To Emotional Exits, New Beginnings, And The Belief That Anything Is Possible

After more than 11 years as a staff writer for The Grand Rapids Press, I quit my day job.

So this is it. I’m a free agent. A freelance writer. A podcaster. An independent, self-employed woman. From here on out I can’t blame The Man for holding me back or squashing my dreams. Now I’m The Man and it’s all up to me.

I learned today that I’m not very good at this quitting thing because I once again brought work home to finish. I mean who does that on her last day? That would be me. So even when I quit, I don’t quit. At least not really. I’m very happy to report that I will still be writing my weekly art and craft column for The Grand Rapids Press and writing features here and there. I’m interested in magazine writing and book writing and documentary making, too, so we’ll see what happens next.

That final walk down the hall as an official newspaper staffer was tough. After I picked up my heavy bags (I rarely carry just one.) and a lovely bouquet of sunflowers from my co-workers, I suddenly felt a flood of emotion coming on. I knew I couldn’t say goodbye to the group without sobbing, so I just left as fast as I could. I barely made it out of the newsroom before the tears came. (The movie version will have to end with an eloquent speech followed by an impromptu dance party.)

When I got to the car where Jeff was waiting with the kids, I knew my parachute had opened.

“Congratulations, Mommy!” cheered the two smiling girls I’ve missed so much these last few years.

“Welcome to the rest of your life,” Jeff added.

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