I'm Kristin Kembel
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Owner of Girlboss Designer. We help brave women combine design and marketing to build meaningful brands online, so they can make an incredible living doing what they love.
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It’s whale migration season here in Australia.
Each winter (summer in the US) the humpbacks head north and you can see them traveling far out in the ocean from the coast – little puffs of air/water coming up and if you’re lucky they’ll be breaching. Back in 2016 while visiting (before I moved here) I saw a few of them jumping high out of the water breaching, it was so beautiful. So when Stephen called me after a surf recently saying there were SO many whales out jumping today and I should go check them out, I quickly put Luna in the car with me and we went down the road to one of my favorite lookout spots in town. For a while I watched, and waited… more watching and waiting. I saw the puffs coming from their spouts into the air but no jumping. So we walked along the shoreline while I tried my best to keep an eye out for a jumping one. Finally after more and more waiting, we went back home. Sadly no big whale sightings for us that day.
A few weeks later Luna was nagging me for a walk in the middle of the workday – usually she’s not a big nagger but that day she was very persistent. Instead of the usual stroll around the neighborhood I decided hey, let’s take this walk to the beach instead. We were walking along the same path I had been on before with her looking for whales, but this time I wasn’t even thinking about them at all. Then all of a sudden I see something in the distance… a whale throwing himself out of the water breaching. Then another, and another. As we kept walking I saw multiple humpbacks out at sea putting on this beautiful show for us. It was so exciting and unexpected, we ended our walk at that same lookout spot – sitting and enjoying the view. A very similar thing happened the other day. Stephen and I went for a beach walk in the afternoon with the dog and we probably saw 8 or so jumping wales, I was mesmerized watched them from afar.
So what’s all the whale watching got to do with anything?
Sometimes the best things in life happen when we aren’t looking for them, or trying to force them to happen.
It got me thinking of the other BIG things that have fallen into place for me in the past when I stopped searching and manipulating, and let life and the universe take the reins.
#1 – When I met Stephen.
Now you could say I was “looking” because we technically met on Match.com lol, but I was kind of at the end of my efforts. I had been going on some dates but nothing was working or feeling quite right. I took myself on a quick solo beach trip for New Years and remember really reflecting on the fact that I was actually super happy being single. I didn’t see the point of focusing on finding a relationship when what I really wanted then was to travel and eventually move away from Atlanta to the beach. Because of this I planned on canceling my dating app membership but then… forgot. When I got charged again for it I thought well, I might as well browse around since it’s been paid for. 2 weeks later, and after rescheduling on him twice, I met Stephen.
#2 – Working Remotely
I fell in love with the idea of working remotely YEARS ago after reading books like The 4-Hour Work Week and Be a Free Range Human. I started to obsess over it. At this point creating my own business wasn’t on my mind, just the freedom to work from wherever I wanted and to design my day instead of living in the confines of a 9-5 and a commute to work. I thought here we go, THIS is the way I am going to be able to move to the beach instead of hoping a job pops up in my desired area. Leading up to this point I was looking for jobs in California but then it hit me – that’s not really what I wanted. Yes living there was what I wanted, but I’d be back in another office, with another person dictating my schedule. I had no savings and knew I couldn’t make the leap without steading income coming in immediately, and despite my efforts at the time nothing seemed to be working out. I even went so far as to not renew my apartment lease to force myself to move, but at that time some changes were happening at my job. We were hiring on more people and I was going to be managing them. I had this feeling in my gut that told me I had to stick it out longer. I even went home and cried (a very rare occasion) because even though I wanted to move so badly, something else was telling me to stay put at that moment. So I renewed my lease, and stayed put.
From there I got to learn what it’s like to manage other people, something that is SO important if you’re going to run your own business. Those people we hired became some very close friends of mine who to this day I can’t wait to see when I go home to visit. Working with them pushed my design abilities and I became more confident in my aesthetic eye than I’d ever been before. They encouraged me to take that next leap of faith, a big one. A year later I met Stephen, and shortly after that I sat down with my boss to say I wanted to work remotely, travel and start my own business. She became my first client, and few months later I went to Europe, working remotely and traveling along the way.
#3 – Moving to the Beach
I think you already know where this is going. Like I previously mentioned, I wanted so badly to move to the beach. For as long as I can remember I wanted this, but for reason after reason this kept not happening. Life obviously had a lot more to teach me, and there were better things waiting for me – better than I was imagining at the time. Now not only can I bike to the beach, but we’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen.
I’m not sure where I would be now if I had picked up and moved myself to California, or Florida, or Charleston all those years ago. Would I have traveled abroad for months on end, or would I still be taking that 1 little vacation a year? Would I have taken the leap to work remotely, or would I still be commuting everyday to sit in an office with just a little lunch break? Would I have started my own business, or would I still be working for someone else, letting them decide my income and schedule?