One of the many appeals for working from home for me was, of course not having to get up super early and get ready for work and the belief that I would be able to choose my own hours.
In the beginning of this journey, I was lured in by the siren call of not having to wake up at a specific time, not having to do the ‘ work day grooming’ routine, including wrangling the mane I call my hair, not having to don another suit and pack my work bag and figure out lunch, etc. Rather, I could stay in my comfy clothes all day, make lunch when I was ready, work out more and then set time in the day to grab my laptop and work!
Everything I needed was here at home with me and it was awesome!
Sounds like heaven yes?
And it was for a while, until things inevitably went completely out of control!
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what awaits you:
Ashlee takes you throuh the unvarnished truth about her experience of working for home, after 5 years experience.
Ashlee spills on the little things no one ever tells you about working from home, how they can help and also derail productivity.
The 5 Boundaries you need to enforce right now to stay sane
The little habits that will make this transition so much smoother and actually productive
The major things to actually watch out for during this process and why you need to kick the habits
Life it seems is a master of going off the rails the moment you let your guard down, or at least, that is how it feels sometimes, when things just don’t work out even remotely in the vicinity of possibility you had prescribed for it.
I grew up in Barbados, hearing the saying ‘Man plans and God laughs’ and if I’ve learnt anything at all over the last three years, it’s the veracity of that saying, along with the bitter realization that I am not in control of even 10% of the things I tried so hard to hold dominion over.
Was it a terribly bitter pill to swallow?
Yes, yes it was.
And I fought against swallowing it, much like a toddler does, head shaking, feeble hands coming up to ward off the oncoming pill to tightly buckled in lips.
And fight as I might, run and hide as I tired, it did nothing to belie the truths that were battering with typhoon like strength at door of my mind and life.
In the end, I found relief not in the belief that I could control people or things or even my cats, but in letting some of the pillars in my life crumble and shatter onto the ground. I found relief in being honest with myself, my wants, true desires and letting go of the ‘old me’.
A caterpillar will never become a butterfly if it does not allow itself the pain of change, if it does not allow that life as a flightless worm to recede and embrace the transformation of wings and new diet, complete with a whole new perspective on life.
And so, that’s what I had to do. Relinquish my death grip on my caterpillar self and trust in God, in the cosmic energy that he placed here that I was going to be ok, that these set-backs delays and the things that threatened to turn me greener than the wicked witch of the West was all steps in my journey to my ultimate truth.
And my truth, was that no matter what happened, so long as I believed my intuition, and kept going, growing, learning and letting things go, could I turn into the beautiful blue butterfly, I was always destined for and live that very new yet totally intrinsic life.
The cruel truth about being an entrepreneur is that you have to get real comfortable with change. Everything changes, and while you may be inclined to fight it, the truth is that you will always lose.
I’m not a huge fan of change. I’m a Taurus afterall, well known for our stubbornness, for our dislike of new things, especially once we already have a favourite and our love of routine is pretty much legendary, yet life is all about change.
It’s all about stepping into the unknown daily and entrepreneurship is no different. As much I am intrinsically loathe to the idea of changing some habits, routines etc, I’m also influenced by Aries’ capriciousness, and so will change things once I’ve made up in my mind that I will.
In this way, I’m an enigma and pretty much a wild card, making me very, very human.
In order to grow, we must allow change, if for no other reason than to preserve our sanity. When I started out as an entrepreneur, I believed with everything in me that I had to get it right the first time.
My website had to be right, the content right and I could not change things too much, lest my readers and clients get confused.
Sounds perfectly reasonable, yet the reality was anything but.
I’ve changed my mind about every single thing about my business after I launched it. The focus has changed, but I like the word ‘evolved’ more because with each lesson and experience I underwent on this journey, the clearer I saw my dream and was better able to follow it.
That meant I had to change things and believe me, even though I knew change is inevitable, even as I knew it would be for the best and life would be easier, I still resisted, I still agonized and I still had to convince myself of all the things I already knew.
Turns out, the more you put skin into the game, the more you learn about yourself and your true wants. These I learnt are good things; being able to be honest with yourself, means being honest with those who come to you. It means being honest about your intentions, motives, actions and desires and make the path towards them shine with clarity.
So I say all of this to prepare you for the changes that are coming to Ashlee Unscripted. This is a journey for me and my goal is to provide you with honest content, to provide an answer for your questions and to be a friend to you who visits my blog.
It’s not easy in this fast paced world and there are thousands of websites just like this one, but what makes this different, is the simple fact that you prefer it. That you’re reading it right now and for that I’m eternally grateful.
Don’t be afraid to grow, to change and transform. If you’re being called for positive growth, resolve it in your mind and let it happen. Trust that you will come out on the other side so much better, stronger and wiser!
“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
Can we talk about this statement please!
So I remember the first time I heard this magical quote, it was coming from the mouth of a very happy man who owned a taco food truck and I remember thinking ‘look at how freaking happy he is’ and I like everyone who was watching whatever show it was, started to melt at the idea and how true that seemed right then and there.
It hit me profoundly, because, yeah!- work shouldn’t be boring, stressful or make me want to cry just by thinking about it right?
