“August 1, 2015 marked a day of change. A change of direction in career and in life. A change that felt almost like the day I made a transcontinental move from Singapore to the U.S. 15 years ago.”
A year ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the world of self-employment. Captured in the above quote from an Instagram post published that eventful day, the first step into the unknown was both exciting and nerve-racking.
If I were to summarize the experience thus far, ten things come to mind (which I also subconsciously captured on Instagram to this point):
(1) Taking the First Step
As I alluded to earlier, it’s about stepping out of your personal comfort zone. And you don’t have to do it alone even if the decision really only affects you. Rally support from people you trust; people who dare to be honest with you (even if it’s saying something you don’t want to hear).
(2) Living with Less
I have been decluttering since 2010 and have found it to be liberating. I find myself desiring less and less for “things” as I focus on connecting deeper with people. There’s nothing wrong with owning stuff; it’s about the feelings we have towards what we have.
(3) Starting Each Day Right
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. – Psalms 127:1
This is a hard thing to do as I am constantly struggling to have (and take) control of my day and life. It is not wrong to have a plan (Proverbs 16:9) but leaning on the Author and perfector of my faith (Hebrews 12:2) brings divine peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
I spent three months in Illinois with the Lorances at the onset of this journey and found it helpful to find a place of quiet solitude for my morning coffee, reading, and prayer. It has been their backyard.
(4) It’s a Big, Big World
As the newness of the experience wears off, it is inevitable to feel overwhelmed during the journey. A delayed payment from client starts to unnerve me. Tapping into savings instead of surpluses starts to weigh on me. The challenges of running a business start feeling too big to handle.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.
The words from the song “This is My Father’s World” became one of the many timely reminders that He is in control.
(5) Finding a Muse
For those who are familiar with my ramblings about Instagram, this will be no surprise. This social media channel continues to ignite a creative spark and provide a platform for my own artsy expressions.