It has taken me a really long time to admit that I want to be a writer. To admit to actual human people that my biggest dream is to someday author one of the gazillion books that I have dreamed up over the years. But as you can tell from my post earlier this week, this blog is only the first of (hopefully!) many steps towards making that dream come true.
It’s no surprise it’s taken basically forever to come out of my figurative writing closet. After all, I’m a recovering saleswoman. I am an 8-year veteran of a special group of humans that can’t seem to get enough of that rush of the sale. Quickly becoming chained to the highs and always feeling ashamed of the lows, we ride a roller coaster of emotions on the regular; fully gripped by our addiction and our.need.to.hit.quota.
I swear, I’m not the only one…right?!
For many of us sales addicts (and probably every other workaholic out there), being stressed is our normal. It’s funny, but the moment that a big win finally comes in, we suddenly forget the bitten nails and sleepless nights that have plagued us for weeks (and our increasing desire for yet another drink each evening…), and we pretend that we had it under control all along. Amiright?
Instead of using the financial breathing room awarded by our recent success (I dunno, maybe to strategize a shift in careers?!), we blissfully, and ignorantly, plan our next luxurious getaway, justify the purchase of yet another new handbag, and decide we finally deserve that second home purchase. Rather than fighting our way to freedom, we become more deeply trapped in our expensive lifestyles and further fuel our reliance on earning those damn commission checks; the very thing that got us into this mess in the first place!
And around and around we go…
Perhaps many of us are in need of a twelve-step way out.
It’s taken me at least 12 steps to FINALLY put my fingers to the keyboard and choose my passion over my paycheck. From my calculations, it took over four years, lots of tears, many almosts, a bajillion conversations about my unhappiness with anyone who would listen (some of whom I had to pay), exhaustively repetitive prayer request emails to my people, endless discussions with my parents (they have a blood pact to always be there), and one very supportive and encouraging husband, to finally get the guts to walk away. In fact, I was so chicken shit, we literally had to book plane tickets so I could FLY away because walking seemed way too risky; knowing me, I probably would have run back! How I managed to maintain any relationships at all through this long and challenging life season is beyond me…call me blessed.
You’d think after so many Sunday nights of tears and dread, what I dubbed my Sunday Night Blues, I would have escaped sooner. But there was always something keeping me from making the leap. Sometimes it was disguised as something good: paying off student loans, planning a wedding, being generous to others (okay that was a bit less frequent). And other times, it was not so pretty: finding my value as a person, wanting to win by beating everyone else …or just to get another taste of that addictive rush. And of course there was always old faithful: what would other people think of me?
I mean, from what I can tell, there’s always something keeping us from our God-offered joy when our work is not rooted in the right place. Or frankly, whenever we aren’t rooted in the right place…
But thanks to a lot of love and a little luck, today I’m writing from a cute coffee shop around the corner from my place. I have a caramel vanilla brew in one hand, yoga pants on, and the promise of the words. And some hope for the adventure.
Even though I’m basically unemployed, and probably unemployable by this point, I choose the freedom of my creativity over exceeding some stupid quota. I choose life instead of lists. Today I choose to be brave enough to say YES to a dream. My dream. Today I admit that I have not a clue for what’s next, if I will succeed or fail, or if I will give up, but today I allow myself to try.
And the best part? On the other side of that scary unknown (and ironically one very scary flight to London…hello turbulence!), I’ve literally never been happier.
So now the real hard part begins and I’ve got to choose every day to stick to the program. Here’s to hoping I don’t get addicted to my impending fame as a world-renowned author….
I kid, I kid! Hey, a girl can dream…
So hi. My name is Alyssa and I’m a recovering sales addict. Currently accepting all prayers and encouragement for my continued recovery.
**Caveat: This is a totally biased viewpoint coming from a jaded sales person assuming everyone shares her issues. I am sure that there are well-balanced, joyful sales people out there who have a much less materialistic approach to their lives. But if you’re lucky enough to meet one of them, make sure to take a picture. They’re as rare as eating gluten these days.