When one door closes, another door opens.
How many times have you heard that saying? Usually it sounds cliche and trite. It’s what people tell their friends after they’ve lost a job or someone been dumped by the love of their life. Right now, especially right after my weekend at Blogalicious conference, the door metaphor fits.
It seems appropriate that I’m writing this post on my 35th birthday. Birthdays are milestones by which many of us gauge how successful we are in life. I celebrate my birthdays more for my family than for me. It’s just a number. I try to gauge my successes by how happy I am about my current path.
Last week, I let go of a major part of my life: Passion Parties. While I didn’t talk about the business very often on this blog, I lived and breathed my business for 12 years. The past 7 years, I dutifully did 8-10 parties a month so that I could bring in my share of our household income and still stay home to take care of my children. I loved my job, my business.
In my heart, I had already let go of my Passion Parties career many months ago. My mind, my inner self desperately clung to my title:
Passion Parties Independent Consultant.
AKA The Sex Toy Lady.
AKA The Innocently Looking Girl Who Wasn’t. (I’m not sure why people think I look so innocent. I’m nowhere near innocence.)
Over the past year, I’ve slowly let my business slip away from me as this blog grew. Another foothold loosened as my virtual book club bloomed under my care. I basically let my business wither from lack of attention and desire. Yet I couldn’t bear to just quit. I let it quit me. And it did. On September 30, 2013, I let my business go.
I didn’t shed any tears. I wasn’t filled with regret. I felt lighter than I had in a year. I felt happy. Relieved even. Still, I wasn’t sure why I held on for so long when my heart knew this part of my life was finished.
After hanging out with some fabulous women this weekend at Blogalicious, we started to talk about identity. My fellow Book Smarts panelist and author Tracy Beckerman talked about how when mothers quit their jobs to stay home with their children, they suddenly feel lost because their identity was tied to their job.
Just like that it hit me. BAM! The realization hit me hard:
I liked telling other people that I sold sex toys for a living.
I liked telling others that I helped women discover their sexual selves. It shocked people. I enjoyed the attention it gave me. It’s also a helluva conversation starter.
So, over the weekend, I mentally closed the door to my past 12 years as a sex/relationship educator and sex toy peddler. I love everything I gained and learned from being a business owner. I learned how to motivate myself, which is always a struggle when one is one’s own boss. I learned how to overcome my introverted self so that I could talk to strangers (about sex toys!). I learned that I was capable of much, much more than I ever thought. I learned that I was strong.
I’ve been slowly redefining who I am and what I do. My identity is ever evolving. I know now that I’m not meant to do one thing for the rest of my life. None of us are. Our lives have different chapters. Some are short. Some seem never ending. Sometimes they overlap.
Thanks to those 12 years, I learned how to dream big. To trust myself and my instincts so I can take the giant leap into a new door.
I took a big for me leap last month and entered my first ever fiction writing contest. Guess what? I won.
Note: Thien-Kim writes the blog, I’m Not the Nanny. You can read her latest post HERE!