Work should be something I look forward to, something I thoroughly enjoy doing day in and day out and something that allows me to learn new skills and then apply them. Work should be something that I am passionate about and that grows right along with me.
Then, no less than five seconds later, my old school training came back to me and all those amazing, magical thoughts I had about loving work, came crashing down like an empty glass being pushed off the table by a indifferent cat , impassively watching as the glass shatters upon impact to the cold tiled floor.
What could have been the thought that triggered this level of destruction?
“ But he doesn’t look like he makes a lot of money…and isn’t that food truck situation super risky and not financially secure?”
And yeah, just like that I remembered every one of my teachings that had been ingrained in me about needing money,
needing my money to come from a secure and dependable source,
needing to make a whole lot of money
and the belief that a lot of money could only come to me if I was as endlessly industrious as those freaking ants…because no one wanted to be that slacker grasshopper and then be totally screwed!
(Even though if you looked at that story in a different light, the grasshopper played music for those ants and then the Universe provided for the grasshopper via those same ants).
And so I did what any normal, red blooded female who had been taught that life was hard and making money was the only thing that would make your whole world go round, I thought about my skills and talents, picked the ones that Society seemed to pay a reasonable amount for, that I didn’t hate and I applied for a job at all the places that I prayed would pay me.
I was not thinking about myself in terms of what actually landing this job would entail or even mean.
All I thought about was the fact that I had a University degree that I was now pretty sure I was actually never going to get a chance to use, three Associate degrees that I was definitely not going to gain money from and I needed to show my parents that I had not infact wasted time on the subjects that I had loved at the time.
So basically I needed a well paying job to justify my ‘higher education’ that I partly paid for with my temp job as a Sales Clerk in a High-end Shoes Store, also because I desperately did not want to continue to work in the shoe’s store after so many years of freaking study!
And for a while I admit that I was very happy! I felt as if I had cheated the system, because my job was perfect!
I wrote for a living and it was decent pay- though I wished it was more, even as I didn’t expect it to ever be and I got to learn new skills, meet new people and eventually move out of my parents place and into a shared space with my then boyfriend.
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So in a very real sense to my mind, “I was doing what I loved!” and it paid well enough.
And it was almost perfect, as perfect as my young brain could imagine it could get….until of course, it was not.
Until I was no longer doing what I loved, because the atmosphere had changed and I was starting to feel anxious, starting to realize that while I loved writing, meeting people, sharing their stories, I no longer enjoyed doing so in the environment I was doing it in.
So the catch to this fairy tale is that all too soon, the job brought with it all the stresses, pressures, drama and time constraints that I could not help but to shaft at, and I was now working at all hours, felt like I was no longer in control of my time or where I had to go for work and my boss had me on call always.
And the worst part was that I believed deeply that I would never get a better job or money making opportunity than this.
So what was I going to do?
I genuinely did not like the ‘how’ of what I was doing anymore, but I felt as if all the reasons this felt so wrong to me were not actually valid enough for me to leave and so that level of impotence and anger built up in me, trapping me, stifling me and slowly I went from a happy person to one that was not and let’s just say it does not take very long for misery to infect all aspects of your life.
Eventually I realized that I was torturing myself for no reason and poisoning my own well of happiness, and all because I was terrified that this thing that I had outgrown was all I was ever going to have.
Why was it that I was placing everything over my own happiness?
Why was it that I was convinced that my happiness did not matter and needed to be sidelined in favour of bills and my superior’s needs?
One day, I remembered the quote: “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
And it truly hit me the significance of this quote as it relates to my own life.
It made me realize that I had sacrificed a lot of myself to my old training and I wanted to have new teachings.
I wanted to actually give myself permission to allow myself to ‘ do what I love’, I wanted to be working for hours and hours on something I genuinely enjoyed because yeah that’s technically hard work, but I’d be smiling, I’d be happy and I would have no complaints.
I wanted to have to be dragged away from work, instead of being eager to get away from it and the most important thing I realized was that I owed it to myself and the rest of my life to have that experience.
This meant that I needed to find out what I loved to do, what I truly enjoyed and then to be brave enough to pursue it.
And this would not be based on how much money I thought it would bring, not on psyching myself up to do it and knowing in my soul I was settling, or that I was doing it to please others, while I found no pleasure in it.
I wanted to experience that quote- I wanted to love what I do and never feel like I was ‘working’ ie stressing, frustrated, wanting to escape it.
And to do that, I had to realize what I wanted for my life, not just financially, but on the real scale, the This is ME scale. I had to be brave enough to pursue a healthy relationship with myself where I got to know myself, my likes, dislikes, loves and desires and validate them.
I had to relearn the way I spoke to myself, the things I did, how I took care of myself, and allowed happiness to enter into my life.
This came with repetition, with patience, with the understanding of unconditional love, support and the importance of my own health.
This allowed me to clear away some of the misery I had been harbouring and to bring light into my life.
The more I did it the more I realized where my passions lied and I want that for you as well.
You deserve to allow yourself to feel truly happy, to feel that sensation emanating from your heart and spilling to fill up your body.
To wake up and smile because today you GET to do what you love and it easily supports your whole life.
The only question is : What are you waiting for to truly get to know yourself?