There’s an old joke, “You have a face for radio!” More than once, I’ve used a variation on this joke to describe my decision to leave a well-paying job in an office to focus on creating audio content that I love. I joke because it’s an uncomfortable conversation to have. Tell someone that you’ve left the security of full-time employment for an untested and often volatile market space, and it rearranges something in their mind about you. This conversation is also tantamount to saying, “I think I’m talented enough to make money from my hobby. Please affirm me.”

Of course, the motivations to pursue my dreams are not so easily explained, and they are the result of years of placing practical concerns over professional fulfillment. And most people I told have been supportive, if not outright overjoyed, and occasionally jealous.

I’ve always been a fan of telling stories. As a child, I was an avid reader. I learned to tell a story in middle school when I was cast in my first play. I found my own voice in high school thanks to forensics. When I became a forensics coach, I was so inspired by the stories I heard from my fellow coaches that I wanted to make them available to others, so I started my first podcast. As I recorded more, edited more, and listened more, I discovered how much I love helping others tell their story. As podcasts became more popular, I discovered that I enjoyed listening to stories more than reading them. When a friend told me she was narrating audiobooks from her home, I looked at the sound equipment in my house and thought, “I can do that.” So my passion for performing born in middle school and my love for audio cultivated as an adult collided in my latest venture: narrating audiobooks.

I couldn’t do this alone. My fiancé literally makes my dreams come true every day, and he also has to deal with my insecurities and the bravado I use to cover them up. His love is woven into the fabric of everything I create.

As I write this, I’m still in the infancy of my new career. I’m nervous, and a little scared, and happier and more fulfilled than I’ve felt in a long time. I hope that you love stories as much as I do, and I hope my work brings you a fraction of the joy I feel when I hear a great story infused with passion.

I’ll probably continue to use the joke, but whether or not I have a face for radio, I know I have a heart for audio.