If you’ve been coming here awhile you may know that I took a huge leap. A leap into the unknown, into the creative world, into a space I had only previously dreamed about. After working full time for over two decades (23 years to be exact), I said goodbye to full time employment, and hello to a creative existence that had been itching to break free.
It hasn’t been easy. There have been many many meltdowns, a lot of anxiety (mostly unwarranted), moments of staring at myself in the mirror and wondering “WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?” and a lot of leaning on likeminded creatives for support. Despite all that, I wouldn’t change a thing. You see I had spent many years dreaming, but until I took that leap I knew I wasn’t going to move forward.
I had been cruising along uninspired enough to not act and fearful of life without a full time secure income. Since I left school I had worked, I didn’t know, or I couldn’t imagine, how it would be like to rely on my partner to feed me and pay my half of the mortgage. It just wasn’t something I’d done before. This security of the fortnightly pay cheque kept me waking up every morning and jumping on that treadmill – get ready, go to work, work, come home, cook, clean etc etc then sleep – five days a week. Honestly, I was dying inside. The creative side of me was screaming out for freedom, for reprieve from the repetitive nature that comes with corporate work, for some space to just be.
A little less than two years ago as I was driving home from the office where I sat five days a week for 8-9 hours a day, I spent yet another minute too long in the horrible traffic (traffic kills me, I absolutely hate it) and thought to myself, when am I actually going to do something? I came home, and I wrote out a list of what I needed to do to live my creative dream. It wasn’t a lengthy list that contained a multitude of safe points that would never be put into action, rather it contained three things. One was ‘Quit job’ and another ‘Find writing work’. Now I didn’t actually quit my job, I like the actual work I do in my day job. I just needed more time to allow my creative side do its thing and working full time was getting in its way. So for the next few months I found a way to free up more time without being completely irresponsible (or losing my financial independence) and dropped my employment down to two days a week.
So with that, my very safe (and most likely unlikely to ever happen) three year plan became an instant one. I had to do it, I had to leap without a net, without a safety back up plan. I had to fly without wings and find them on the way down. So I leapt.
2013 was a wonderful year. I feel like after all these years of dreaming I have finally found myself, I have found my place in my own creative world. I think less about doing things and just do them. I spend less time talking and more time moving, but the good kind of moving, not the so-busy-I-don’t-have-time-to-scratch-myself moving. And man it feels good. Real good.
I don’t usually reflect much on the year as it draws to an end, I am more of a look forward rather than look back kinda gal. This year however I feel a warmth in my heart as I think of how wonderful and kind 2013 has been. I feel a sense of home, a sense of being that I haven’t felt before. And when I think about all the amazing and unexpected opportunities and places 2013 and my leap of faith have taken me, I am quietly a little proud. And a lot happy.
I had my first ever styled shoot with The Vintage Table which was featured in The Vintage and Handmade Bride. cake crumbs & beach sand made the Top 100 Bloggers list as part of Kidspot’s Voices of 2013, placing us in the 25 food bloggers of Australia alongside some seriously talented bloggers. Subsequently I was chosen to take part in The Good Guys Gourmet Gadget Challenge and also Ford’s Choose Your Own Adventure Challenge, which I won and took home a Ford Territory for 12 months. Still pinching myself over this one.
I was involved in creative collaborations with Alison of The Vintage Table, Megan of Littlesweet Baking, Fleur of Leaf Bean Machine and I continued to work with Cassandra from The Lettuce Shop throughout the past year. These amazingly creative women have inspired me beyond words, I hope I am just as lucky to be able to work with them again in the new year.
My freelance photography business has been keeping me busy and inspired and, I finally made a start on my website. Many more images to come but I’m halfway there. One of my images featured in Hello May Magazine, a family recipe in The Guardian UK’s Cook Supplement, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to photograph fabulous brands such as The Vintage Table, Delish Ice, Littlesweet Baking, Leaf Bean Machine and Pure Tea, West Chef Catering and Pampered Pooch Parties. What a year!
So here’s to a fantastic year. All the fear and anxiety was worth it, all the homemade lunches instead of bought lunches were very much worth it. I’ve given up 5-weekly hair cuts (I had three hair cuts this entire year) and have no problem saving coin instead of spending it on takeaway coffee or something else I don’t really need. I don’t mind having to be frugal, in fact I like it. I like that I now, for possibly the first time in my life, understand the true value of money. And better still, the true value of time.
And finally, I have to say a huge THANK YOU to you. My readers and friends have been a huge pillar of support and honestly, if I didn’t get to read your lovely comments and interact with you on Facebook and twitter, this blogging gig would not be half as much fun. I hope your 2013 was a blast! If you have a moment please share your ultimate highlight from the past year with me in the comments.
Happy New Year my wonderful cake crumbs & beach sand community!