The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

Moving On, Moving Up: Life as an Entrepreneur

I found myself in a very dark place. I was tired, and sick; after that I was sick of being tired. Sleep came in fits and starts and I offered myself to others in my circle similarly. Plainly? I was miserable.I like a clear path, preferably one of my own making. Hence my error; I had neglected to focus on my faith, the Source of all my being. I had fallen into the age-old trap of thinking that I can do this all on my own. Right--a sure sign of insanity, thinking that doing the same thing will net different results: doing it on my own had worked so well before (said with an accompanying roll of eyes from hither to yon).I found myself on the way to somewhere. Or maybe it was from somewhere. Either way I was driving. And I was complaining.Well, this time I was asking more questions than actual complaining; like the stages of grief I had been through it all and was (sort of) on the other side.At first I simply didn't believe my life was going to change much. When I came to and realized that in fact it was changing, I had a period of denial about it. A long period. And then I got mad, I mean royal-Aku-laser-eye-beam furious:

I figured I could convince myself that it would be all right, that I had a chance to keep on doing what I was doing because I am, like all human beings, valuable. I am intelligent. I am an asset, see?

When the bargaining within my own mind didn't work, life became a reality again. And that reality was depressing. I was depressed; I tried being angry but couldn't be--angry at what, who?--but I was disappointed. I had an impression about the way things were but it was not really as things were. Things were much darker, much more sinister, than I ever envisioned. I prayed in thanks that I was not in that place and came to a place of acceptance. And it felt good.

But back to my time on the road:

I was lost. Not as in, I didn't know where I was driving, but I was lost concerning the next steps in my life. I would tell people that I was unemployed, but that wasn't exactly so; I work. Every day. I have to; it is who I am--I am one who works.

I must help take care of my family.

I must help take care of what God has blessed us with. I can't sit idly by and let all it go the way of the dodo. And not because I am hungry for stuff, but because I believe the stuff we have are gifts. It's wrong to waste gifts, like our home, our automobiles.

And from there came the epiphany:

So I am proud to be a writer. I love the freedom and creativity it brings. I write, and I write often. Not just for my own peace of mind but in the capacity of editor too. So I was working, I had been working, and in so doing had been and was doing something worthy of being recognized.

But who would recognize it if I myself did not? At that moment, whilst driving through the hills and valleys on a beautiful afternoon, I envisioned a new thing: my new experience as an entrepreneur.

If you were to visit my LinkedIn page now, you will see the results of that epiphany. Oh, yes--I have in various places indicated my profession as 'writer' but now, ah! there it is! I am an entrepreneur working for myself: AR Neal, Ltd.

I am under no delusions that I will revisit those stages, those moments of elation, defeat, anger, and acceptance, at some point but the corner has been turned. I am back, and back with a vengeance.

I stand and acknowledge the talents with which I have been blessed. I am under no illusion that the road ahead will be clear, but it will be one made in concert with the leading of the One who gives life, and that abundantly. I can choose what to do when, and how to do it. For that opportunity I am forever grateful.

Had I not experienced the end of the last thing, I never would have found my way to the beginning of a new thing.

For that, I say a hearty thank you to those who felt I was not a right fit. I am in fact the perfect fit for the One who made me thusly, to the One who made me speak and think and do this way. To that One I am most grateful.

And there you have it.

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