clearing the fog

October 5, 2014 |  Category:   life me


There are days when I think I’m crazy for trying to do too much. I don’t usually get to everything that I’d like to do in any given week (close enough, however) and this is almost always a set up for failure, yet I can’t help myself. Maybe it’s a great quality to have – ambition and drive, blind faith that it will all get done – or maybe it’ll be my greatest downfall. Overcommitment. Crash and burn. I haven’t yet and this fuels the perception that it can always be done, so I push on a little more; pile more things on to the list; say yes to everything.


I will say that even though this has been a year like no other, I did accomplish a goal I set out to do, or at least the start of one. Back when I wrote this post about career change, I didn’t have a plan or vision aside from a sense that for the first time, I could make out a foggy path. Sometimes the universe does orchestrate things to open doors that were previously unknown. Or maybe I was fed up enough with stagnation that I willed things to happen. It could be a little of both.
So in addition to running our business and freelance designing, this part time summer job thing got a little more permanent (though what job is secure these days, right? I’m still a little cautious, I guess). This means that I’ll be spending more time at this job, and less time freelancing while I finally attempt to steer my career into a different direction.
The thoughts that sometimes keep me up at night? That I’m crazy to take all of this on. Managing our business while freelancing often pulls me in different directions because I’m essentially running 2 businesses that consist of multiple clients, customers and accounts, so am I crazy to add a third in the mix? Maybe! But I also don’t want to walk away from an opportunity to create something with a smart team of people. With all the risks involved in an early-stage tech startup, I know that there are no guarantees for anything and the likelihood to crash and burn is high if you pay close attention to statistics. It’s a rollercoaster ride, but one that I apparently want to be on.
So why would I want to join another company when I should probably focus on growing my own business rather than someone else’s? I ask myself this all the time, especially since I had all but made up my mind to do just that earlier on in the year. I can’t say that I know the answer, but sometimes you have to go with a gut feeling and trust that it doesn’t let you down when something else crosses your path that compels you to make a decision. Our business is such that it runs fairly smoothly and we know what to expect every year. What we’re not really doing is growing or expanding and we probably won’t unless I turn more of my attention towards helping to make that happen. I’m fairly sure I will at some point in the future, but for now, this other thing feels right. I don’t know if the events this summer steered me towards this decision because I badly needed a change; it was symbolic of how I viewed life now – before and after my brother. I certainly wasn’t looking for a job that I had to commute to (and indeed, the commute a few times a week is the worst part. Getting dressed for work, on the other hand, doesn’t suck despite the fact that the incubator space we share with other startups is mostly guys in hoodies), but I’m enjoying being part of a team that is sort of like family now. This dynamic is something I haven’t experienced in a while. The next 6 or so months should be interesting. I really have no idea what the picture looks like for the first time in a long time. But that is sort of exciting, is it not?

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  • Roseann October 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I totally get this. After starting my own photography business I appreciate part time work more than ever. It provides both stability and freedom and it gets me out of my head. It’s really easy to never stop working when it’s your own business, but when you go to work for someone else you are there for a set period of time, you get paid for your time, and then you get to go home. And it’s social, where answering emails from home isn’t. I tried to be superwoman this week, after working a long week last week, then spending the weekend in Yosemite and hiking 3,000 ft, and trying to play catch up while working even longer hours this week AND having a photo event on Saturday. Today I was grateful for a day without a long to-do list. For the first time in a long time I don’t feel angsty. My business is gaining momentum and it’s exciting. I have already had to say no to some things so that I can say yes to others and I feel good about it.

    Be kind to yourself, Jenna. Good things will come.

    • Jenna October 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Except when you’re working at a startup! It feels like another business because the work often doesn’t stop when you go home. Glad to hear you found a good balance Roseann. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • Mieke Zamora-Mackay October 6, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I get the feeling you’re on the verge of something big. A new path is always good, I believe.

    • Jenna October 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      New paths are good, absolutely. Sometimes we just need to be ready for them.

  • Britta October 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Keep writing this out, please. Thank you so much for sharing. I rarely comment but every post I read and value.

    • Jenna October 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks Britta, and thanks for popping in to leave a comment. Much appreciated.

  • Kracie October 7, 2014 at 5:13 am

    I actually love it when I have so many things on my plate. It happened to me a few years ago and I worked like mad until I decided to stop (reason: work was no longer challenging, need to look for another pasture for me to grow). So I quit and I took a very long break 🙂 I am now waiting for a new challenge to start – it’s not here yet but I can’t wait for another roller-coaster ride.

    I guess it’s the cycle of life 😀

  • Rebekah October 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Beautiful pictures by the way. Very fitting to your post.