It’s been a little over a year since I started thinking about becoming a bookkeeper. And now I officially am one. I’m taking action towards my dreams, one baby step at a time, and there is tangible progress. Woo-hoo! Happy dance!
As with any major undertaking, it hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had to show up, work hard, and ask for it.
I braved the crowded streets of downtown San Francisco to make it to my Quickbooks class twice a week for 5 months, I put in many many volunteer hours at work to learn these new skills and get caught up to speed, and most recently, I faced my fears head-on and took what felt like a huge risk in making my case for an official bookkeeper position with my current employer. And I got it. It became official about a month ago.
I am grateful for this job and the financial security it now brings. Being able to finally add some cash to my savings account along with crucial work experience to my resume, this IS the next best step along my path. Being a planner, a worrier, and an over-analyzer, this stability is a sigh of relief, a big exhale, and comforts me like a warm fuzzy blanket.
So why do I also feel so restless?
It’s the greatest paradox in my life right now: being appreciative of this stability and yet craving change.
I need change. Lest I get stuck in a rut and get bored and/or overwhelmed. Which is the case with city life for me at the moment. After 6 years in SF, I’m done. I long for a slower pace of life that living in a small town provides. What I really want: a small cozy cabin in the woods (preferably with a fireplace and a hot tub!) within walking distance of a grocery store. Quite the change from bustling San Francisco.
I am an introverted homebody who enjoys security and routine, yet I also yearn to explore new places and change up my scenery from time to time.
It doesn’t make any sense and yet this is my truth.
I do what I can now to balance the routine days with the explorative days (whilst working a 40 hour a week office job), but there’s an inner voice telling me there’s more to it. That this isn’t it, the end all, be all. Will I ever be able to satisfy this truth completely and full time? Not sure. Yet. Maybe, maybe not. That’s where the bookkeeping comes in. Because I have to try.
Last month’s official work promotion was a huge confidence booster and bonafide validation that I’m good at what I do and that I’m on the right path. Not only do I seriously love reconciling receipts, but I sense my new skills will open the right doors.
Previous to bookkeeping, I really struggled with finding my niche in my working life. It’s been one hell of a roller coaster with LOTS of trial and error and tears and fears along the way.
In a nutshell, I’ve learned that I’m extremely detail-oriented, and true to my introvert self, prefer the behind-the-scenes kind of work much more than direct customer service or even teaching. And dude, I LOVE invoicing!
Alongside learning where my strengths lie, I also believe that dreams (and dream jobs) evolve. See, there’s that change thing again. Not sure about you, but I know I wasn’t meant to be in any one particular job/career/location all my life. How boring.
At each crossroads in my life, I’ve seen my dream jobs come and go.
Environmental educator, check. Recycling and compost advisor/dumpster diver, check. World backpacker, check. Small-scale farmer, check. Tour reservationist, check. And now bookkeeper, and… check.
What’s wildly different now though, is that becoming a bookkeeper is just part of the evolving dream. It’s not the dream in and of itself, like my past dream jobs used to be. I don’t want to spend years tethered to a cubicle looking at spreadsheets. No way.
What I’m hoping is that having these bookkeeping skills will lead me to the ability to freelance, work remotely, and in essence, make an income from anywhere in the world. Everyone needs a bookkeeper, right?
I live to explore. My wanderlust runs deep in my bones and I want the freedom to travel whenever I’d like, wherever I’d like (be it across the world or across California) AND come home to that cozy cabin in the woods.
How that’ll all manifest remains to be seen. And the dream will likely continue to evolve through the many ups and downs of my journey. But I’m gonna keep showing up, doing the work, and most importantly, take it one step at a time. And oh yeah, believe that it’s possible.
P.S. – Huge appreciation and thanks to Kim of So Many Places for sharing her story, practical advice, and inspiration through her book, Life on Fire, which has provided lots of encouragement along my path. I first read her book a year ago when the chaos in my brain needed some structure and more recently, her blog posts like this one have been resonating with me deeply.