Ugh. Just thinking about what I'm about to write is making me nauseous. It's been heavily weighing on me the past few days, though, so I'm hoping I'll feel better once I put it out into the universe. Back in November, as some of you may remember, I resigned from my full-time non-profit position. It was a job I loved. I was truly good at it. I had the world's best co-workers. I had stability and security. And though it was in the non-profit sector which notoriously pays poorly, I was actually making a relatively decent income. And yet, all of that was not enough to keep me commuting two hours round-trip to spend my days ripped apart from my babies.
I assumed once the reality of my new "job" settled in, there would be times when I would feel lonely, stir crazy, or like I was wasting my talents to stay home and watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood for the umpteenth time. Nearly four months later (seven if you count my maternity leave), I am so happy in this season of my life. Not only do I not have the gut-gnawing anxiety of leaving my babies with someone I may or may not trust, but I'm getting to pursue all the things I never would have been able to while working full-time. I will save a description of my specific roles for another post, but I'm becoming more well-versed in social media marketing, I'm spending more time blogging and writing, and I'm volunteering for a cause that's incredibly meaningful to me.
I'm genuinely happy with this life. And yet, our finances are terrible. Before I quit, I spent days looking over budget spreadsheets to make sure we could make this happen. I knew it would be a tight squeeze, but it seemed possible if we lived extremely frugally. Nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of hits we would take. Due to a misunderstanding on my part (after consulting with my HR department multiple times), our insurance deductible for Crosby's birth wound up being three times as high as we were anticipating. Our insurance company re-filed our claim, and all of a sudden we owed them thousands more than we had accounted for. Meanwhile, since I was no longer employed (and enjoying the tremendous benefits my former employer provided), we had to switch our coverage to Chuck's employer. They somehow conveniently forgot to start withdrawing our monthly premiums so now we're paying double the amount of monthly insurance (which was already high). This is also a slow time of year for Chuck's company, so his commission checks have not been great. Taxes have been an issues. Student loans have been an issue. All this is piling up, and I'm afraid that our only option will be for me to return to work.
Before all this hit the fan, I told Chuck I really wanted to invest in a good DSLR camera. I felt that compelling images were what my blog was missing and what was necessary to grow it further. I believed I could utilize my blog to help supplement our income and it was a worthy investment. I babysat, I wrote a sponsored post, I sold some old furniture on Craigslist and I managed to save the exact amount I would need to buy the camera I've been eyeing for years.
But now I'm stuck in this position- do I buy the expensive camera that I saved for with my "own" money and hope that I'll get a return on my investment? Or do I use the money I saved to put toward our immediate expenses? It seems like a trivial question, but it's begging a much larger question:
If money were not an issue and I could do anything in the entire world, would I want to be a full-time blogger? The answer is yes. Which begs the next question: Am I willing to do whatever it takes to make that dream happen for myself? The answer is...I don't know.
There is a serious risk involved in me pursuing this dream. I read The Daily Tay's When My Blog Became My Job and it's continued to nag at me. If she could do it, could I? But then I'm brought back down to earth by the fact that I have so much to lose. I have babies that could be helped or hurt by this!
I don't have an answer yet and there are more layers to this dilemma that I won't delve into, but I'm feeling all the feels right now. I guess in a small way, I'm hoping that by publishing this, the voice of God will come through my comment box directing me toward the right path to take. I'm not holding my breath, but it wouldn't be the worst thing.
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Have you ever had to take a professional or financial risk like this? How did you come to your decision?