{brick walls, and the unknown}

I had a discussion with some friends over the weekend – women I used to work with, what feels like many moons ago, at a high-stress environment. I was sharing details of my current work situation (which is also fairly stressful, but a very different type of stress), and how I feel like I probably just shouldn’t work for anyone else ever again.

I’ve been putting a significant amount of effort into figuring out “What’s Next.” I’ve been cramming informational interviews into my busy schedule. I’ve enrolled in webinars and workshops. I’ve been to a networking event (eeeek!), and I’ve been looking for more to go to (double-eeeek!). I started this blog, and an Instagram account to go with it (@emilyblogged, follow me!). I’ve been reading books about hustling, visual social media, WordPress, and marketing. I’ve been updating my career counselor between sessions. Shit… I’ve even decided to start seeing a therapist. ANYTHING that will help, right?

This figuring-myself-out-thing is great, but it is an added layer of complexity on top of an already-complex work situation. However, I feel like I’ve made some great progress. I’m learning a lot. I feel inspired, and interested, and curious. And hopeful! One of my gal pals asked me if I feel like I’m getting closer to figuring it out… whatever IT is. My response went something like this:

Untitled design (2)

I feel like I’m standing in front of a brick wall, and it’s just high enough that I can’t see over it, not even if I jump, for a quick glance at what’s on the other side. I know the promised land is over there, but I have no idea what it looks like.

That’s fucking terrifying.

I’m doing all of this work, and I’m putting in all of this effort, for… what? The unknown, apparently. The unknown, I repeat, is fucking terrifying. Seriously… leaving a solid 9-5 with health benefits for the unknown is just… who does that? I know, entrepreneurs do this. All of the time. I never necessarily thought that I had the entrepreneurial spirit – I’ve always been comfortable and content with just enough. Just enough money, just enough vacation time, just enough health insurance to cover my yearly well-woman visits and my twice-yearly dental cleanings. But I’m NOT comfortable anymore. I’m not happy. This ISN’T enough.

Unfortunately, I don’t really know what IS enough. One of the books I’m reading is a collection of essays written by creative entrepreneurs, one of which mentions there are two kinds of hustlers: 1) the guy who knows exactly what he wants to do to hustle, and 2) the guy who has no idea what he wants to do, but knows he needs to hustle. I feel pretty strongly that I’m Guy #2. Even the author of this essay assigns himself as Guy #2 – and he points out that while he’s not a specialist in anything, he is a specialist in the learning curve. Hustlers who don’t specialize in anything are especially amazing at learning quickly so that they can know a little bit of everything. Not all of their work is going to be amazing, but it’s going to lead to something that is.


So here I am on a Monday morning, sitting at my kitchen table in the perfect little sunspot (my cat would be proud), blogging about the unknown while the anxiety about going to work turns my stomach in knots.

How’s your Monday morning going so far?


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