Why Not Now?

A colleague and friend of mine died last night. By the time this is post goes live it will have been several weeks. She had lived a full and I think, joyful life. The thing is she was only in her mid 50’s.  As I began to mourn the loss of my friend I find myself going over a question that I’ve pondering over and over again. “What am I waiting for?”

I am waiting at the lightrail station when the lightrail pulls up. On the side of the train there are huge letters that ask the following-“Why not now? We believe in you. Why don’t you?” It was as if the universe had sent me a sign and was speaking directly to me.  Seriously. 

For the past year I have been diligently working on myself with my blog being a manifestation of that work. I’ve been dealing with my debt, my health, my self-esteem, love, and career aspirations. Basically, I’ve been working on a lot of stuff! It has taken a year to work through all the crap that is in my head.

On the day that the train pulled up in front of me I was pondering  (again) how to finally leave my job that I’ve worked since 2004. Yep, almost 10 freaking years! I love the people and clients that I work with and I’ve earned some amazing opportunities while there. I have been wanting to do something new since 2008-the year the Great Recession started. At the time I stayed put and that was a smart move given my debts, lack of organization, financial distress, and lack of vision.


For the past 7 months it has become clearer to me what I want to do. I want to Freelance full-time. I want to experience the excitement and fear of hustling to make things happen. Of scoring the big deals, and losing out on others. I’ve also thought about how I am living my life and what I want for myself.  I value security, friendship, family, and fun experiences. As I look at how I’m living my life I realize that currently I am only being true to 1 ½ of the things on my list: the job and the occasional experience.

I hate my commute, I hate sitting in an office. I hate delaying what I dream for myself. So the question becomes-“Why not now?” What am I waiting for? What am I afraid of?

If you’re finding yourself dreaming of a different reality it’s time to get started! The sooner you start working on your dream the closer you will get to the vision of the life that you want. As I clean up my finances, earn extra money, and discover contentment with what I have it has become clearer to me that this is my now moment. I have thought about: income, taxes, health insurance, monthly fixed expenses, investments, etc.

Are you delaying your life? Please stop. I urge you to create a plan and get started. Ask yourself why not now? Embrace your fear and leap into the (metaphorical) abyss of the unknown. Work hard, focus, save money, pay off debt, just make it happen.

 Why not now? We believe you. Why don’t you?


  • http://moneystepper.com/ moneystepper

    Sorry to hear of your loss Michelle.

    Very thought provoking. I have started to build a plan so that my decisions are not taking too hastily, but equally it will stop me putting important decisions off.

    Are you going to freelance full-time from now?

    • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

      It was very sudden. I am looking at leaving my current position at the beginning of August. It depends on how much I’m able to get things going. I’m pretty motivated so I think I’ll be ok. Also, my bff is pregnant and I want to see the baby-they are English. The baby is due a few days before my birthday so the plan is starting to come together. I’d like to fly over and spend some time with them…

  • http://fitnpoor.com Michelle @fitisthenewpoor

    So sorry to hear of your friend. I hope that time is helping you get through this. I know exactly how you feel regarding leaving your current job for a bit of risk. I’m working on this now, but I have no doubt that you’re ready to fly.

    • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

      It took us by surprise. But, life often does. It has taken a lot of time for me to work through my fears. Now, I’m ready. I’m still afraid, but staying is no longer an option if I want to be happy.

  • http://www.savvyfinanciallatina.com SavvyFinancialLatina

    So sorry for your loss Michelle. I’m always working on keeping myself happy. I know it’s weird but my husband and I have a distinct advantage, we don’t have kids, which means we can concentrate on ourselves and find what makes us happy. I think it’s a great advantage.

    • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

      I don’t have kids and that’s what makes it even worse! The debt was a huge problem,now that I have some systems in place and have cleaned up a lot of it I feel a lot more in control of my financial situation. There is no reason why I shouldn’t focus on my happiness-I’m single and don’t even own a pet!

  • http://brokemillennial.com Broke Millennial

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss, Michelle. Experiencing death certainly puts how you’re living life into a new perspective.

    I will say though, this is the antithesis of my quarter-life crisis post. Why not now is usually because you don’t have an actionable plan and jumping into the abyss can be financially crushing. That being said, some people want to take that leap. Personally, I encourage a well thought-out process with at least several months of your financial bases covered, in addition to that e-fund everyone should have. I hope you’re able to achieve your freelancing dream soon!

  • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

    You make a very valid point and the is exactly why I didn’t make the leap before. I didn’t have a plan, my money was a hot mess, and I was disorganized. I’ve spent a year working on all of the angles and getting a very clear picture of my finances, my frame of mind, and what I think I’m capable of doing. Finally, after all of that preparation I’m ready. But, it DID take a lot of time to get to this point.

  • http://deardebt.com Dear Debt

    Sorry for your loss :( Death is so hard to deal with. I am starting to think more big picture about my life and what I really want. I am making actionable plans and budgets to make that happen. Part of me wants to do it now, but with my debt, I want to reasonable and continue to pay it off and save.

  • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

    Death puts everything in perspective. I feel like the road I’m on is the right one for me and I’m looking forward to taking that leap of faith in me. That being said, I’ve worked very hard on downsizing my ongoing expenses and paying off my credit cards. I will “only” have my student loans..but I actually have a plan.

  • http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    I think you’re well on your way. Most people though are in that place of waiting to act on their dream but aren’t willing to take the risks and do the work to make it happen.

    • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

      I’ve just been unhappy for too long and I feel like not making a change is a metaphor for all that hasn’t changed in my life. I am a pretty cautious person by nature so I know I’m ready when I’m ready to throw everything aside and run…not walk towards my dreams. I’m trying to really focus on getting things cleaned up and business stuff running. Once that happens and I feel comfortable with my savings I’m out. It looks like sometime this summer or early fall….

  • http://Luke1428.com Brian @ Luke1428

    As sad as these moments are, they do provide us with opportunity to reflect and evaluate what’s truly important in our lives. I’ve found new resolve to tackle a challenge from some of the darkest days of my life.

  • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

    My friend really enjoyed her life and I think was quite happy with her life choices. It took us all by surprise though. I’m really looking at what is important for me? My mental health, my physical health, family/friends, and love. That’s all I really want to prioritize. I’ve prioritized other people and work (for others) for too long.

  • http://www.studentdebtsurvivor.com KK @ Student Debt Survivor

    Ugg, death is so hard, I’m really sorry to hear about your friend. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I really want right now in my career and in my life. I think as I’ve gotten older my priorities have changed and I’m not trying to rethink a few things (my job, where we live etc.). Live is too short…

    • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

      Life IS too short and I don’t want to continue living a life that isn’t true to myself. I don’t love what I do anymore…even though things have improved substantially. I’ve just hit the point where I want to move on and start the next chapter of my life. I don’t want to make rash decisions, I just want to make well thought out choices that move me towards my goals and keep me happy. What’s the point of staying unhappy when a couple of well thought out decisions could make me happy?

  • http://www.budgetblonde.com Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde)

    So sorry about your loss, Michelle, but I know you would make an amazing full time freelancer. :)

    • http://shopmyclosetproject.com Michelle

      Thanks Cat! I appreciate the support and the kind words.