It was not an easy decision for me to leave my corporate job, nor was it taken lightly. I knew going into a full time career of working for ourselves would be a true commitment…and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. Joe had far more faith than I. In fact he was pleading with me to leave my job long before I actually did. There were many reasons (in my head anyway) why I should stay. All of the things we’ve been taught to believe as we grow up: go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house have kids and…settle. (hopefully in that order, too.) Settle for what? What everyone else was doing? What everyone else thought we should be doing?
Of course the first and most important reason was because, we had six kids to feed. Wouldn’t it be irresponsible of us to just up and quit our jobs?! After all, who ever said you should love what you do, and live life as the adventure it was meant to be?! Don’t chance it! Take the good paying job and be happy. Taking risks it just too… risky!
What was ironic for me was that my dad had always worked for himself, as far as I could remember anyway. But I had somehow managed to convince myself and had even concocted a story in my head that this was a scary thing to do! Playing it safe was a much better choice. In fact, I remember the day I got my job… I thought “finally…I’m with the “in” crowd.” You know…the successful ones.
I’ll never forget the day I told my father-in-law that I was leaving my job. His reaction was typical of what we would hear on many more occasions before I actually quit. “Quit your job!?!? (With a chuckle too. Clearly he didn’t believe me.) You can’t quit your job. You have benefits and stability…it’s a good job! What will you do for money?” I looked at him and smiled, as my stomach churned inside and I rushed to silence my inner screams that were about to surface. (OMG! NOOOOO!!! Those are my fears! That’s what’s keeping me stuck. That’s why I’m STILL there!) This was NOT what I needed to hear. He was supposed to say, “Good for you! I’m so happy for you! Good move! I’m proud of you!” I needed confidence; validation. Anyone???
“It will all be fine. You’ll see.” Was what I eventually told him. (Only repeating what Joe had been saying to me over and over again.) I didn’t know if I believed it, but perhaps, if I just kept telling myself (and everyone else) that it would be OK…it would be.
J: What’s the worst that could happen? THE WORST.
M: Well…I guess the worst that could happen would be living on the street; homeless!
J: Which will never happen. What else?
M: We could fail.
J: Yep. And then get another J.O.B. What else?
And on and on those conversations went. For months. What if, what if, what if? Eventually I got so fed up with my job that I had to ask myself… and What. If. I. Stay? Do I just accept that my life at work will be miserable because the benefits and stability are worth it? My health? My sanity? Is life really meant to be this miserable??? I didn’t think so. In fact, I would go so far as to say that when you are in your flow, life has great deal of ease about it. And believing that, was what gave me the courage to walk away. And I’m so glad I did.
Everything, of course turned out fine. More than fine, in fact. I felt both free and brave. I felt empowered knowing that only I could screw this up, with my limiting beliefs. And if nothing else was gained, that was enough! We’ve learned a lot along the way: things don’t always go as planned, I occasionally miss deadlines (I set for myself), I procrastinate more than I want to, and I sometimes don’t get dressed until late in the day. Shows aren’t always great, we get tired, we don’t always agree, we sometimes have to really push ourselves to get through yet another week on the road, and you know what… it is still worth it! Going against the flow of your life is a disaster just waiting to happen. But going against the flow of the herd… that is definitely worth the risk!
There are so many things I would have never tried, places I would have most likely never seen, and people, (most of all) that I would have never met… if I hadn’t jumped. I’m so glad I did! (I say “I”, but it is truly a very big WE!)
I am most thankful that I had Joe encouraging me and helping me to believe. Believe in us, our dream, and myself. I defied the churning in my stomach and I jumped. YIPPEEEE!!!! I know we’ve inspired many people with our story along the way because they tell us so at every stop we make. Everywhere we go we meet amazing people. And they may only need one. more. reminder., or a little encouragement to take that chance to live the life they are meant to live, and not the one that someone else has planned for them. If that’s you, and we’re in your town for a market or festival, be sure to stop in and say hello, or drop us a message; we’ll be happy to give you that extra little boost! 🙂
And hopefully our kids and grandkids will never settle. I will always be reminding them that life is far to short to settle. So here’s to jumping…