017 experience.
#1. I quit my job.
This was such a huge deal, and without question the most important moment of the year. I’d spent the last nearly 15 years working myself to the bone to climb the ladder of a Fortune 20 company, and had been very successful. My salary was over six figures before I turned 30, and before I’d even finished earning my degree. The problem was, I was miserable. As a single mom, I’d missed nearly every milestone in my kids’ lives and was so tired of feeling guilty every time work and life collided. So I walked away…and haven’t looked back.
#2. I graduated.
My teenage years did not go according to plan, and I didn’t go straight to college out of high school. Instead, I got married (and quickly divorced) and became a mother. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I decided to pursue a degree, and in May of this year I finally graduated. This represented the completion of years of balancing schooling with work and motherhood, and I actually cried with relief and joy. I am SO PROUD to have my degree in business, even if I didn’t finish earning it until after I quit my job.
#3. I adopted.
A puppy, that is. My boys have been begging me for a dog for years, as boys do, and I’d always told them it wouldn’t be fair to bring a dog into a house where no one was usually home. When I left my career I surprised them with our little rescue puppy, who quickly stole their hearts. We named him Winston Churchill, and he’s a big snuggle-bug that we can no longer imagine our family without. Pets are a lot of work (and mess), but they more than pay it back with loyalty and love.
#4. I started writing.
So, I’m a nerd. I love to read, I love to write, and my idea of a perfect night is watching Jeopardy with a cocktail. I love business and was very good at the traditional corporate gig, but my secret dream was always to be a writer. When I left the only job I’d had since high school, I knew it was now or never so I launched this little blog and started sending freelance pitches. I’ve since sold my first piece of freelance work, and have three loyal readers of my blog (my twins and my best friend, lol). Success is on a much smaller scale, but I am a thousand times happier.
#5. I chopped off my hair.
I have always had long hair. It was the one thing I always got compliments on, and as an insecure female who’s never been accused of being a natural beauty that was a big deal. I’d always secretly wondered what it would be like to have a pixie cut, and my Pinterest boards were full of Emma Watson looking like an absolute dish with her super-short hair. After I quit my job I was drunk on freedom and pulled the trigger, going from waist-length to pixie in a single snip. In the process I discovered that I have course hair and a crap-load of cowlicks (and will thus never approach Emma’s ability to pull this look off), but I did something I always wanted to do and that was a very brave thing for me. And even though the aesthetic isn’t quite what I’d hoped, some amazing little kid is now sporting my hair thanks to Locks of Love so it’s impossible to regret it.
So that’s my year in review, and it was a whopper in my book. Most people would consider it a step back, and I can’t even count how many people have told me I’m crazy for walking away from such a great career, but I accepted that my definition of happiness is my own and that it’s up to me to pursue it. I may find myself flipping burgers in a few more months when my savings runs out, but I’ll do it cheerfully knowing I gave my dreams a chance. Besides, it’s honest work and everyone’s got to eat.
Cheers to 2018!