It was Time to Choose Me...
I was talking with a friend recently and we were talking about our businesses. I was telling them about how I started with my side hustle, The Charcoal Annex and how incredible that one decision to invest in me was. It was the decision that changed my life.
I was stuck in this life of single mom land where I was working SO much and SO hard and there was no real quality of life with my kids or for myself just as an individual. It was 15yrs of a full time day job and then 1-2 part time jobs at restaurants.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was offered the chance to take a lower paying job but do something that was a PASSION of mine, that I knew would bring me joy every day. I was like well we are all in a state of chaos so if there was ever a time to change my life, it’s now! And man, it was amazing decision number one! I am still here actually and LOVE every minute of it almost 3 years later. I even decided to quit the restaurant job I was working to see what it was like to work just 40hrs a week. I finally had a supportive partner in my life that was more than on board with me making this decision!
Six months into the new job my hours were temporarily cut in half, and I found myself working 25hrs for the first time since I was in high school. I had a small panic moment about how I was going to pay my bills over the next few months, and it was just before Christmas none the less!!
I was offered the chance to go back to the restaurant I had just quit a couple months prior, to make some extra cash until my hours were full time again. It was in that moment that I had to make the decision, am I going to stay here? And what does that look like? It looks like another 2nd job at a restaurant and now I’m back in that cycle I worked so hard to get out of, the cycle I thought I was done with. Or am I going to figure it out and invest in me for once?
Even though I had no savings and my new job just cut my hours in half… I said OK what can I do because I do NOT want to get stuck back in that cycle. I refuse. This is my time finally. It’s like I had been waiting for someone to give me permission to let it all go and take the reins for a new way of life. I realized in that moment I was the one I had to get permission from, I was the one stopping me. I just had to do it. Even if meant starting with nothing, it was ok to shut my eyes and jump because the one thing I did know and learn through all the struggling I had been doing over the last 15 years, was that I was always able to figure it out. I was resilient as hell and determined as fuck, so good luck stopping me. Every step of the way so far, quitting hasn’t been an option, have I maybe asked myself a time or two if I should quit, yes, but it always ended up very quickly being a nope. I am in this and want this so much!
No matter how hard this new journey has been it’s like I know deep in my gut it’s the one I’m meant for. I could’ve easily packed it all up and went back to two jobs so many times… what I knew and was comfortable knowing… but I’ve tasted freedom and control of my own life and I can’t ever go back to how it used to be.
I am so grateful for choosing me and will continue to choose me going forward. I am a better mother, friend, sister, daughter, partner; all because I choose me each and everyday.
I am also so grateful for the support this amazing city has given to my dream! The people I have met and supported, worked with, had coffee with, cocktails with, collaborated with.... y'all are WHY I do what I do! I am so stoked I get to bring y'all so many fun, creative, unique experiences and I can't wait to see what is coming!