Brave Enough to Switch Careers & Pursue My Dream!
It took me 38 years to figure out that I need to be working with my hands every day.
I studied journalism at Northwestern and pursued a career in magazine editing in New York, but I never felt I was truly myself all those years. I’d always had creative hobbies—painting, interior design, knitting—but they were always just hobbies. And I’d always felt an enormous, guilt-driven responsibility to continue with my journalism career. It was my job, after all. I had gone to an expensive college to pursue it. How could I waste my professional contacts?
Then one Christmas I decided to make jewelry for gifts, and I couldn’t believe how much fun it was. I was thrilled to get positive feedback from my friends and family members, who told me that I had a knack for it, and that I should consider selling my designs online. Of course, my first instinct was to say, “I can’t do that.” There’s such a glut of jewelry in the market. What could I possibly contribute? But the more I thought about it, the more excited I became.
Once I decided to officially pursue my own jewelry business, friends bent over backwards to help me. My friend Kathleen’s husband, David Maloney (www.ocomolo.com), generously offered to design and manage my web site. Through David I met a fabulous local photographer, Catherine Kiernan, who offered to barter with me. (Thank you for your support, Catherine!) Another friend, Jen Hurley, also takes fabulous pictures for me. And I’m grateful to all my delightful, good-natured friends who have agreed time and again to be my models, devoting big parts of their day to smiling for the camera. Some of these dear people have even offered to host jewelry parties to get the word out. Thank you!
I feel lucky that it only took me 38 years to figure out that true joy—for me—comes from working with my hands. What a simple thing that is! It’s not rocket science! And yet for so many years I had ignored this creative compulsion in myself and tossed it aside to the relegated “hobby” pile. I thank God that I had the courage to look at myself and re-evaluate my goals. I thank God that I felt brave enough to pursue this dream, despite the fact that it’s a “long shot.”
When wise people say it’s the journey, not the destination, I finally get it! Every day I feel such joy as I sit at my dining room table and create jewelry. There is joy in every step of the process! I’m not sure where it will lead. I do have a few long-term goals. I’d love to be able to donate a portion of my profits to a special need. (I’m still working on the profit part!) But I truly believe that by pursuing something you love, and infusing everything you do with love, you will bring out the best in yourself and others, and ultimately bring good to the world.
Listen: Jen Conroy on Bloom Talk
Jen’s Website: www.JenConroyDesign.com