In the nearly 12 months since I last wrote, Jess and I packed our lives into boxes and moved north of Nashville to our sweet little Springfield, TN. I’m writing now from our yard, looking out at the garden, the fire pit, and the new pup, Willie. We lost our Cash early this year, and Willie gave us just enough time to heal before lumbering into our lives with his sleepy eyes and floppy feet. Neighbors on all sides have little ones we’re honored to Auntie. Friends live just down the block and 10 minutes outside of town in the rolling Tennessee countryside. I’ve started a web design company and work from home; morning coffee and slow walks with Willie now replace my commute to town. Our 100 year old home with her wood floors and glass doorknobs was the biggest surprise of all. She’s a dream home, and one we still can’t believe found us.
I came home from Asia last year bursting with confidence and drive, certain 2018 would be the year I found language and direction for my work in the world. Instead I wandered through part time jobs and ill fitting obligations, knowing something bigger was close but uncertain how to climb out of the box I’d managed to build around myself. Richard Rohr says everything belongs and Rob Bell says everything is our teacher, so I showed up for these various jobs I enjoyed but that didn’t quite fit, trusting even these were my teacher. I met kind and generous people who offered their support, felt valued for what I brought into those spaces, and learned how to show up every day in a way I hadn’t ever had to before. I also met many of the people who would go on to be clients and partners in the next thing, although I didn’t know it at the time.
As it turns out, the next thing was something I’d been doing all along, albeit not intentionally. When we opened the yoga studio in 2013 I started playing around with Squarespace, designing the website for the studio and for various other businesses and projects through the years. I accidentally got pretty damn good at it. I started offering to build websites for friends about halfway though 2018, launching what I thought would be a side gig. My auxiliary job began taking up more and more of my time, and soon the money it brought in surpassed the money coming in through my main gig. It only made sense to pursue it full time. I thanked my boss for the months he’d provided a truly supportive and special workplace, and told him I had to chase a dream. He’s also an Enneagram 7, and he totally got it. A month later, I got my last paycheck. And I leapt. Again.
Etta Bea Design is named for my great grandmother, reminding me every day from where I come. And Etta Bea Design is now my primary source of income, reminding me every day where I’m headed. I’ve worked hard to establish clear goals and processes for my work, and find myself in what feels like the beginning stages of growing my very own adult career. I’ve worked with a business coach and strategic partners to reverse engineer my goals, aiming for a very specific amount of money- and it’s more than I’ve ever made before. It’s taken a lot of work to deconstruct and reprogram my beliefs about money, but I’m on track to get that number. Ultimately, I want to build a business that employs, supports, and trains women in tech to design their own careers and make lots and lots of money. I’m interested in empowering women to financial freedom at all stages of their adult lives. When women thrive, we all thrive.
This time last year, I wrote: “YOU are uniquely, specifically qualified to do the thing that makes you feel alive. That little seed of a dream in your heart? That vision you see for your life? That reality you can taste and smell and feel is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER? The only thing standing between you and that reality is your decision to move toward it.” And this year, on the other side of fear and scarcity and uncertainty, I encourage you to get specific about that dream. Get specific, talk about it, say it out loud, focus on it every day, and move towards it in bold and conscious ways. You may end up some place you never expected, surprised by the generosity of the Love that moves you. You may end up right in the middle of your dream.