Guest Blogger: Esther Y.
I just graduated from university early this year. When you're finishing school, people often offer unsolicited advice. Some of it is useful, and some of it is not. Especially where I live, people tell you to take any job you are offered. 

Earlier in the year, I also came to know Rubeena (@thegraymuse) when I reached 10k followers on Instagram. Suddenly, it hit me that this 'art thing’ I did with my bullet journal was meaningful and worth exploring. 

I asked myself, should I follow my dreams? And I did.

I really love bullet journaling, collecting notebooks and am obsessed with stationery. I found a local shop that sells stationery with a job opening. I said to myself, I think I'll give it a try and work there. 

I listened to people who told me to work anywhere and learn from the experience. It just so happened that it was at a place with my favorite things. 

Initially I thought it would be the perfect match of what I liked and needed to do for myself. How colorful my journey would turn out to be!



I worked at the stationery store for about six months. I came to the realization that there were times I found such great joy when new products came in. I carried this enthusiasm to support happy customer vibes since I was a customer long before I started working there anyway.

It wasn't long before I noticed that the marketing aspect of the job was slowly wearing me out. It felt like Eat Sleep WORK, repeat. 

Although I enjoyed the products and everything about stationery and enjoyed parts of the job, it was not the kind of work that would bring me inner joy. The role wasn't the right fit even though on the outside it may seem like it was.

I reflected on what my true love was, and it is helping others. I never had a professional role as a teacher, but I found I had the natural inclination to teach others.

I created a job for myself and become my own boss as a tutor, inspired by Rubeena's journey with what she created with The Gray Muse

In the beginning, so many things overwhelmed me as I tried to figure out how to run my own business. But it's a job from scratch so this was normal and I stuck with it. I worked even harder than my 9-5 job. I worked ridiculous hours (I took only one day off, if even). 

As an English tutor, I had to prepare students who were graduating and were panicking about everything last-minute (and I realized I was, too). 

I focused on showing up as my best for them. This promise was important to me. The transition was one of the toughest and craziest things I ever did and worth it. 

Now, months later, I reflect on the transition. 

I am currently finishing up 2019 with my current batch of graduating students and preparing for the new year. Through it all, I kept telling myself "don't measure your progress using someone else's ruler." Rubeena's products are so reflective of inner struggles, it's truly relatable. 

It's easy to compare yourself to those who are ahead of you, right? And then you expect to get the same result but you don't realize what their journey was truly like and how long it took to get there. I worked hard to prove to myself I didn't need a 9-5 job to have a life that I enjoyed. Not to say that working for others is wrong. It's just not for everyone all the time. A great reminder is to realize, "I am doing my best."


The affirmations on the I Am Doing My Best Spinner Enamel Pin are reminders for myself every day on this entrepreneurial journey. Especially sayings like "I am 100% human." If you really reflect on this phrase, you will realize that humans need rest and compassion and connection and are meant to make mistakes and mess up and be messy. 

I admit there have been times when I felt like I am beyond human so I should work really hard and that I don't need as much sleep. But this was not working out too well. Sleep and rest are absolutely necessary to thrive as a HUMAN. 

Tutoring requires a lot of talking, planning, talking, and planning. It is exhausting. Often, I found myself with little to no energy left after tutoring. I felt like I just couldn't adult anymore. 

Planning for the tutoring classes took up more time than actually tutoring. Can we say my brain has too many tabs open? Too relatable.

As a teacher, we’re not artists per say, but our students are our canvases. We create our teachings that encourage an abundance and possibility mindset in a way that's helpful to them. We want them to be creative and more.



We hope they grow up to be individuals who understand the world they live in. That they are bright and beautiful, loving human beings with a compassionate heart and a growing mind!

And finally, this is reflective of my journey as a girl boss this year: I Need More Coffee & Art

Thank you for reading about me. I'd love to know what your 2019 was like!
December 23, 2019 — Rubeena Ianigro

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