If I ever write an autobiography, June 16, 2017 will be the end of part one because that is the first time I truly felt like a grown up. Ironically, it is also the day I quit my “grown up” job. Never before have I felt more in charge of my own life, and at risk of sounding cliche, my own destiny, than the day I decided to tell my boss to “take this job and shove it”. Of course I didn’t use those exact words and I tried to be as professional as possible on my way out, which for a no holds barred, notorious truth teller, was very difficult! I will spare you the gory details but at the end of the day, I walked out of the doors of Redfin, (actually skipping would be a better description) very confident and excited about the next chapter in my life. The end and the beginning was finally here. I was following a dream I didn’t think I would ever get to follow because I kept falling into the trap of my stable, good benefit eligible, decent salary job. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
The high that I felt on my last day was quickly shadowed with self doubt and quitters remorse the next day. I suddenly was unemployed for the first time since graduating college. I now have no commute or boss to complain about. My destiny is my own. My success hinges on only one person, myself. While I have plenty of goats in the barn, I have no scapegoats that I can point the finger at if things don’t work out. If I thought that the pressure was high at my last job, it all of a sudden became very real to me that the pressure is now so much higher. I traded in trying to make my boss proud to trying to make my family and myself proud and that shift is one I am still getting used to.
One of the first questions people ask when you quit your job is “what are you going to do now”? And it has been a hard one for me to answer. The first answer is that I finally activated that real estate license I got when I was on maternity leave with Deyton and have decided to hang it at my step brothers law firm Integrity Law Group in Seattle. I want to help people build their own dreams by helping them buy and sell real estate. I am especially passionate about helping people who are interested in buying and selling farm properties because I have learned a lot over the last four years about buying, selling and owning farm property in this unique market and I would love to help others who are interested in investing in the area.
But I can’t just stop there. That would be too easy. I am a person who needs variety to keep me interested in this crazy little thing called life so I am also going to continue to follow my farm dream. We moved to the farm four years ago with the hope of creating a simpler life where we share the simple goodness of the farm with others. Over the course of four years Farmer Ross and I have been working slowly but surely to rehab this old farm and turn it into something dreams are made of. Over the last year or so the farm started to overwhelm the both of us. We felt overworked, underpaid and we were questioning if all the work and money we were dumping into the farm was worth it. After a lot of discussion we came to the conclusion that we were doing too much for too little and we would have to scale back and just focus on the things that brought us the most joy or the most money, which is how we ended up deciding to till under the garlic patch and stop trying to make our organic farm look like the wedding event farms in magazines that have gallons of chemicals dumped into them every year. If you visit the farm and you notice things aren’t perfectly manicured, please know that this is by design to keep the farmers sane, the farm’s organic certification options open and the bees happy!
I also realized that if I was going to make any of these farm dreams a reality I needed a new co-founder. Farmer Ross will always be my partner in life, but I needed a new business partner. Someone who was equally passionate about my vision and could work alongside me. Since I no longer have a “real job” Farmer Ross has a lot more weight on his shoulders in terms of carrying Team Cunningham so his hands are full. Since Belinda launched the Happy Camper Cocktail Company we have been brainstorming the different ways we can work together to build a brand around her garden to glass concept. She was having a hard time sourcing local, no-spray herbs and flowers and they are an integral part of her business. And so we have decided to join forces. We are still working out the details and are both really excited about the future.
And finally, I want to spend more time expanding my digital marketing skills. Marketing was one of those passions I had at a young age that I decided not to pursue when I learned I would have to take college level Calculus to major in marketing and was convinced it would be too hard and I would fail. I have learned a lot since college and I have finally come to a place in life where I am okay with failing because it means I at least tried. In the words of one of my favorite songs off of my favorite Garth Brooks albums “life is not tried, if just merely survived”.
And so, I would like to begin part two of my life with a big huge thank you to everyone who has gotten me to this point and invite everyone to continue to follow us in this exciting new journey (I promised we will blog more)! Here’s to the next thirty two years!