It’s Big Dreams Come True time! Woohoo! This month’s fabulous guest is Cassandra Key, of www.thesacredmiddle.com.
What Big Dream(s) have you had come true? Tell us all about it/them.
My biggest dream come true was moving to an island and writing for a living. Honestly, I would have just taken writing for a living, but getting to live the island life while writing is a bonus. I basically quit my human resources job with only $3000 in the bank and decided that I was going to give the freelance life my heart and soul.
What was the catalyst for this dream – what made you want this?
I’ve always wanted to devote my time to writing – it’s my passion – but I never thought I’d be one of the lucky few who are able to do it full time. I’ve always had good jobs, but a part of me hated sitting in an office all day doing work that didn’t totally fulfill me. It became a real possibility when my boyfriend (now husband) and I started talking about moving to the Philippines. It wasn’t until after an overseas trip that I seriously considered resigning from my job, selling everything, and moving half way across the world. Because the Philippines is so affordable, I would be able to do the work I love…and become a beach bum. 😛
What obstacles/challenges did you face along the way and how did you overcome them?
My husband and I had planned on doing the big move together, but I got in a serious car accident and wasn’t able to leave until two months after him. I had already quit my job, so there was no insurance to cover the hospital bills. And this all happened around Christmas, so I spent the holiday season sitting in a hospital bed with a collapsed lung. It was seriously depressing, but the whole situation was also a blessing in disguise because I learned that I have a lung disorder (spontaneous pneumothorax), which could possibly kill me if I did something like scuba dive. I might have tried it had I not known!
Did everything turn out as you expected it would when your dream came true?
Yes and no. Writing for a living is everything I expected it would be. I have amazing clients and the stuff I write about (weddings, bridal, etc.) is so much fun. I also have time to work on my own blog and try and finish a novel. Side note: “If only I could devote all my time to writing a novel, I’d do it,” is a total excuse. I’ve had loads of time for four years and still haven’t finished one.
What I did not expect was the challenges that come with living in a different country and adapting to a new way of life. There is a lot of American influence in the Philippines, but it’s still it’s own country and the people have their own culture. It can be frustrating at times, but it can also be a lot of fun.
What is the best thing about your dream coming true?
Waking up without an alarm, setting my own hours, writing whatever it is I want to write, working with fabulous people, learning new things, seeing new places, so much good stuff!
What is the worst thing (or most unexpected) about your dream coming true?
The freelance lifestyle is not one of consistency. Every month is different, as far as finances go. It can be a little nerve wracking at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for a 9-5.
What advice would you have for other people who want to make this Big Dream come true?
Read books about freelancing, start a website/blog, update it frequently, build a portfolio, take on freelance gigs as a side job, get your name out there. I wouldn’t suggest quitting your day job until you know you can sustain yourself off of your writing income. Unless, of course, you want to move to an island. In that case, research where you want to go, find out the cost of living, etc. Also, keep in mind this stuff doesn’t happen overnight. It took me five years to get to a place where potential clients started contacting me instead of the other way around. Big Dreams take a lot of patience!
What’s next on your Big Dream list?
Finishing the first draft of a novel.
Thanks Cassandra for sharing your fabulous Big Dreams Come True story.
Cassandra Key is Texas native now living in the Philippines. As a freelancer, she writes about wedding planning, bridal fashion, and pre-wedding celebrations. She also runs her own blog, The Sacred Middle, where she writes about magical life living and finding beauty in the everyday. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading spooky stories, dancing in Zumba class, and snorkeling with rainbow-colored fish.
Have you had a Big Dream come true? I’d LOVE to interview you about it – get in touch and let’s set it up! You can now get the audio interviews in this series as a podcast on itunes here – go, be inspired…and don’t forget to subscribe!