My name is Jill. I live in the middle of USA in the state of Kansas. I used to dream of moving to a "prettier" state, but I've come to love the rolling wheat fields as well as the rivers that assure great fishing.
But as much as I love fishing, I spend most of my time creating and running this website, OurStressfulLives.com. It's a lot of work, but I've never felt more passion and excitement for the future while doing anything else in my life.
I didn't always have passion in my life... I mostly just had stress. Little did I know that most of my stress and worry was caused by my lack of passion. I didn't even realize that I was missing that extra something. I just went to work every day feeling stressed and worried about money... much like everyone else I know.
But my life isn't like that anymore... and I'll tell you how I found my passions and created this website which completely changed the direction of my life forever.
When things seem to be going wrong in life, and when you face setbacks, it's sometimes difficult to see the lesson or understand why these things happen. But as I look back over my life so far and remember the rough patches, I feel thankful that those things happened. Why? Because my life wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for all of those events and all of that stress.
A lot of my stress came from work or worries about money. For nearly 12 years, I've worked in the accounting field. I'm good at it, and I like it. Actually, I used to believe I loved it. I'm an analyzer so the number crunching seemed to come naturally. However, I never seemed to find the right job.
Work always seemed stressful. Each job I had contained a combination of different difficulties that drove me insane and made me unhappy. I would complain about being too busy or not having enough work. I would complain about not being promoted or having too much responsibility. I would complain about the company I worked for or the boss I had or my co-workers... Nothing made me happy.
Being someone who was constantly stressing, it pushed me to always search for new or more effective ways to relieve my stress. I became an expert in stress management by default because I researched everything I could find and tried everything that could possibly help. For me, focusing on stress management became a necessity and a sort of obsession.
Writing is one of the many things that has helped me over the years. Whether I was journaling or working on different book ideas, I was always using writing as a form of stress management. And I loved it. I still love it.
During one particular job a few years ago, I was struggling as usual. I had many of the same complaints and began to wonder why this was happening to me. Why did I end up in jobs that were so stressful? Why couldn't I find a happy medium? And why was it so easy for many other people to suck it up and go to work every day without complaining... while I seemed to be doing nothing but complaining? No matter where I worked or what job I had, I was unhappy.
After a few days of serious contemplation on that thought, I decided it was me. I needed to settle this issue once and for all and find a way to be happy, no matter where I worked or what job I had. So I did the silliest thing I could come up with and scheduled an appointment with a hypnotherapist. That in itself isn't silly... but my ultimate goal was. I walked into his office and told him that I wanted him to hypnotize me to love my job. I thought that was the surest way to be happy.
Through some intense sessions and a lot of soul searching, I discovered an unexpected truth. Accounting wasn't my thing. I was in a line of work that I had no passion for. The lack of passion in my life was what was killing me, not all the other things I had been blaming my stress on.
At first, it was difficult for me to accept that Accounting wasn't my destiny. I was (am) so good at it, it didn't seem right that it wasn't what I was supposed to be doing. And my hypnotherapist (who was also a licensed psychologist) asked me the most important question he could have asked me at that point in my life. He said, "If you could do anything you wanted for a living, what would it be?" Considering I felt like I was facing a real turning point in my life, I let all common sense go and allowed myself to think as big or as crazy as I wanted to.
Then, I told him that I wanted to be a writer... and I followed that up with, "but that will never happen"!
I remember that day so clearly because we had one of the most profound conversations I'd ever had in my life. He challenged my thinking, the limits I was putting on myself, and my ability to pursue my dreams and discover what it's like to live a life of passion.
At first, I had a million reasons as to why I could not pursue a career in writing and why it wouldn't work. We both agreed that I was not a person who worked well without creativity... but yet, I was in Accounting... a job that allows for zero creativity! And it hit me, no wonder I was so stressed!
But after 12 years, could I really make a change? Do people like me really get to spend their lives doing what they love? Financially speaking, would I be able to ever work at home and write full time? Isn't it safer and more logical to stay at my 9 to 5? Shouldn't I stick with what I'm good at and what I know? Am I crazy?
I'm not much of a risk taker. But my hypnotherapist wouldn't take "no" for an answer. He said that I should follow my dreams and find my passion or quit complaining. Hmmm...
I didn't even know where to start... but he said, "the internet, duh!" He asked me... no, he told me to go home and research my options. Find out everything I could about writing careers and figure out what I would want to do... if I could do anything.