How Endometriosis Led to Self-Employment
That saying everything happens for a reason seems to be rolling off the tip of my tongue a lot lately. Twenty seventeen was no doubt a rough year. My health, relationships and job all struggled dramatically. My mental and emotional wellbeing needed work and change. However, I could not jump start myself to make that alteration. Fear, discouragement and a cloud of what ifs lingered over my head for months.
For me, I had become burnt out with my job. Waking up in the morning just to sit in an hour of traffic began to take its toll on me. Working in a loud nonstop environment began to also take its toll on me. I began to realize the profession I once loved no longer met my needs.
Holding on was my only choice at the time. It became uncomfortable to explain to others that I was burnt out. Not a single person understood how being in the profession I was in for only four years could have already taken its toll on me. Between the eye rolls and critical stares, it was difficult to describe how my chronic illness was requiring me to make changes that may not have been acceptable to others in my life.
A dream of mine has always been to become self-employed. When my endometriosis diagnosis was confirmed and I began to talk openly about it, I knew 100 percent that self-employment was no longer just a dream. It was something I had to make reality. Constantly being tired, never knowing if a flare-up was about to happen, and the constant anxiety of being fired became too much for me to handle.
Unfortunately, my employer did end up letting me go because I could not work the exact number of hours she was looking for. Letting me go was sudden and required me to learn how to fly. Instead of becoming upset, I looked at what exactly I needed to do. I had been working on a few of my own things on the side, so I already knew I was capable of keeping income flowing. I also knew that holding onto this job was no longer healthy for me.
I sat down and figured out exactly how much money I would need to make each month to replace my previous jobs income and keep paying my bills. Reality was, I really did not need to make that much more. I began to apply to freelance jobs, emailed previous college counselors to get ideas and even became the neighbor’s cat nanny.
Figuring out my skills and strengths and reaching out to others to see where I can expand my services were my next few steps. I researched and found free courses to improve areas of my life that would be needed to make this all work.
I worked out my worst-case scenario and realized even at that, I would be OK.
Moments of doubt and fear pop up, but know I can find solutions to whatever is thrown my way. This leap of faith has by far been the riskiest thing I have ever done, but has been the best decision I have ever made. It helps to have such a supportive husband who believes in me. I know good things take time, but my confidence in myself has grown so much that I know I can do whatever I set my heart to.
My anxiety has decreased since working from home and I am finding the joy in life again. I am able to focus on myself and my health without feeling guilty. The ability to work from the comfort of my own office or bed, or even taking the day off if I really need it, without worrying about what my employer is thinking is a great feeling. Having this freedom is what I need at this point in my life. Will I want this freedom forever? I do not know for certain, but for right now this is what my life needs.
Of course, this lifestyle choice I made is not for everyone. Self-employment does not offer benefits and securities that working for an employer can provide. Some people enjoy the interaction with other employees and may find being home every day to be boring. You may go weeks without a paycheck. It is not a decision to take lightly and requires a lot of research and understanding. But with the proper tools and knowledge, it may be the best decision you can ever make.
Follow this journey on My Endo Journey.
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