Do what you love / by Richelle Ouellette

As I stand at my kitchen counter peeling one of the two tangerines my currently very strict diet allows, something out of nowhere causes me to stop for a second and slow down. I am not peeling particularly quickly, but there doesn't need to be any rush either.

It's 8:28am. Fresh out of the shower after an empowering workout, I'm wearing sweatpants and an oversized sweater. On the stove are the delicious-smelling steak and eggs I'm going to eat for the rest of my low-carb breakfast. There's a fun Latin song playing on the speaker in the room behind me. I don't have to be at the office by 9. In fact, I don't have to get to any office as this thought flows through my mind, my gratitude swells. Of course, there's still a long to-do list and a heavy duty day of work ahead of me, but I get to do it on my terms.

Maybe it was the fragrance of the fruit or the sensual stickiness of the rind and sweet citrus juice on my fingers, or maybe just some other unrelated force that filled me with a rush of gratitude at the reminder that I am allowed to stop and savor the moment; there is no rush.

Two days ago I had a bit of a meltdown. For no clear reason, I felt deeply depressed about my position in life, the amount of work I've been doing, the pace I'm running at, my career choice, etc.

While I still don't have complete peace around these worries, the temporary existential crisis has caused me to reflect on how I look at my life, and my days. Because the reality is, though I experience a significant amount of stress (to the point that I have googled "signs of a nervous breakdown" more than a few times in recent months), I am wonderfully blessed to have so much freedom and so much to be grateful for.

Because if I wasn't doing what I'm doing, I'd be wishing I was doing what I'm doing. I have always said I wanted to have my own business, and that's exactly what I'm doing. There is literally nowhere I would rather be. Isn't that a funny thing?

On Monday, during aforementioned minor mental breakdown, I cried several times thinking about how much I hate my job description (you know, that I created for myself and manage myself). But that evening, when my emotions started to calm I was able to refocus on the things I love... I am deeply passionate about entrepreneurship, my clients, my team, my city and I my lifestyle. So while I despise and am having a hard time managing the flurry of frantic emails piling up in my inbox (one of my greatest sources of anxiety), from a birds eye view I get to do what I love every. single. day. And that's pretty freakin awesome.

"Do what you love," they say. But nowhere in that phrase does anything imply or infer that this will be fun all of the time, or simple, or not demanding of your energy. Let's not forget that even your dream job is still a job. Hard work is work. Even smart work is still work. So get to it, and do it, but don't forget to stop and smell the tangerines.