Today I quit my “dream” job. Well I didn’t just quit straight away, that’s not me at all. I respectfully gave a very long-winded, heart on my sleeve, two-week notice. You’re probably thinking why would anyone quit their dream job? Well it was my “dream” job. It is the job I had dreamed of for over two years while finishing my college degree. It was the job I dreamed of while I was at home nursing a new born after graduation while my friends were off to graduate school or moving to new states to begin their dream jobs.
Don’t get me wrong I prayed, wished and hoped for baby Jude long before I was pregnant, when he was just a twinkle in my eye. And although he is every bit my greatest adventure, it didn’t feel like much of an adventure when I was isolated to a rocker for my little cluster feeding nugget for hours on end. He would rest his sweet little eyes and fall asleep on me which I cherished but after admiring him for a while I would open up my phone and scroll aimlessly through social media watching the “adventures” I saw on everyone else’s feed, I saw post-graduation international trips, graduate school acceptance letters pouring in, moves to entirely new places after accepting career positions, I was comparing.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and I’m here to tell you it can be if you allow it to. I had grandiose dreams of changing the world through scientific research, I have always wanted to be a part of something greater than myself, I feel like that’s just human nature. And also came from a place of needing that to feel good about myself, like I was worth something. In High school my mother shared with me the most amazing dream she had when she was pregnant with me. Since then, I have forever felt that I have to make that dream fit into my life in this very impactful way. Let me back it up for you to understand.
When my mother was a teenager she was one of ten children, her eldest brother Ernest was in France studying culinary when he was hit by a truck on his motorcycle and killed. When my mother was pregnant with me, her brother came to her in a dream. They were walking up a path to the top of a hill, she kept asking “what are we doing, where are we going?” he wouldn’t respond and would only point to the sky. She was confused until then- sprouting from the sky was a symphony of fireworks. She had no idea what that dream meant until I was born. Born on the fourth of July, she sang happy birthday to me as she watched fireworks from outside of the hospital window.
Pretty epic, right? I always thought so. And her take was that I am in someway special_ well of course I am special to my mom, your child always is. But special in the way that I am meant to do something significant with my life. Now I don’t know if she really believed this but I surely didn’t want to prove her wrong. I’ve always been creative and I’ve always been a dreamer, the intense head in the clouds kind. I have dreamt up a million ways I could make this dream some kind of foreshadowing to the type of life I would live, the person I would become and the career I would have. I was always a creative person, growing up I loved creative writing, interior design and art. I didn’t have a desk so I pulled my long dresser out from the wall and put a chair behind it to craft a workspace. I would buy glass candle holders from the dollar store and sponge paint them with acrylic paints. My elementary school teachers would tell my mother that someday they would be looking at the bookstore for books I authored. I didn’t get great grades in high school but I just kept dreaming of being something- or someone.
Clearly I am someone, I’m here writing this to you and anyone who cares to take the time to listen but I have always needed to be someone in the prestigious sense. I feel like up until this point I have made so many decisions based on this one thread alone. No doubt those decisions have brought me here to this place, quitting my “dream” job. The job I chased for years, from obtaining the degree to nailing the interview. I did well in college, graduated with a science degree and after taking the time off to raise my sweet baby Jude I was able to land a position at UCSD in a laboratory working alongside incredibly intelligent people, doing incredibly important work. Developing frameworks that could lead to the development of novel therapeutics, things that make a difference_ and yet I couldn’t help but feel unfulfilled.
My husband, Ryan & I had begun the journey of our own wedding Photography business two years ago. Emry Photography (Em + Ry= EMRY). We specialize in weddings and document lovers on one of the happiest days of their lives. Our business has the ability to sustain our family financially and I find it so fulfilling both emotionally & creatively. Unfortunately I allowed these false beliefs to hold me back from committing to this creative lifestyle. Below were the false beliefs holding me back.
Self Limiting Beliefs
No. 1. I need a “real” job.
No. 2. What you do for a living defines who you are.
No. 3. I need to have a separate income to be a strong independent woman.
No. 4. I can’t provide long-term financial stability for my family as a creative entrepreneur.
Let’s tackle this notion of a “real “ job. I felt like I needed a job that makes people go “ohhh” when you give them the title, why I feel this way I still haven’t fully teased apart definitely comes from some deep rooted insecurity, we all have them. But it was complicated further with this feeling of needing to make my family proud of the career path I have chosen, living up to being someone special enough to warrant my mothers dream. Also this notion of “who do I think I am?” that I can make a living in a non-traditional 9-5 sort of manner. Belief No. 2., I still have the hardest time with separating the two. I hate that when you first meet people one of the first things out of their mouth are “what do you do for a living?” why not ask “what are you passionate about?” I feel like that alone would tell you so much more about a person than what it is they do for a living, but for the longest time I felt like it defined me as a person.
I always had in my mind that I would most likely be the bread-winner for my family someday mostly because I am restless and always need to be doing something to calm myself, so naturally I am a work horse. But also I felt like this was something I needed for myself, to feel good and not going to lie, to feel a bit in-control. This is something I am still working through there is no bread winner when you start a business with your spouse. And working with your spouse is a topic large enough for a series of blog posts all its own so I won’t go there. As for the last limiting belief, belief No. 4 you can if you believe you can and if you have an insatiable appetite to learn & improve. So that’s where I am today, living my best life seeing my toddler grow more than I ever would working a 9-5 and in a strange turn of events I am finally working my dream job.
Our paths aren’t linear, and if yours just so happened to be that is great & I am happy for you. I have learned so much about myself from taking the road less traveled the more pin ball route of bouncing around moving forward, backward, left, and right. It really makes you appreciate when you’ve finally landed somewhere that feels like home, that sense of coziness and peace like you are exactly where you need to be. So for all of you struggling out there and want to make a non-traditional career path your main squeeze, I just want to say you CAN do it, and I am more than happy to help lift you up in any way I can. We all need to foster a greater sense of community for our fellow humans. Imagine what the world could be if we tried to help people realize their dreams are possible and give them a boost so that they are that much closer to reaching the stars. Questions are always welcome.
-All the love