The year I was Kelsified

So, this is for the little girl on the table. Exactly 30 years ago to this day, she had not a care in the world besides being her crazy, spit-fire self. I’m finally starting to find her again. 

Oh year 31. What a year you were. You were the year that finally made me realize it was GO TIME. After having this idea and dream for many years, I finally knew it was worth taking the risk and going after it. 

Ever since I was little girl, I have always been creating and finding things in my everyday life that inspire me. Whether it be through style, making something in the kitchen, trying a new DIY project or simply taking a walk to explore…I never stopped exploring and finding ways to express my creative mind.

For almost 10 years I worked as a graphic designer in college athletics, beginning at The University of Oklahoma. During my time in Oklahoma, I still followed creative interests outside of work. I was really inspired by female bloggers and entrepreneurs. But I was always noticing ways in which I thought they could improve. With all of the exploration I did growing up and continue to do as an adult, I felt I could have a unique take on the true, everyday “life-style.” But, I was also co-owner of a custom stationery business at the time. Between my full-time job, stationery business and babysitting, I was in constant go-mode. I never had time to stop and think about how I could pursue this idea.  

Despite all of this, after seven years in Oklahoma, I at least knew that I needed a change and ended up taking another graphic design position in North Carolina. This was my second cross-country move and I wasn’t even 30 yet. I didn’t know what would happen with the side business, but I knew I wouldn’t be babysitting any more. After some time and trial living in separate states, my business partner and I decided that, after five years of business together, it was best to part ways. And just like that, I had more free-time than I’d have ever had in my life.

Seriously, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I started exploring, traveling, and just finding myself. It’s like I was that little girl again. Having this new freedom in other parts of my life started to emphasize the lack of creative freedom I had at work. I felt like the only true representation of me at the time were the outfits and shoes I wore each day. Yes, the work I did in my full-time job was creative, but not in a way that fueled my mind. I love the people I worked with and for but I was just so eager to explore something else, something Kelsified. 

So throughout all these years, I have always been thinking about blogging. I wanted to share my creativity and now, I had time. I started testing the waters, sharing things online.  I realized I might actually have something here. But I needed to be able to dedicate my full self to it. I didn’t have as much of a plan as I would’ve liked, but I knew that I probably never would without the time and space to really think about it. In a weird way, I knew that if I didn’t leave now, I never would. So, I left my job. 

Do I have it all figured out, not even close. But I can tell you one thing, I am finding my way. So, whether you’re looking for a change, big or small, I encourage you to make that change. And, here are some tips I can share:

  1. Take risks. Don’t be content, things like this are scary, BUT they will only make you better. I PROMISE. From the girl who has moved across the country TWICE, knowing no one each time, and leaving a job with great pay, benefits, etc. THE worst thing that can happen is it doesn’t work out the way you had envisioned and that is OKAY. I promise you, it will only make you better and it is preparing you for the next thing in line.
  2. Be patient. Things take time to develop and always remember nothing good gets away. I’ve had this idea in my mind for YEARS. But it has taken time and I had to wait until the timing was right to make it happen.
  3. Have a foundation/vision. Know where you want to go and work backwards to find the steps you need to take to get there. This idea has been in mind for almost 10 years. When I finally took the plunge, I decided what my end-goal would be and made a game plan. Little by little, each day I am working towards that goal.
  4. Do what is best for YOU. No one else knows what is best for you, except yourself. People will think you are crazy, they will doubt you, but as long as you know in your heart was is best, that is ALL that matters…your gut will never lead you astray.
  5. Believe in YOURSELF. This is truly the MOST important thing. If you believe in yourself and know you can do it, then you will figure out a way—through all of it—to make it happen. When everyone else sees you believe in yourself, they will not hesitate to cheer you along!

So in year 32, I’m finally that little girl again. I’m figuring things out, but for the first time in a long time, I’m letting my guard down and sharing the things that matter to me. My hope is that this will inspire you all to do the same. I can’t wait to go on this journey with you all. It’s only just beginning.

Author: kelseyhargens

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