A Message From An “In-Betweener”
Making the decision to be self employed, start your own business or make a big life change is exciting. It’s exhilarating. Living the lifestyle that goes along with these choices and the success that can accompany them is also exciting.
The piece of the story we don’t talk about is the in between phase. The phase after graduating college but before we fully embrace what we have discovered is our purpose.
This phase is not glamorous at all, highly stressful and often quite uncomfortable. This phase is exactly where I am right now.
Rewind to a year ago, and I was a college student very afraid of corporate America. I didn’t know what I wanted at all. I was afraid of not knowing. I knew what I was good at, but I didn’t know what I was passionate about. I had spent so much of my life being what I was supposed to be that it took me until I was 20 to really start getting to know myself.
Toward the end of my senior year of college I had a breakdown… well several actually. I remember one specific breakdown where I called my mom, and we talked about why I was so bothered by corporate America, what I liked and didn’t like and what I was passionate about.
Her response to me was “Lizzie, you’re going to graduate and come home, you’ll figure it out from there. You need to give yourself time.” And I said okay. And that’s where it all started.
This mindset allowed me to finish out my college career without the stress of worrying about what was next.
I believe my decision to embrace this learning mindset will be one of the best decisions I ever make.
I came home after graduating and dove head first into self discovery. I didn’t know what I was passionate about, so I started from the inside. I started yoga and meditation. I wrote down all my thoughts and goals. I dreamed about my ideal life.
It happened so fast, but not all at once. I’m about 6 months in now, and I have learned so much about myself. I’m actually convinced I have too many passions, and need to narrow them down!
Turns out I don’t hate working, I just like doing what I’m passionate about because that is when I’m most productive and efficient. I had to get to know myself well enough to know what those passions were. Turns out I’m not a lazy millennial,
I just really know what I want. What I want is to wake up everyday and work passionately and efficiently doing what I love and what I believe will change the world in the ways I am capable.
So what does my average day look like right now?
5:45AM – Wake up for sunrise yoga
(7:00AM – Wake up for yoga in my basement because I was too tired for sunrise yoga)
8:15AM – Check emails and regroup
9:00AM – Go to my local coffee shop and get to work
2:00PM – Head home and prepare myself to go to my restaurant job
3:00PM – Take a quick shower
3:30PM – Leave for work
4:00PM – Waitress
9:30PM – Leave work
10:00PM – Eat a snack while catching up on emails/social media
10:30PM – Write/Goal setting and reevaluating
11:30PM – Go to sleep
1:00AM – Actually fall asleep
I’m currently working 35+ hours a week at my restaurant. I spend about 5 hours a day at a coffee shop or in my kitchen working. That’s a 60 hour work week so far. 5 hours a day is probably less than I actually spend if I include the time I’ve spent building my website, and doing other tasks that will set me ahead when I really launch myself. I’m also not including the time I spend on social media connecting to people and talking to them, which I do a lot of.
So, simply put… I’m busy.
I’m also 22, and living with my parents and grandfather. My social circle is limited. I don’t know many people in my hometown anymore, and I don’t have much time to spend with the few I do know. I joke often about my lack of social life, but it is hard.
I am sacrificing my Friday nights. When I could be out drinking and blowing off steam from the stresses of the week, I am sitting in my house writing and goal setting and planning.
I love where my life is going, and I am so excited for the unconventional future I am building.
I am building my future all for myself, one small piece at a time. It is so rewarding, but it is not easy. Carving your own path is not for the faint of heart. Starting from square one at 21, or 25, or 48 is not easy.
My main piece of advice to anyone thinking about pursuing this lifestyle may sound slightly unexpected.
Don’t just dive in head first.
Expect to work harder than anyone around you, and you may have to overlap your current lifestyle and the lifestyle you want to achieve. Yes, this will mean twice the work, but when you are passionate and in your element, you will thrive. And that is why it is worth it.
My main piece of advice to anyone in a similar place is keep pushing. You are working your ass off, but it will pay off. If you’re like me and working what feels like 80+ hour weeks as you build your own life, while holding onto pieces of your old lifestyle in order to pay the bills… it can only go up from here.
We are progressing. We are moving forward. All that can happen from here is slowly letting go of our old lifestyles as our new ones fall into place. We can only go up from here.
It is worth it.