Today, as I sat at my work desk, and gazed out the window into the courtyard, I thought about all the ways in which I’d rather spend my time: traveling, creating recipes, writing music, developing my business plan, doing yoga. The conclusion I came to (again) is that this isn’t “it” for me.
A few years ago, I mustered up the courage to quit my full-time job. It was beyond liberating to close that chapter, and embark upon a new one, a more “Jenfully made” one. A few days after quitting, I traveled to Saint Martin for my best friend’s birthday. Being on vacation has a way of reminding you of the things that are most important to you; again, I felt liberated. When I returned home, I began taking steps towards being an entrepreneur. I also toyed with the idea of moving to Atlanta.
That fall, I landed a job as a part-time catering chef. It was mind-blowing that I was hired, because I do not have formal training; however, they were impressed with my work on @sugabloom. I accepted, and began to love my new schedule and my work…until the catering season slowed down. I grew impatient with a schedule that had become too flexible for my pockets. Not even one year later, I ran back to the arms of corporate America.
For two years, I was back working in Marketing. During my last year in Boston, I worked for a well-known University on an amazing team. I loved my job! As a matter of fact, I would have considered staying, if I weren’t fixated on moving to the South. But, I was and last summer, my partner, Keonta, and I packed our bags, and moved to Atlanta to begin a new life.
We both knew moving to a new city would be challenging, but we were up for it. One of my first experiences in the city was at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, where I was an assistant chef for an event—how cool is that! But, as we all know, life throws curveballs. Shortly after we arrived to Atlanta, my little brother passed away—I took a leave of absence, and headed back to Boston to be with my family.
The months to follow were, honestly, the toughest months I’ve ever endured. Depression and anxiety almost won. I barely wanted to talk to anyone, or hang out. There were times when I didn’t even want to be around my partner, Keonta–I prefered to be siloed, alone; I felt alone. I also felt like no one understood me or what I was going through, because mental health is so taboo. I worked on climbing out of the pit, and forcing myself to fake happiness until it were real. For months, I worked in the restaurant industry for flexibility. I spent my days working on my wellness, and my nights earning a living. Eventually, I decided to go back to corporate, for a more steady schedule and routine. Yet, every day I get an itching to do my own thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like the company that I currently work for. But, I feel as though I’ve been working hard for the dreams of others my entire life. What about my own dreams? I need to make my own goals a reality.
So, today, as I stared out that window, I came up with a crazy idea. What if I set a “freedom” goal, document my progress, and hold myself accountable by sharing?
365 days have flown by—I have officially been a resident of Atlanta for one year. Looking back, there is so much more that I wanted to accomplish within this time, but I didn’t. So, I came up with the “Live Your Light” challenge/project. I believe the only way to truly live your light is by exuding love. I want to do the things I love so much that I am overflowing. Here is my mission:
My purpose is to create dope sh*t, and to help people. But, for me to help others, I must first help myself. One of my life goals is to open a food business (that makes me happy af). So, personally, I am seeking freedom of time and finances. Hence, my freedom goal for the year is to make $20k per month in self-made income. Sounds crazy, but I always aim for the moon.
Are you also tired of not living your light [infomercial voice]? This challenge is a bit selfish in that I am only focused on my own progress for the next year–tunnel vision. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t join me! In fact, I hope you do, because I want you to win too. Let’s do it together, shall we?
If you’d like a more in-depth look at my progress and resources I use along the way, join my mailing list!
If you’d simply like to troll (lol-jk), stay tuned for progress updates on the blog! You can also chat with me on Twitter and Instagram @jenfullymade.
Now is our time to be great. In the words of Diddy, it’s time to “lock in”!
P.S – I promise my next post will be shorter time!