What Happened When I Quit My Career

This post is for anyone who wants to find their way. I’m finding mine, and here’s what happened when I made a big decision.

I’ve never worked harder in my life than these last 18 months. In all areas of my life, applying myself, learning, growing, changing, and moving forward. It’s been a fantastic journey. It’s also been extremely difficult because change and growth is never linear, but I look back and I see who I am now, and I like the new me. I’m still me, many of the same things that make me tick are still firmly ingrained, but I’ve let so many things go, in favor of allowing space and time for new growth and change.

Although I’ve never worked harder, at the same time, I’ve never been more relaxed and ready and it doesn’t feel like working at all because I want all of this. There are many layers to the growing this year, for purposes of this post, I am looking at the job aspects and how I’ve grown professionally. I could write a book about all the other changes in my life and heart, and maybe I will someday. It’s been a profoundly beautiful experience, and I know I can’t be the only one who has had experiences like this.

For Anyone Who Has Struggled To Find Your Way – Especially Women

This post is for anyone (especially any women out there) who have ever discounted yourself, feared being ‘too much’, or tried to shove yourself into a box to please other people, maybe what I have to say will be helpful. I’m writing it for myself, but if it is of use to you or helpful, I invite you to read along.

It’s a journey, and I don’t fault myself for how I arrived at this place, all the seasons have been necessary. I do wish some of them had been less difficult, but those times are always the most beneficial for personal growth in my experience.

Some Background

Leaving my career job 11 months ago was a huge change and I haven’t missed it, not for one day, not for one minute, not for one second. My career had its place and time in my life and I was so ready to move on when it was time.

I knew when the time came that I was ready, and Jason and I made the decision together. We both knew it was right, and that has proven to be true time and time again over these last 11 months.

Benefits of Making This Huge Life Shift

Instead of sitting in an office with a window to a parking lot and a bus station, which is what I used to look forward to (I had arrived! I was successful! lol), I’ve been buying and selling classic cars, traveling in Oregon, Hawaii, California, and road trippin’ whenever possible to buy more cars to sell.

I am able to be around our pets and enjoy the beauty of our property every single day. No rushed sunrises or missed sunsets because of meetings or schedules. No more commute or expectations from anyone else. I work from home and I love morning snuggles with my cats and lingering over my coffee.

Sunday nights’ sleep is peaceful and Monday feels the same as a Saturday or a Tuesday. We take trips when we want to, and because of the nature of our business, we often get to travel to other parts of the state to buy cars and that is a luxury that I never had, and a job that Jason always did alone.

Now, we accompany each other on buying trips and make a day or an afternoon of looking at cars, drinking coffee and talking as we take our time, no rush to get back to a schedule or work. The freedom of that is not to be underestimated. It’s been so good for the soul.

Every day feels like I am retired, despite working hard to provide for our family and the responsibilities that come with that. There are still stressors to be sure. We are responsible. We have to face up when things get hard and the bills need to be paid and customers need to be tended to. I don’t mind, it’s an accountability that makes me a better person overall.

We also get to enjoy the fruit of dealing with amazing customers, when the deals work out swimmingly, and being around classic cars all day. It’s really a nice way of life.

Things I Don’t Miss About Working for Someone Else

There are so many things I don’t miss about working in a career job. There is no one to tell me how to do my work, or what hours I need to commit to, or endless meetings that bear little fruit.

I was always a fantastic employee because I worked so hard. I worked tirelessly to get the job done, be the best, and keep moving up the ladder. It was a gerbil wheel at best, and I thought it would fill me up. It didn’t.

I also don’t miss that there is no one expressing praise or disappointment in me, critiquing my work, or giving feedback and I realize I’ve always needed freedom from those things in the first place. I really hate all the cliche’ terms of the working world now.

I don’t want feedback unless it’s a truly trusted friend who is helping me to be a better person, or a family member who loves me and wants the best for me.

I’m In Charge Now! (Jack Black)

In many ways, I am now un-coachable, un-employable, and probably unwanted in the view of the world. I could care less and that feels great. I wasn’t meant to be a follower, I was meant to be a leader, and I just never allowed myself to be the leader I have always been.

I do as little paperwork as possible, and zero meetings. I arrange communications and business gets done. There’s no waiting on others approval, timeline or budget. I get to decide all of those variables and I love it.

I see now that I should have always been my own employer. I’m strong willed and independent, and I’ve always needed freedom. I never allowed myself to have it because I tried so hard to shove myself in a box of what others thought or expected of me.

We’ve had this great business for so many years, and I embraced Jason’s freedom in being an entrepreneur, but never my own. I didn’t even consider that I, too, was an entrepreneurial risk taker and also co-owner of the business. It makes me sad to even admit that, but I didn’t. I saw myself as a bystander and helper, rather than a full-fledged partner and owner of this amazing thing we’ve built together over the years.

I helped start this whole business after all!! Hello?! Why didn’t I grab hold of the freedom of life it has afforded him over the years?

