Caffeine co-dependency 

As much as I’m getting used to my new job, I am so so SO not used to the hours. 

Would you believe me if I told you I’m the first one to the office every morning? Cause I am. And it’s weird. Real weird. 

I’m still figuring out the flow of things at the office and attempting to manage my time at home. Last night I went on a crockpot meal spree and had potato soup in the crock (pot?) in the fridge to cook today and there are 5 meals bagged in the freezer. And then today I did two loads of laundry, paid bills and organized some cabinets. Who am I and where is procrastinator me?

Another challenge has been bedtime. The local news station was promoting a kid’s book that’s supposed to help children fall asleep. Totally thinking about buying it for myself. Or maybe just adding a glass of red wine to my nighttime routine. 

But seriously. Some days last week I popped right up at 7:45 and was fine. One day I woke up at 6:17 and couldn’t make myself go back to sleep or get out of bed — the worst. The only standard to my morning is to make coffee the minute I walk in the door. I don’t even turn the lights on first because it isn’t safe to talk to me that early. 

And, because I regained with a cake, I felt it appropriate to start my new job with these. 

I’ve been so overwhelmed with God’s goodness the last two weeks. The people and opportunities He has placed in my life are so much more than I deserve. That’s the beauty of grace — when I’m questioning His plan for my life (and believe me, I meltdown-ugly-cried-called-my-mom-in-the-fetal-position questioned), He reminds me it’s not about where I am and what steps I take. It’s about who I am and whose footsteps I’m following. 

The high dive

There was a water park not far from where I grew up called Point Mallard. We would occasionally go in the summer with friends, Girl Scout groups or with family. It had a wave pool, a couple of water slides and, or course, two tall diving boards and a towering platform. 

With my first day of a new career path less than 13 hours away, I feel a little bit like I’m on the edge of that middle concrete platform, daring to stick my toes over the edge of the concrete to peek at the water below.

The deep end of the pool is kinda like this big change in my life. I’ve been in the water before. I know what it feels like and I know how to float, swim and enjoy everything it has to offer. 

But from 30 feet above, it’s more than a little intimidating. The first jump is the hardest. 

What if I forget to stay straight and my arms slap the water? Should I hold my nose? How do you know when to take your last big breath and hold it?

I’m on the edge of that platform as I set three alarms to make sure I wake up on time. I’m peering ever so slightly as I plan my new morning routine that involves LOTS of coffee. 

In the morning, I’ll jump. Falling is the easy part, so I guess I’ll figure everything else on the way down with a little help from gravity. 

I may flop and flail the first time, but I know I’ll be fine in the water. Afterall, I’ve been taught how to swim and I have a lifeguard who won’t let me drown. 

Winds of change (or other cliché titles)

When I was 15, I attended a youth leadership conference in Louisville as part of the media team.

And that was it — I was hooked on telling stories and covering events not everyone could attend or understand.

My parents gave me a DSLR for my 16th birthday, I joined the high school newspaper as a photographer my junior year and was editor my senior year. I took the broadcast class, worked hand-in-hand with the yearbook editor and settled on studying photojournalism at Western Kentucky University in 2009. A quick switch to news and editorial journalism in 2011 was followed by a design internship in Nashville and then a move to Seneca, S.C., where I happily started my official journalism career.

I say all that to say this — I’m jumping ship.

The thought is completely terrifying and simultaneously so exciting.

Wednesday will be my last day in the news production world, and Monday I begin my career in the world of real estate and marketing. It’s an opportunity that honestly kinda landed at my feet — leaving The Journal hadn’t really crossed my mind until this position was presented to me earlier this summer. An accidental networking event lead to me being asked to take this position before it was truly even open. I’m so glad I decided to branch out and try out for a play back in January — it meant my meeting my future employer.

Taking on the role of what is initially “listing coordinator” for the Les Walden Real Estate Team — whose office is literally four minutes from my house — means normal hours (read, I have to become a morning person. Insert tears here) and regular holidays, which translates to more time with my family. It also means I get to take pictures of houses, write about them and pretend my life is one giant episode of House Hunters. I’ll get to help people find the home where they’ll first live as a married couple, bring home their new baby or spend their retirement living out their golden years, and that plus HGTV is right up my alley.

In debating whether or not it was worth it to leave journalism — essentially what I’d focused on for the last eight years — my focus remained on my family. Unless God is hiding the man of my dreams somewhere in Seneca and I’m supposed to start a family of my own here … my family is too dad gum far away.

I don’t think I’m walking away from journalism forever. I’ve made two trips to DC specifically to visit Newseum, for crying out loud. But I feel God placed this opportunity in my lap and it’d be crazy not to take it. It puts another career field in my path and ultimately makes me a bigger asset for any job I want to apply for on down the line — and those jobs will be closer to my family.

I think I’m trying to convey what a difficult decision this was for me, and I also think I’m not doing a great. It doesn’t really feel like it’s truly happening yet, and I’m worried when I get home Wednesday I’ll have the biggest meltdown yet.

But that’s ok, because when I wake up (at the butt crack of dawn) Monday, I’ll be ready to tackle a new office, a new adventure and a new career.

And, of course, the task of choosing which pictures of Cooper and Millie will decorate my desk.

In true stress-baker fashion, I turned in a resignation cake. That’s right. Not a letter … a cake.