I got pregnant my freshman year of college. Actually, I got pregnant the summer after I graduated from high school, but there is no need to split hairs when it comes to teenage pregnancy.
The first semester of college I schlepped my big pregnant body across campus carefully balancing the weight of the books on my back. It sounds like a nightmare but this was a great time in my life. I had total freedom for the first time ever. I was so sure of myself. Even as I was trying to figure out where to set my bookbag in the bathroom because my belly took up the whole stall, or as I was sliding sideways into my desk because it was the only way I could get my body into said desk. The entire time I was confident that I was going to do something big with my life.
I was due in the middle of second semester. I had no idea what I was going to do for classes, but I knew I would figure it out. I ended up taking a full load of online courses. Everyone around me told me that I was taking too much on. They lovingly warned me that balancing fifteen credit hours right after birthing a baby might not be the best idea. But it didn’t matter because I was building this life for us, and pausing wasn’t a part of the plan.
I am not going to tell you that this semester of online courses was life altering. Or that I remember one fucking thing I learned in Art History. The only thing I remember from that semester is calling my professors from the hospital bed to tell them my assignments would be late. I remember them all understanding. Except for that damn art history teacher who asked me if my c-section was planned before she would excuse my late work.
I remember taking my time in the hospital with Aiden, and coming home to a room full of people we love. And when everything settled down, I remember wrapping my nursing pilling around my swollen belly and breastfeeding as I submitted all of my late assignments. We were doing something big, together. And it didn’t matter what I learned in those courses. What mattered is that technology gave me the opportunity to build the life I wanted in the exact way that I wanted to build it.
A few years later, I found myself graduating from college with no career options in site. We were facing one of the worst recessions in history. Everyone around me was struggling to find a job, and I was about to graduate with a degree in Philosophy.
All of the positions open to me required long hours for little pay. The cost of daycare would leave us with less money than I had as a full-time college student. I grew up with a single mother that worked constantly just to ensure we had dinner on the table. I did not want my kid to have that same experience. I knew that I needed a job that would allow me to work from home in order to build the life I wanted for us.
I started obsessively researching all of the careers you could do from home. I discovered blogging while reading an article in Cookie Magazine. I became fascinated with the way these women were building huge supportive communities around their personal stories, and turning that into full-time businesses.
I had no idea how to buy a domain so I begged my friend’s sister to set one up for me. Our first iteration of the site was an all white background with neon colored spray paint splotches covering the screen. My name was bold and center.
Everyone thought I was crazy.
What are you going to do with a website named after yourself?
I had no idea what I was going to do with my site, but I was so impressed with all of the blogs that I read. I wanted to be friends with all of the bloggers, and learn everything I could. And I couldn’t do that if I didn’t have my own blog.
I never could have imagined the opportunities that blogging would create for me. It connected me to a community of smart savvy mentors that changed the course of my life. It gave me space to stretch my creativity, explore my options and find a career that made sense for me.
Blogging eventually landed me a job working from home. I spent five years building online marketing programs for some of the largest brands in the world, before launching my own business. I left my full-time position at Disney Interactive in 2012 to start my own freelancing business.
I believe it is absolutely possible for anyone to build a fulfilling career working from home. You just need a great plan.
I spent years navigating all of the career options that would allow me to work from home, and I am ready to share everything that I learned.