Never Losing Sleep
This year has been one of the wildest years I have had yet. In January I was extremely depressed. I had been working overnights for 4 years. In the winter it was especially hard because my ‘awake’ hours were always dark, and cold, and gloomy. I missed the sun and its warmth desperately. Covid only made things harder. Not only did I go through the typical struggles of the graveyard shift, now that Covid had hit and there were new rules on where we could go and when I could no longer go shopping or out with friends at midnight on my nights off. If I wanted to get any errands done or have any type of social life, I had to flip my sleep schedule on days off. This led to me not being able to sleep at all most days, and when I did sleep it was in short periods. I was drinking heavily, and I did not see the point in taking care of myself at all. Why be healthy, fit, and happy? No one was going to be there for it. I was miserable and I needed change despairingly.
The divine intervention happened in February. I was terribly sick. I thought I had covid or pneumonia and I am still not entirely convinced that I did not have one of them, even though I tested negative. I could hardly get off the couch. I could not breathe. I could not do anything. I was home sick and thought I was dying for a week. I could not eat or hold down anything besides water. I was quarantined and forced to stay home even after I started feeling better. By nature, my sleep schedule flipped, and I slept at night for several days in a row for the first time in years. It felt great! And I sobered up. I started crocheting again, which I had not done in years. By the time I was allowed to go back to work I found myself dreading it. My job was great, but I did not want to go back to the dark, cold, and gloomy state of being that I had been in. That was when I decided to make some changes. I would stop drinking entirely, just to help my health. I would start saving as much as I could to get ahead on finances and have a buffer in my checking account. I would start my crochet business. I would quit my job and never work overnights again. This all seemed impossible, and I did not think I would do it for real. I went back to work, and things went back to ‘normal.’ But then, stopping drinking happened, and my savings went up little by little, and I started selling crochet items on the side here or there.
April 1st, I took a deep breath and hit ‘send’ on my letter of resignation. I had 3 months of income saved. I had opened an Etsy store. I was still not drinking. My boyfriend had also felt the need for change and had put in his 2 weeks’ notice, to become his own boss as a delivery driver. And that motivated me to take control over my own life even more. I set myself up for success by making sure my emergency fund had enough to keep me afloat if my ship started to sink. I also had a part-time job lined up to start the day after I left the one I was in. I quit my full-time job and left my life as I knew it to pursue the unknown. People I worked with thought I would change my mind. They were wrong. Some friends and family thought, and even hoped, that I would fail. They were also wrong. My first few months as a small business owner were rough, and I did not make very many sales. But I persevered. My part-time job kept me afloat during the summer months.
Around September I slowly started making more sales. I also started running again. I started living the life of which I had always dreamed. I was liberated. My boyfriend, Nick was also doing very well with his newfound entrepreneurship. Of course, all the changes in our life added a few new hurdles to our relationship that we had not experienced before, and we sometimes fought, but we always worked it out. It was a struggle not always knowing how much income there would be. I learned: money is easy to make if I let it.
By December, my part-time job was slowing down, and my paychecks were smaller and smaller. But the universe worked in my favor, and I made more sales than ever before. I was busy working from 9am to 7pm every night for a month. It is exhausting. It is wonderful. If I want to take the afternoon off, I do not have to ask anyone. If I want to take an hour's lunch break while I am working from home, I can. No one stands over my shoulder keeping track of me. I am the best boss I have ever had. I spend as much time with my family and friends as I can if I am getting orders out on time. I watch TV with Nick every night, and if we want to go on a trip together, we can just take off without asking permission for time.
This year has taught me to never sell my time unless I am selling it to myself. I always have a choice and control over my life if I keep promises to myself. The only reason I was stuck in the dark, cold, and gloom, was because I put myself there. I will never put myself there again. Job security is not everything it is chalked up to be. If I treat money well, it will treat me well. If I treat myself well, others will treat me well. I have given myself permission to find my own happiness, and I have taken full advantage of it. The best part of this year is never losing any sleep at night.
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I enjoyed reading this, it perfectly mirrors where I am in my life as well. Reminds me of the old quote, which I'll paraphrase as "growing up is realizing that nobody knows what's best for you other than yourself."
The decision to be your own business is never an easy one, but its one that most people find to be the best decision they have every made. I'm glad to read about your success, and hope you continue to thrive into the new year.
An inspirational story. Well done.