3:02 am on December 13, 2012. I woke up with a strong anxiety attack. What the heck is going on I wondered as I’m strategically walking around my room taking deep breaths and trying to calm down. With my heart pounding and a light sweat on my forehead, I head to the bathroom and cup my hands to drink some water. This has never happened before. After gulping a few cups, I went back to bed, my body slightly shaking, worried about why this happened and hoping I could go back to sleep.
I woke up around 8am tired with my mind racing. As I’m getting ready for work, I couldn’t help but think that this sudden strong anxiety attack resulted from my many thoughts and obvious stress of dissatisfaction with my life.
You ever get the feeling? You know, the feeling like your missing out. Like you’re running too slow in life and not reaching that mark at the right time. If you haven’t, lucky you… but you’re obviously lying. If you have and are brave enough to admit it, then you totally understand what I’m talking about. There’s something about security and comfort that’s enticing, as I experienced in Minneapolis where I lived my early adult years. Comfort can in fact, get too comfortable. I think it should make you wonder if you’re missing out on something more exciting. Entrepreneurship, for me, was that ‘it factor’. It looked exciting and adventurous and was always something that intrigued me but I never had the guts to venture into it.
I was 24, finishing school and having a ‘mid-twenties life crisis’! That fear that you’ve only got six years left of your carefree 20’s and want to make something of yourself before you get ‘old’ a.k.a your 30’s. I was working in accounting and boy was I bored. It provided a good income and professional title, but it was hard for me to get into it… to really love it. I basically fell into the industry my first year in college when I was offered a simple work-study bookkeeping job my first semester. It was the only profession I knew in the corporate world, so that’s what I went for.
I kept up with tech news though; reading Tech Crunch, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine and other sources, secretly agonizing and brewing jealousy of the many success stories I read. Young guys and girls securing millions of dollars in funding, living life in the fast lane and being at the epicenter of the tech scene in the coolest city in the country! I’ve always been a non-risk taker, even when it came to things like asking someone out! The fear of rejection or humiliation was overpowering enough to me that I would avoid it at all costs. I’m sure everyone can relate one time or another.
During all of this, I was employed as a bookkeeper for a small business in Minneapolis. I was earning a reasonable income and was able to even work from home some days! Most people wouldn’t complain, but I was. Not to my boss or team, but to myself. I realize looking back at my previous jobs, I had some sort of “ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder) thing going on. It was really hard for me to accept being managed, following precise rules and procedures while being molded into corporate culture. Truthfully, I wasn’t doing too well at my jobs and got fired from a few. Not because I didn’t know accounting, but because I couldn’t warp myself into the way that company did things. I never liked the idea of being a ‘peon’ in a company doing the same thing every day, being paid the same salary every month, shoveling food in to honor my 30 minute lunch and leaving promptly at 5PM every day, all so some other high ranking person in a smanchy office didn’t have to! To me, it wasn’t fair and it bothered me every day! I never considered myself rebellious, but perhaps I sound like it now that I read what I just wrote! I wasn’t too rebellious during my teen years, maybe it was unleashing in my early 20’s. Nonetheless, I knew I needed do something more with my life.
Like many poor and middle class people, I dreamt of not worrying about money, being a leader to many and having access to luxuries that didn’t mean ‘express bus lane’ or ‘self-check-out’ at grocery stores. I was annoyed that for me, splurging or spoiling myself meant buying a $15 bottle of wine verses my usual $4.99 specialty. Now, being frugal is sexy for sure and a good habit to get into, but you know what’s even more fun and sexy? Being frugal when you know you can splurge! The only times I felt ‘rich’ (having more than $2K in my account at a time) was when I got my tax refund back, which being an accountant, I realized was not as good as many people think. To go on a quick tangent, basically (with some minor exceptions) a tax refund is just money you overpaid the government that they’re giving back to you without interest. Anyways, back to the topic at hand. At the time of my horrible anxiety attack, I never would’ve imagined that a few months later, my life would drastically change! It all started one cold (but sunny) and snowy day in March 2013, the 8th to be exact.