I am, and always have been strong willed and independent, but I stuffed myself in a box of a career 8-5 world with a pension, and ‘security.’ Don’t get me wrong, I loved climbing the ladder and achieving things. I’m type A, it’s what I do, and I’ll always be driven, it’s in my nature.

I just limited myself or didn’t want to be ‘too much’ or step out of line. I’m not exactly sure why, I think being a woman has something to do with it, and my upbringing in a conservative, but extremely male centered environment was a big contributing factor.

I wanted people to like me, and approve of me, and give me validation. I’m learning to get over that, and live the life I want to live, regardless of praise or accolades from others.

So What’s Next?

Jason is strong enough to be married to someone like me, and he has (and is) making space for me to partner with him in different ways. We’ve made quite a few changes in our business this year, and it’s a result of using both of our gifts and talents together. We both have different skill sets, together, we are an unstoppable team because we both bring things to the table that we could never bring alone.

We’ve seen the fruit of our collective efforts and are enjoying working with our customers together and forging ahead.

I plan to continue writing and growing myself and documenting the journey. It’s been a big year with so many changes and it’s been difficult to keep up with everything as we navigate new territory. Now that we are both getting used to the flow around here, I imagine I’ll have more time to write and create and grow my creative muscles.

I wouldn’t change a thing about where I am now, even though I do regret some of the paths I’ve taken that have gotten me here. But that is life, and that is the reality of our existence here, learning from the good, the bad and the ugly.

Want to Follow Along Our Journey?

If you’d like to follow along into 2022, there are several ways you can see what we are up to everyday.

Our business website:

Jason and Leslie Anderson
Denwerks.com

Our podcast:

Leslie Anderson Salem Oregon
No Reserve Podcast

Social Media!

Losing Grip

The timeless sayings about ‘seasons changing’ and the metaphors to life that provide hope and restoration for weary souls have always provided peace and comfort during the most challenging times of the human experience.

Nothing lasts forever, we say. It helps. The words are something to cling to when at times we feel all hope is lost.

Eventually the seasons do change and we realize it was indeed true, not all is lost, and nothing lasts forever. Then we feel comforted again and life moves on, and those most difficult times are muted in memory because they did, indeed, pass.

It makes it seem like it wasn’t so bad after all in the first place, and all the worry and long nights of lost sleep fade away to a distant memory when the seasons finally lose grip and the new one takes root.

In our faded memories, the season seems to have changed from the difficult to the wonderful one overnight. The reality is, it didn’t happen that way at all. One season gave in to another, slowly and painfully. One lost grip on the other.

Around here, it’s changing from fall to winter as we speak. The weather can’t decide between sunny and warm or the less desirable: dark, stormy, and cold.

From day to day or week to week it is different. Sometimes it’s a week of nasty wind and rain, the cold wet drops stinging my face every time I go outside and I shiver in the depths of my body, and it takes hours to truly warm up after being outside in the nasty rain.

The discolored leaves fall off in spurts, whenever there is a wind. Just when I’ve cleaned off the sidewalk with the leaf blower, here comes the storm again, messing up the work I thought I already did. It forces a redo, which I hate, but it’s inevitable.

And then after that, a sunny day comes along, cool and bright, but the fall glow of the sun is different than the bright summer sun, and I can feel the warmth and I value it even more when I know it’s just a respite from the cold and wet.

The days get progressively shorter now, and the golden hour is four hours earlier than it used to be a few months ago. I didn’t notice it, it changed slowly, but it’s still golden nonetheless.

That’s how the seasons change and how nothing lasts forever. It’s a painful and confusing transition.

I know how it’ll end up, but the process is messier than it appears. Time marches forward, but along the way there are fits and starts that don’t feel that comfortable or peaceful.

At some point the transition is done, but it’s never marked with a clear guidepost of FINISHED. It just happens, and those last leaves fall off the trees, the winter rains and snow settle in, and it’s time to hibernate for a little while.

So it is during life transitions too. The difficult times wane, they ebb and flow, leaving soul scars that are healing, slowly, but certainly, if we are willing. They peak in difficulty and pain at some point, but it’s not linear or clear.

The healing takes hold, and we notice we are indeed better than we once were, peaceful and comforted, but it took a lot of time, and wouldn’t be forced. Couldn’t be forced, in fact, forcing it only protracted the pain.

Leaving room for those ugly parts and submitting to the seasons, because they do happen anyway, whether we want them to or not, is a beautiful act of surrender. That releasing of grip allows rest and peace during the uncertainty of change.

In my life, the last of the summer leaves are holding on for dear life to the trees as the wind and rain pelt them. Some of those leaves are ugly, spotted and dark, and others are bright red and gold. All will fall, I’m more thankful for the beautiful ones than the ugly ones, but I have needed them both.

I’m ready to head into winter, slowly, surely, for a time of hibernation and rest. I’ve been on my way for awhile, and the rest and peace is coming in waves, there are easy days and hard days.

The more I surrender to the process, the easier it is to accept that it will take the time it takes, and there are truly peaceful moments along the way. I could ignore that it’s happening, but I would miss out on the growth and goodness of participating in all of it.

