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Call it taking a risk, call it following my heart, or call it just plain stupid for quitting my job. I recently quit my job at the clothing store where I worked for almost two years. I enjoyed my work there and I learned a lot about the world of retail and much about myself. As hard as it was for me to leave my friends at work, it was harder for me to stay. My soul kept crying out like Oliver Twist for “more.”

I’ve quit jobs before and, as a matter of fact, I’ve quit a profession before. For more than a decade I toiled as a dental hygienist before I chose an even more difficult job – that of a full time stay-at-home mom. But this time it’s different – I quit because I need to focus on myself. Selfish? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. With the support of a loving husband, I’m continuing on my journey of finding out more about myself and learning what more I can offer the world. I know what I am – a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. But the question remains, who am I?

I’ve never been a risk-taker. Maybe it’s because I’m a middle child and I like everything all neat and tidy. Probably the riskiest thing I’ve ever done in my life was to go for a walk at night with a man I’d met minutes before at a college street dance. What was I thinking? I was following my gut instinct – the guy seemed nice and he seemed harmless. As it turns out, I married that nice man who offered to take me on a tour of the campus. Taking risks can sometimes pay off.

I’m following that gut instinct of mine again and it’s telling me there’s more out there for me. It’s already led me in new directions. Creating What About This? involved taking another risk for me. In creating a platform for my creative endeavors and the desire to spread joy, I knew that writing a blog about my ideas and thoughts would be putting myself out there for the world to see and judge. I always encouraged creative writing in my children, but I was never an active writer myself. However, in the process of writing my blog, I’ve realized that maybe I can write and maybe my writing can help people.

Combining my love of making things and helping people has also led me to crafting pieces of jewelry with selected words hammered into metal. I’ve been told more than once by well meaning people that there are other companies out there making this kind of jewelry. That may be true, but to me the value in my jewelry is really the process I take with my clients to reveal or uncover their specific words of affirmation. Often times affirmations are not self-evident. In my creative mind, I see many positive applications for my jewelry and it brings me joy.

As Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes, another opens . . . .” The journey I’ve chosen to take feels so right, at least for now. There will be twists and turns and maybe even u-turns in the road ahead of me, but at least I can say I tried and took a chance on myself.

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