I love the ocean. Now, don’t get me wrong I do enjoy being in the mountains, but I just don’t get that simultaneous feeling of both serenity and exhilaration when I am in the mountains.
We have taken two trips out West this year and I was afraid that I wouldn’t get to see my beloved ocean until next year. I guess that comes with being married to someone who has your typical 9 to 5 career. But thanks to Paul finding a new job and being suddenly gifted with two weeks of vacation, we decided that a cruise was in order.
During this trip we had the opportunity to dive at two locations: first in Cozumel, Mexico then in Belize. It felt so great to get back in the water after a year away from my beloved ocean.
We got our open water certification a year ago on a cruise to the Caribbean, and it was on that trip that I fell in love with the ocean and promised myself that I would somehow find a way to be near the ocean as much as possible. However after coming home from vacation, “real-life” hit me like a freight train (as happens to most of us upon return from vacation… ) and I was swept back into the whirlwind of endless web and graphic design projects and lost sight of my promise to myself.
Slowly the feelings of not feeling fulfilled and overwhelming stress starting taking over my mind once again.
You can imagine what a welcome relief it was to escape on a cruise…
… if you’ve been on a cruise, you know that there is no internet on the ships, unless you’re willing to pay an arm and a leg for it. So, I ended up with plenty of time to reflect on the order of things.
Specifically, my career path and doing what makes me truly happy.
I always get on my friends who complain about not liking their jobs and yet, don’t do anything about it. So, why am I not doing something to change the fact that I’m not completely and totally loving my job with my whole heart?
I know some of you may be thinking, “Uhm, Melissa… You work for yourself. Why the hell are you complaining?”
It’s because for the past four years, I have worked 50 to 60 hour weeks on a business doing something that I was good at and liked enough. Not all that time was spent on client work, it was also learning how to run a business, how to find new business and trying to balance life and work all while working from home.
Although I am going to be taking a slightly different route now, I do not regret the time I have spent building a web & graphic design business. I have learned SO much.
1. How to run a business
2. Client relations
3. Marketing & PR for a small business, both traditional and social media methods.
4. And my absolute favorite: Incredible friends that I have made who either began as a client relationship or through networking.
But, sometimes you just know that it’s time for a change. Maybe because you’re not happy anymore, because you’re burnt out or maybe it’s just time to move on.
It has taken courage for me to post this publicly, because of…
- The fear of not getting any work in the short term.
– The fear of not knowing.
– The fear of change.
What do I love with all my heart?
After putting much thought and soul searching into this, due to the lack of internet on the ship, the things that I love with all my heart:
1. Photography: Capturing images & stories
2. Food: No further explanation needed here *grin*
3. The Ocean: The water, the sights, the smells (yes, the smells) and the animals.
4. Storytelling: Whether that be through words, still images or moving images.
What do you love? Are you in a career that fulfills you? It takes some courage to discover what this truly is and sometimes, even more courage to decide to go for it.
I am happiest when I am near the ocean. I’m in pure bliss when I am on a boat jetting towards my next dive location.
What is your paradise or bliss? What does it look like? (Leave a link to a photo if you have one. I would love to see!)
I will leave you with a quote that kept replaying over and over in my mind every time I looked out at the ocean during my trip:
“Now, bring me that horizon.”
I am ready.
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