The abundance of freedom
Guestblog Christine Morren
My parents owned a business in Brussels, but moved back to Leuven when I was in first grade. Because I had difficulties with learning how to read, my father helped by making little drawings for words I didn’t understand. Already that early I was fascinated by drawing, but it took me years to find the courage to take the leap and turn it into my job.
Being born and raised in Leuven, my parents returned to their roots after those Brussels years. For me that meant changing schools in the middle of the first grade. Because of that, reading didn’t go so well… But drawings helped me. I learned to associate the words with pictures and so I got the hang of reading pretty fast. Making those little sketches fascinated me even more than the words I needed to learn. I loved to draw and loved watching my father sketch. I remember this book I had when I was a kid. It was filled with drawings of all sorts of mushrooms, and I copied them all. It kept me busy for hours and hours. Never a dull moment.
And then I forgot to be creative…
When I was 16, I wanted to go and study at the art school Sint-Lukas in Brussels. I wanted to learn graphical marketing. I imagined myself having my own graphic design studio, working for clients. But my parents didn’t see a future in it and pushed me into choosing another field of study. I chose Business Economy and Informatics, without much enthusiasm. After my graduation I added an extra year of Office Automation, but ended it when my parents got divorced and I chose to live on my own so I didn’t have to choose sides. Finding a job and having an income was necessary to pay for the house I lived in with my boyfriend, who later became my husband and the father of my 2 children. Years later, I got divorced myself, and remarried. It was my second husband who encouraged me to pick up my ‘forgotten’ creative talent, so I started to paint again. I never stopped painting since.
Finally, I took the leap!
After working in administration for 27 years, I almost stored away my dream of doing something artistic. But ever since I re-started painting and hosted some artistic workshops, it started to itch again. It was during the career coaching with Els that it all became clear to me: becoming an entrepreneur would give me more freedom! Organizing my own time, partly working as a Virtual Assistant (VA) or freelancer, and spending the rest of my time at artistic assignments,… Wouldn’t that be wonderful! As if it was a miraculous coincidence, Els was looking for an assistant! I reduced my contract to a part-time job and added working for Make me Fly! as a freelancer. It was a heavy year, combining those two jobs, and I was often working late. But I loved it so much that I made my decision: I quit my job and became a fulltime self-employed VA and artist.
The abundance of freedom
Currently I’m still working as Virtual Assistant for several clients, amongst which Make me Fly!. I’m able to combine this with my activities as an artist (painting, drawing, exhibitions,…). I’m even taking classes again at the Art Academy and am in my second year of Sculpture! I wouldn’t want to go back to working for a boss. I’m my own boss now. Being self-employed has its pros and cons, but being free is a key priority for me. I don’t need piles of money or building a career. In this freedom lies the abundance I need.
I was able to reorganize my life before I became fifty. I couldn’t have done this on my own. The career coaching and the support of my husband gave me the courage I needed to take the leap. I advise everyone to start with career coaching. You can continue dreaming and do nothing OR you can find yourself a coach and make your dreams come true. What looks impossible or difficult at first, can become reality pretty soon. And, you only live once!
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