I think I can officially call myself a freelancer.
A few weeks ago, someone addressed me as a designer for an event that I helped to plan. Later that week, a different person called me a freelancer when I took on my first interior decorating job. And still that same week, I accepted a different part-time position in digital media.
Four months after starting on a journey of career exploration, I was seeing momentum in new creative professional endeavors.
It was happening. People were interested in hiring me for my eye and my creativity.
I celebrated this success for a brief moment. I was proud of myself and what I had accomplished.
I was also instantly humbled, which is a feeling that has stayed with me since that moment.
The truth is that I was embarking on a path where I would be a beginner. I was already trying to tackle a major fear of failure, but this was different. It was the feeling of having to learn how to do something new, and having to go through a period of not being very good at it. It is, no doubt, a reason why many people would not want to change career paths, and I’d be lying if I said I did not question that for myself as well.
The truth is that I was better at my old job than I am at my new ones, and I anticipate this will be the case for the first few weeks or months. It won't always be the case, and knowing that is part of betting on yourself. But in the beginning, I’m going to feel like a novice a lot of the time, and in many ways, I’m used to feeling like more of an expert.
I think I let that feeling paralyze me for a few minutes, maybe a few days. Would I really want to endure feeling dumb on a day-to-day basis as I tried to learn how to do something new?
I ultimately concluded that I owe it to myself to try. That I needed to just wake up and do it. That I would not be afraid to admit what I did not know. That I would educate myself in whatever ways I could, by asking questions and diving into online research. That I would bank on myself being a fast learner. That I would hustle to make it happen.
I wrote in an earlier post that my theme for 2015 was “I do,” and I joked that we had several months to see what else I do this year. I surprised myself by planning on doing a lot of different things this fall. But in perhaps the most basic definition of doing, I will be learning as I go and embracing that part of the process as I jump in.