Friday was one of the scariest, most exciting days of my life. Friday was the day I'd been working towards for quite some time. Friday was the day that I quit my day job.
I walked into work in the morning with a new perspective. I knew I wasn't permanent anymore and it made me take notice more than I usually did. The stairs seemed longer. The walls seemed more vibrant. My desk seemed really clear. I also noticed that my heart was beating like a stampede. I was nervous.
I am usually the first one at work, so I get to see everyone file in and take their seats to start their morning rituals. Friday I said hello to everyone as usual and waited for my boss to come in. She finally did. I had made up my mind that I wasn't going to prolong it. I was just going to get it over with. Like ripping off a bandaid...just do it quick.
So, I went over and asked if I could buy her a cup of coffee across the street. She said sure, and we began the long trek over there. She made some small talk on the way and I could barely hear her because my heart was in my ears. I'm sure I stuttered and babbled something dumb. After we got our coffees we went outside to sit down because inside the air conditioner was on so high and I was already shaking.
I handed her this card I created that read "A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.":
I paused to let her read it. Then I found myself saying that this was my two weeks notice. That I was going to do illustration full time on my own. That it was something I need to do at this point in my life, and it was now or never. That I needed to be brave and take this leap.
And to my surprise, she smiled at me. She said good luck. She said she knew I was doing the right thing and that she was sad because she'd miss me. She even gave me suggestions for a few contacts.
I was not expecting that. I was hoping for that, but not expecting that. I was floored. I went through the rest of the day barely able to concentrate. I had so much going on inside me. I felt free and liberated!
For those who don't know, for the past 5 years I've worked as an Art Director for an advertising agency. A very creative agency. An agency filled with wonderful, talented people. I worked on their biggest account, along with some of the other ones. And I enjoyed it, for the most part. I felt like I was always pushing the work to be less structured and more organic...to be more artistic, and it was frustrating for me. It seemed like I never got the opportunity to open my wings and go.
I'd always been interested in illustration. I watched illustration move through the ad world, observing what was popular, who was who, and wanting to learn more. And it seemed like one day I woke up and slapped myself in the forehead with the idea that "Hey, I don't have to just watch illustration. I can do illustration...why don't I?"
And it all started happening from there. I made this website. I contacted my heroes. I read everything I could in order to learn. I started getting my own clients and lots of work. I did it all at night and on the weekends (which made for a very over-worked, tired-lope.) And it all came together and lead me to the decision to leave my job. So, you see why Friday was such a big day for me.
Now I sit here and I'm really hopeful. And I'm really scared. I wonder what the future holds. What I'll do...What I'll begin...Where this will lead me. I'm taking a huge leap of faith. What's the quote? "Leap and the safety net will appear." Yeah, I'm doing that. Except I don't want to fall into a net. I want to sprout wings and take off.
I'm scared but I'm willing to work through that. I am going to do what it takes. (I'm figuring on a lot of Ramen and pbj's.)
So, if anyone you know of needs an illustrator or some work done, please send them my way. I'm officially putting out the word. I need work!
I wanted to end by saying thank you to everyone who's been so so wonderful and supportive of me thus far. Katrina, Kate, Christine, Alex, Keri, Lori, Claire. You have all been bright, shiny lights for me. Also my mom, my brother, my mother-in-law. I thank you so much.
And finally. My husband. I could not do this without you. Thank you.
Here we go!...