It’s 8:00am and I’m sitting at my dining room table answering blog emails in my pajamas instead of sitting in my office checking my messages, where you would have normally found me on a morning like this. I’m drinking my coffee out of a mug instead of a to-go cup and Patsy is sleeping at my feet. It’s such a strange feeling. For over three years, this is not where I would be five days a week. I keep feeling like I should call my boss and let her know I’m not coming in, but I don’t need to, because a month ago, I put in my notice saying that I was going to take the leap and start blogging full-time.
(I’m feeling incredibly vulnerable even thinking about posting this, but here goes nothing).
First of all, I’ll be honest, this was sudden. Not because it was a whim, I had thought about it for months, but because I had a sudden change in my living situation. I had applied for a job out in California in February and needed to wait to see if I got it or not. (I had looked for other jobs very half-heartedly, I wasn’t dying to get this job in California, I was mostly just excited to be near Mike). I wasn’t going to know until after my lease was ending, so my roommate and I had to do a short lease. Once I found out I didn’t get it, my roommate decided to move in with her parents because our monthly rent had gone way up and we were going to have to move anyway. So, I needed to figure out what I was going to do.
I just fit in a paragraph what I was going through during this time, but for the ones closest to me, you know the true extent of how difficult those few months were for me. Changes were happening out of no where, after three years of safety and routine, and I suddenly had to decide how I wanted the rest of my life to look.
It wasn’t obvious to me until one very memorable night. I was sitting on the couch, doing my nightly routine of praying and weighing out the pros and cons, and it all suddenly became so clear to me. You always hear the expression “if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” and I realized that blogging had only a handful of times ever really felt like work. I would get home from work after a long day and feel really fulfilled by taking a few more hours to work on my blog or Instagram posts. It can be tiring, frustrating, and endlessly confusing, but I always enjoyed doing all the “work” to develop my blog and would choose to do it over other things because it was really what I wanted to do.
God speaks to everyone in different ways, and the way He has always spoken to me when helping me make big decisions is He will literally turn my mind off, like a switch, and no other option seems like a possibility any more. I mean, after weeks and weeks of tossing and turning at night trying to decide what to do with my life, blogging full-time was all of a sudden the clear choice, and I knew at that moment it was what I needed to do. Not only did I know, but I felt really happy and excited about it, too.
He also spoke to me this way when I started my blog two and a half years ago. For no reason, I decided to get my camera out, prop it up on the trashcan outside my garage and take some photos of myself in my mom’s scarf and some sunnies using a timer. It got 165 likes and all my friends were totally confused, but the next day I changed my Instagram handle to @byhilaryrose and paid $200 to get a website started.
From then on, it was so weird how clear and normal it felt that blogging was now what I did. I doubted myself and felt discouraged with my progress, but I never for a moment thought that maybe it was silly mistake or that I should stop. It was also weird how normal it was for the people close to me. It was just, like, part of me and they all did everything they could to support me. I’m not sure what it would have been like if they hadn’t been this way.
If you’re not a believer, you won’t understand or you might think I’m crazy, but God was truly the one who led me to start my blog back then and to leave my job and take this huge leap now.
So, now, here I am. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to start this new chapter. You know that feeling you have when everything just seems like it’s going in the right direction? I have that feeling every day for the first time in ages.
Also, I hope you didn’t come here for tips on how to make a blog successful enough to quit your job, because I’m afraid I probably disappointed you. I have a lot to learn about making a steady, sustainable income through blogging alone, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to be really honest about why I decided it was the right time for me. Who knows what will happen. God’s plan for me could be for my blog to lead me in another direction in the future, or maybe it really will be what I do as a career for many years, but all I know is that right now, I’m doing the right thing.
This post is dedicated to my friends and family who supported me and my blog from the beginning.
A special shout-out to my mom, dad, and sister, who endlessly love me and would do anything for me. Thank you for always being my “first likes” and photographers, making me feel like I can reach for the stars, and putting up with my mood swings caused by my unrealistic creative expectations.
To Mike for forever being my biggest fan. Without your patience, love, support, and photography skills for the first year especially, my blog would not have grown and flourished the way it did. You never doubt me or give me any reason to doubt myself, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
To Lauren, Cynthia, Taylor, Sara, Mandi, and Ari for being there for me when I was feeling scared about the way our friends would react. Y’all gave me the confidence to get started and were always there outwardly supporting me every step of the way, and I can’t thank you enough.