Lately

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This is almost … a sequel, I guess you could call it, to my last post, “learning to take a breath”. A lot has changed since that post, and I’ve definitely been taking advantage of my new-found freedom.

The most bittersweet event that occurred was I left my job at Joe N’ Throw Co-Op. I want to take a moment to talk about my decisions as a way to close out my departure and engage with my future professional obligations.

Moving to Fairmont in 2016 was a difficult transition for me, but working at Joe N’ Throw allowed me to sew myself into my local community up in northern WV. After my two years of serving the public, I made so many great friends I am fortunate enough to call family. Through thick and thin, through my hardest mistakes and struggles, I know I have a refuge there. I will always be able to find a smile of someone who genuinely cares about me, and it is the greatest gift the job ever gave me. It allowed me to call Fairmont home. (Some Instagram pics from my last few days are around here somewhere.)

However, the time slots of my shifts was restrictive (despite the graciousness of my managers working with me when necessary), and no matter how much I loved the role of Barista, something had to give if I wanted to pursue my “dreams.” I wanted to pursue my dreams of writing, volunteering, and regaining control of my social life with friends and family that working night shifts and weekends for two years made hard to juggle. So, I made a leap of faith based off some wonderful mentorships and connections I made at the Joe, as well as being so fortunate to be at the right place at the right time.

Now, I am a sole prop and full-time freelancer in writing and social media with a personal focus in supporting local endeavors and non-profits. Wow! I am so grateful.

The most amazing thing about my life lately is the amount of time I have discovered I can create for the things I love. Even doing the odd chore here and there feels less intimidating because I’ve curated a schedule more fitting to my mental balance.

Here is a list of things I have been able to now enjoy because of this lifestyle shift:

  • Giving time to amazing clients by working with Kelly Ann Collins and Vult Lab Social Media

  • Volunteering! I have volunteered for Friends of the Cheat, and look forward to future dedications of my time at my local library, more local eco-orgs, humane societies, and maybe the Appalachian Prison Book Project? Wherever the world takes me!

  • Adequate time to devote to finishing my Master’s degree and creating a perfectly polished thesis at Lindenwood University

  • More time for my independent coursework with Philanthropy University and +Acumen. To boot! I have the opportunity to take a Grant Writing Certification program through Fort Hays State University!

  • And! I get to take cool Masterclass seminars with the likes of Neil Gaiman, Ashlyn Carter and Marianne Williamson!

  • Enjoying live music and art again! I get to go to 123 Pleasant Street, Mainstage Morgantown, (even Pittsburgh and other venues), the botanical garden (which I’m now a member!) and local art museums which offer exhibits and workshops and shows

  • Sleep. Adequate, restful sleep.

  • Reminding myself how to leisure, reading more often (thank you, library) and trying new hobbies such as painting

  • I get time to pursue self-development goals like physical fitness (training for a 5K!), hiking way more often (notably with WV state parks), meditating, among so many other things

  • Enjoying my local offerings (and trying new ones) such as coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants

  • and literally everything that brings light into my every day, the inspiration and fun that breaks the monotony of my hard-working, over-exerting life

  • But most importantly, I get to travel and see my friends and family a substantial amount more than previously. It is still not to the level I desire, but I know it’ll get there the more I acclimate to this lifestyle.

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I don’t know how to describe it. It’s such a difficult change that I’ve had a few nights of questioning, a few nights of doubt, but I know it’ll lead to beauty and wealth (hopefully, in more ways than one, am I right!?)

As my friend Jess so kindly reminds me, “How could it get any better than that?”

Now I can build my personal brand even more (the new logo and signature design by the beautiful Cara Rae Simms.) Write more everywhere (and here too!) Send emails. Have meetings. Network. The whole nine yards!

With the light and love of my friends and community, I am ever closer to crafting the life that gives me the most happiness. The seasons are changing, the days are longer, the sun is out, and the next few months only have more to offer me.

Sorry this was another personal post, but it felt right to welcome in the new content to come. Also, if you want to work with me, YOU CAN NOW! Why would you want to? I don’t know, let me know!

(I also had the time now to binge the entirety of Game of Thrones before the season 8 premiere, so how can it get any better…?)

Cheers, my friends. xoxo