Meanwhile, the seasons are changing, and it’s true, nothing lasts forever.

Denwerks You Tube Channel

Leslie Anderson Salem Oregon

Like Denwerks? Like You Tube? We’ve always featured our cars for sale on our channel, but we’re expanding the page to offer a couple of new features and I am so excited about these. I’ve really fallen in love with cutting and editing video, so that’s been a fun addition to our shop and our business. Here’s what’s new on You Tube:

Denwerks HOW TO series

If you like what and how we sell our vehicles, we have started a series to give you our take on how we do things.

The Cherry Bomb Project – 1957 Chevy Nomad

We recently bought a 1957 Chevy Nomad as a personal project for Jason and I, and we decided to document it on our You Tube channel. It’s a really fantastic car, and we are having fun getting it road ready.

Our Cars For Sale

We’ve always featured our current and past cars for sale, and that will continue. If you want to learn about a certain make or model, there’s a lot of good information to glean about the cars in general, so it’s worthwhile to watch our vehicles, even if one has sold, you can learn a lot.

Thanks for watching and enjoying this business with us. We love it and hope you do too!

No Reserve Podcast by Jason and Leslie Anderson Salem Oregon

Hello! Join us for our No Reserve podcast on Anchor and all other podcast platforms. A little about us: Jason and Leslie Anderson from Salem Oregon, and we talk about all things classic cars, marriage, our life, and never believing the lie that something is impossible.

Link here to the latest episode, Season 2, Episode 19: Don’t Lose Your Biscuits, and Don’t Lose Hope Either. It’s important, and we have learned so much about both of these things in the last year. We make the podcast as reminders to us, but if it can encourage you, we invite you to listen along and reach out to us as well.

Leslie Anderson Salem Oregon No Reserve Podcast

Take Up Your Mat and Walk!

by Leslie Anderson, Salem Oregon

The Simple Life

We live in an area in which the far outer limits of Salem are close enough to touch. It’s rural, quaint and quiet. There are grapes growing, cows mooing, and the occasional donkey hee haw.

We can see coyotes and herons, and up on the hill from our house, we can see a tiny little historical church. It’s like a postcard. I’m never leaving, which is dangerous to day, but I’ll say I don’t plan to ever leave.

A few weeks ago, Jason and I were out and about in the small little community of Hopewell, which is about 7 minutes from our house. We had noticed a little store there before, but never taken the time to stop in. On that day, we decided to drop by and see just what was inside.

In a word, it’s an amazing little store. It’s called the Hopewell Hub, and they’ve got local artists crafts, fresh coffee, lavender and strawberry fresh lemonade, and it is truly like walking into a scene from a Hallmark movie.

They offer classes there too, everything from pottery to fermentation, and those things are all right in our interest areas, so it was a wonderful little find. I absolutely adore anything that is local, handmade or straight up granola. I mean, it is Oregon and me and my Birkenstock collection fit right in.

While we were there, I found the sign pictured above and I knew I had to have it. It’s such a sweet little simple sign and it really spoke to me. In addition, I love that it comes from a local artist and from this community that we call home.

Love Heals

These words are such a simple reminder that love does heal us. It doesn’t always erase the pain, grief and troubles of the world. It can’t remove fear or uncertainty, but it does indeed heal the soul and remind us that we aren’t alone in our wanderings.

Sometimes I forget that everyone is on a journey in life, and unfortunately, those journeys can take us to places that make us angry or lashing out due to the fear that’s underneath. There is so much of that right now, on all sides in all venues in life. It’s scary out there and I see so much pain and fear. I don’t want to let it consume me, I want to instead, live differently.

This sign hangs as a reminder in our home now of the life we are choosing to live. Choosing to move forward despite pain or challenges is exactly what we want and need to do. It’s a choice we are making daily, and sometimes hourly.

I also heard a message recently that reminded me of a similar principle of healing. It really spoke to me, and I don’t want to forget, so I’m documenting here so that when I stray off I can remember this.

We Are Free to Heal

“I tell you, take your mat and go home.”

mark 2:11

The scene was one in which a healing had taken place for a man, and Jesus is saying, now get up and move on. The man had a new chance to start over, and Jesus wanted him to get on with it. That’s exactly what I (and all of us) can benefit from.

When we’ve been delivered from troubles or healed in some way, it’s time to get on with it. The business of living is critical and there is only limited time to do just that.

It doesn’t mean ignoring what happened or that the healing may not come easily or instantaneously, but that it is possible. We can choose to take up our mats even when things aren’t perfect, and for me, that’s exactly what I need to do to live the full life that I’ve been given.

So with that said, taking up my mat is living the simple life that I’ve chosen, living in peace, continued healing, because isn’t life just a long process of healing anyway? It’s never over, because life isn’t easy, and those troubles keep coming. But so does the freedom and peace of healing love.

Thanks for reading along, I wrote this for myself, but if it encourages you too, I’m glad. Love, Leslie