I might as well just get to the point. I’ve quit my job at 3fold, official today. To some people the decision may seem sudden. But, in reality, this new move into motherhood and freelance work actually started a long time ago.
When Jonathan and I moved to Sacramento five years ago (!), I didn’t know what to do next in my career. Earlier that spring I’d quit my first marketing job in Santa Barbara so that Jonathan and I could travel to China. When we returned, and he got into law school at UC Davis, I had time to re-evaluate what I wanted to do for a living. Even though I hadn’t particularly loved working in marketing, I figured I’d go into the field again because I didn’t know what else to do.
To keep busy during my job search I signed up for a writing class at the local community college. During that fall I remembered just how much I loved to write. Since I was a little girl I’d been filling up spiral bound notebooks with novels and stories. Where had that passion gone? I think it got lost academia—teachers focusing more on grammar and essay skills rather than heart and soul.
That next spring I published my first two articles—one in a national magazine and one on a website. I also landed a PR job at an agency in Rocklin. I wanted to write, but I needed a consistent paycheck and benefits. Agency work gave me just that. One year later, when the economy really started to tank, I left the agency in Rocklin for a new gig downtown at 3fold Communications.
At 3fold I immediately received more responsibility, co-workers that became lifelong friends, access to fun events, lots of media interviews, the opportunity to train, manage and grow in my career. I was really, really happy. I was also really, really busy. I couldn’t complain—I had a great job when a lot of people around me were losing theirs. But, I was spent creatively. You might remember that last summer I took a break from blogging simply because I needed time to breathe again. I couldn’t remember why I loved writing because my mind was constantly jumping from one social network and event to the next.
At the same time, Jonathan and I started thinking about what we wanted for our future. We wanted to buy a house, I wanted to be a mom, and I wanted to write. How could we make it all happen?
We’re praying people over here, so we began asking God if His vision matched up with our vision. Should we buy a house? Where? When should I get pregnant? And, when would I finally have the freedom to write?
I also began asking myself questions like, “Why in the world would you consider giving up the career you worked so hard for?” and “If you quit your job, you might get bored at home” and “What if the economy tanks even more than it has, and you’re not making an income?” and “What if you can’t be successful as a writer?” and “What if people judge you for wanting to be at home with a baby?”
Last October, everything happened at the same time. We decided that buying a home in East Sacramento would be too expensive if I wanted to quit my job someday, so we started looking in the Tahoe Park neighborhood instead. We also got on the baby making train. Two days after placing an offer on a home, we found out I was pregnant. We wanted change and we got it. Gulp.
Over the last 10 months I’ve prepared for this transition, but it doesn’t make today any easier. I knew I’d pack up my office and say goodbye to kind and competent people who are few and far between in the working world. A small part of me hoped motherhood wouldn’t be all that thought it would. But, it is. I love being home with Anna, and I love having flexibility to pursue interests I’ve put off for a long time. With excitement I step into a new journey, while also mourning the loss of my career at 3fold. As much as I’ve never wanted my identity to be wrapped up in job, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I will miss being “Lesley3fold.”
Speaking of identity, I’ve given a lot of thought to my new “identity.” Besides baby chasing and book writing, I plan to take on some contract marketing work for individuals and companies. (That’s my only plug- promise! Contact me if you need a PR/Social Media Consultant.) Yes, I’m taking on new roles but they don’t define me. Over the last year I’ve realized that I will never be defined by what I do but rather who I am.
To my friends and family—thank you for listening to me over the last few years as I processed my next steps. To my friends in the business community—I hope to keep in touch. You’ll still see me around town at events, and on Twitter too. (I’m @LesleyMiller starting today!)
“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others…devote yourself to your community around you…and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” –Mitch Albom
pic credit to examiner