Wow, I cannot believe I’m actually writing this post, but after nearly nine years of working for a convention & visitors bureau (CVB) in one of the fastest-growing cities in America (shout out, Midland!), I have decided to follow my heart and take a huge leap of faith to begin a career working for myself as a freelance writer, graphic designer, and marketer—with an emphasis on the writing.
From a very young age I have always loved reading and telling stories, studying literary devices and sentence structure. My Mom gave me my love of books (read more about that here), and I’ve had many teachers—namely Mrs. Moseley—that gave me my love for writing (read more about that here). In my career at the CVB I have been honored to host many writers working on novels, articles and blogs, secretly wanting to be on the other side of the table, riding alongside them with a pen in hand, bringing the destination to life through words on paper.
My Mom died suddenly of a brain aneurysm at a young age. She was just 44—I was only 20. A sophomore at Texas Tech University with my whole life ahead of me, I thought I was immune to these sort of tragedies. All four of my grandparents were still alive; I had never dealt with death this close up. All of the sudden my assumptions on life, the trajectory I had taken for granted, all shifted. There’s nothing quite life-changing as holding your Mom’s hand as she leaves this earth and enters Heaven. I realize now how short our worldly life truly is. Even if we live to be 110, our time on this planet is finite, so I want to make it count and soak in as many experiences as possible.
Over the Christmas break my husband and I started reading Warren & Betsy Talbot’s Dream Save Do: An Action Plan for Dreamers Like You. It’s basically about taking that leap of faith to lead a life that fulfills you—even if it seems ridiculous and impractical to those around you. Why would I leave an amazing job with a good salary and great benefits?! This book really speaks to me—I highly recommend it to all you fellow dreamers out there. So, I wrote my action plan, and now it’s coming to fruition.
I’m very thankful to the leaders throughout the years at the Midland CVB that afforded me this amazing opportunity to serve the city and gain valuable experience in destination marketing. I have greatly enjoyed working with all of our partners, clients, and media. I have traveled to some amazing places, formed life-long friendships, and have been able to share the energy of Midland with people from across the globe. I became one of the youngest people to serve on two state-wide boards for the Texas Travel Industry Association and the Texas Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus. I have learned so much from—and have much respect for—the leaders from across the state that I served on these two boards with. And this is most likely just a “pause” in my tourism career, as I have a great passion for the excitement and challenge of marketing a destination and creating lasting memories for visitors.
Gandhi said “Where there is love there is life,” and I’m very grateful for all the people that God has placed in my life, making it full of love. My family, my friends, and my husband—my partner, my rock, my IT Director, ha—Johnny. I’m very grateful for his support and encouragement of my decision, and his expertise and advice along the way.
I’d also like to thank Oprah. She doesn’t know it, but we go way back to my pre-school days on the ranch when Mom and I would work out in front of the TV, lifting cans of soup like dumbbells, watching The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah’s many guests and messages of living the life you want have influenced me for years, finally breaking open my shell of comfort to expose my vulnerable inside.
Additional gratitude goes to Dave Ramsey for teaching us how to live like no one else now, so that later we can live like no one else. We don’t drive fancy cars or live in the biggest house on the block, but for years we have lived below our means, becoming debt-free and putting aside money for moments just like this. I also want to thank the producers of the many podcasts that I’ve been listening to, brainwashing me further to take this leap: Publishing Profits, The Author Hangout, and Writer 2.0, to name a few.
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Also, if you have any writing, graphic design or marketing projects that you outsource, I’d love to help you out. Here is a summary of the services I provide. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you!
Loving the journey,