Trust me, I've been there - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

Trust me, I've been there

I can't even begin to tell you how many emails I get from people who are struggling when it comes to their jobs... whether it's losing them, or just plain being miserable and feeling like they aren't doing what they're meant to be doing.

When I wrote the blurb in my bio I honestly had no idea it would strike a chord with so many people. I simply wrote the truth.

I'm fucking awesome and I was good as shit at my job and I still... got fired.

You need to know first, that I'm the kind of person who doesn't (can't) sit still. I'm not complacent and I don't know how to be lazy/do nothing. Other people are great at doing nothing. I'm not one of them. lol

I will say however, that it was a hard realization learning how other people would deal with my being fired. People I figured would be there for me, weren't. No one cares when you're fired and they're not.  Not a single person reached out to me to help or check on me. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect handouts, but I guess I was surprised at the sheer lack of anything when it came to my trying to find a new job. There were no recommendations, no suggestions, no strings pulled, no... anything

Which is okay I guess.  I've never had things handed to me when it comes to my career, so I'm sort of used to the struggle. But still, I was surprised. And hurt I think as well.  Am I a total walking contradiction???  I'm honestly not trying to be.  But hey, I am a woman...we're filled with double standards and contradictions sometimes. haha

Moving on...  what happened after "losing my job" (where'd it go???) went something like this...

The most interesting thing about getting fired (other than the fact that someone didn't like me enough to be able to work with me), was how exciting it was.  Don't get me wrong, it was terrifying and stressful and horrible... but it was also really.fucking.exciting. Because I felt as though the entire world had just opened up to me.  Like I could do WHATEVER I wanted to do with my life. 


Want to join the circus and become a trapeze artist?  My family might disown me, but SURE! I'll convince them that going on the road, wearing spandex and flipping around in the air for people is the right choice for us. It's so obvious!   :)

But really... I felt free...(and stressed, and overwhelmed, and scared, and nervous)... but mostly free.

I sat with myself and thought about what I enjoyed doing the most. Just from a personal standpoint... what did I LOVE to do?  What were my passions? And what did I think I could do for a living?  And then I created businesses doing all three of them.  I baked cupcakes, took photography for people and started writing my first book.

It's funny how quickly things become clear. At first, I figured I didn't have to choose to only do one business for the rest of my life... why do one when I can do all three? But one of them stood out above the rest. And of course it was the one that was the most difficult and took the most amount of time to achieve any kind of success. 

I learned right away that baking cupcakes for people was really f'n annoying and I hated doing it. It was time consuming, but holy crap- people wouldn't stop ordering cupcakes from me!  Everytime an order came in, I was pissed.  Uh, note to self- if you're getting pissed about making money, something's wrong. lol

So...that had to go. And you know what?  I was relieved.

And then there was the photography. I was getting booked for people in Southern California, Northern California, Lake Tahoe, did I travel? Did I shoot weddings (oh, hell no. the presssssure).  Would I be willing to shoot weddings (did I mention, no) and I was getting annoyed again.  Doing all these things for other people meant that I wasn't writing. And I was pissed off that I wasn't writing. 

*cue dramatic light bulb over cartoon jennster head

I wanted to write. 
I had to write.
I needed to write.
And everything, nothing else was good enough. Nothing else compared to this.

It was a lot of work. And it was hard work. But here I am, two full years after releasing my debut novel, In Dreams, and I couldn't be happier. My heart is so full. My soul is so satisfied. I am personally so grateful, so blessed and so fortunate. 

I know without a doubt that I am doing what I'm meant to be doing. It's taken me this amount of time since I've been alive to finally be doing what I feel like I was born to do. And I wouldn't have it any other way. The struggles, losing my house, getting fired, all of my prior work experiences... it's all led me to this. Nothing in my life has ever felt the way that writing books has.


And I honestly feel like few people get a chance to say that.  We spend so much of our days, our lifetimes, working. I can only hope that you love how you spend your days just as much as I do. And if you don't, I hope life affords you the opportunity to follow your dreams and you get the chance to make them your reality. 
Don't ever give up. 
Don't ever stop dreaming. 
And don't ever think it's too late. 

You never know what life has in store for you. I sure didn't.


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