I don’t know very much about anything.

I thought I did, once. I created my own business from scratch and escaped the 9-to-5 to do what I loved on my own terms. I used to blog, very passionately, about making your dreams come true and realizing your best you and all that self-empowering stuff. It was kind of my life.

Then my life went sideways.

In rapid succession, my husband and I lost everything we’d built in our 30-some years of living. We lost a grand total of 3 jobs (including the aforementioned 1 dream career), 1 car, 3 dogs, 1 house, most of our belongings, all of our pride, and a decent chunk of our energy and sanity. We moved into my in-laws’ basement. We very nearly lost our marriage several times over the three years we were there trying to rebuild our finances and ourselves.

Our lives were one pickup truck away from being the best (or worst?) country song ever.

I also officially lost my ability to ever pretend I know what the hell I’m doing or what life plans to do with me. But I gained some pretty awesome things too. Like the realization that life can (and often does) suck hardcore, and you can either let that make you miserable or fight for whatever happiness you can find.

It took a long time to get my fight back, but after some severely dark years and lots of recovery, I choose to fight again.

I don’t have a particular message or mission anymore; I’m just trying to get a better grasp on the best way to be a decent human, regardless of whether life is awesome or shitty.

My name is Kelly Gurnett. I’m a freelance writer who stopped writing because she didn’t know what she believed in or stood for anymore. I still don’t know, but I’m writing again.

I hope you find something here you connect with.


65 Replies to “About”

  1. Pingback: In Defense of “The Lost Generation” and Why YOU Don’t Have to Be a Stereotype | Grad Meets World
    1. Props to you for making your dream a reality!   It’s so inspiring for me to read about people who’ve called it quits and are now living life on their own terms.  Your story is awesome and I can tell you’ve got some great things in store for you!  I’m so glad we’ve connected!

  2. Good for you! I’m horribly content – smug, almost – and I have been wondering, lately, why I am so happy when other people seem to be so stressed about everything. I realized (I think) it’s because I say no; no to owning a car, no to a house I can’t afford, no to expensive vacations, no to pop culture and gossip magazines, no to frenemies and drama. It wasn’t a single conscious decision, but built up over the years, and I think it started in high school when my geeky friends and I exhorted each other to non-conform (together, ironically, but even non-conformists need a tribe). I think I never got over that impulse to second-guess the status quo.

    Oh, and I named my second daughter Cordelia. 🙂

    1. Three cheers for you!  You sound like my type of cohort!  (Any chance you might be interested in writing a Reader Quit?)  🙂

      And too cool about your daughter!  Did you happen to name her after either of *my* Cordelias?  (Anne of Green Gables or King Lear?)

      1. Can I reply to something a year later? (Turns out Disqus doesn’t email me when I get a reply. No wonder I thought the Internet was ignoring me!)

        Cordelia is probably 90% named after Anne of Green Gables, 10% named after the Cordelia in Buffy, and I 100% tell people she’s named after the King Lear Cordelia. 🙂 I needed a really really pretty name because her big sister has a really really pretty name, and everyone knows Cordelia is the prettiest name.

          1. I can’t say anything about the character in “Buffy” (I never watched that show) but the late-C and I watched “Angel” religiously there for a while, and she (same character) was definitely a kickass heroine on that show!!

  3. Pingback: My First Guest Post!
    1. You can get paid to write–have you ever considered freelancing?

      p.s.  Stay tuned for my upcoming ebook, “Your Guide to Calling It Quits.”  🙂

      1. waitin on that guide. think it’d come in handy for someone like me. and i’d LOVE to freelance but i don’t know where to start looking?

        1. The guide is more on”calling it quits” in general–ways to come up with your own Quits List and follow through on your quits.  If you want some places to get started with freelancing, check out my Resources page or shoot me a message at kelly@cordeliacallsitquits.com.  I’d be happy to share with you what I’ve done so far to find work.  🙂

  4. Hi Cordelia! 
    Saw your comment on Niall’s site. I’m all about “living deliberately” — that’s how I tried a diet and lost 25 lbs in a month (the paleo diet) and finally got out of debt last month after 2 and a 1/2 years of working at it. Just put in my notice to “quit” my job last week (go on-call) so I can write full time. I’m gonna RSS feed you into my Google Reader now! Good luck quitting your 9-5!

    1. Thanks for checking me out, Mitchell!  Sounds like you’ve made some awesome progress in changing your own life.  Getting out of debt and quitting my 9-5 are my 2 biggest goals, and I can only imagine how amazing it will feel when I check off those To Dos.  Looking forward to getting to know you better!

  5. Kelly, I am a bad cousin, i am just reading about your website now, but i think it’s pure genius!!!! You got a gift, and i love how you chose the name Cordelia partially from Anne of Green Gables, one of my all time favorite book series. Maybe you can teach me a thing or two about writing, Love ya!!!!

    1.  Aw, you’re not a bad cousin at all.  I’m glad you stopped by, and I’m glad you like it so much!  Can’t wait to see you at the shower!  🙂

  6. I found you and shared your url with a like minded sisterfriend. I admire your courage to strike out on your own. I’m on a simliar journey and appreciate knowing I’m not alone.

    1.  Thanks so much for the share, Melissa!  I’m glad you’re reading.  I understand how important it can be to know that other people are going through the same quest that I am.  It has kept me going many a time.

      I look forward to getting to know you better!  Explore, take a look around, and feel free to jump into the comments in the future!  Glad to have you on board.  🙂

  7. I’m on the same path as you! I’m 27, have a wife, a house (no dogs) and I HATE 9-5, its so stupid… oh, and getting up early, grocery shopping … ugh

    Anyway, I don’t have a debt to pay, only the mortgage. I still don’t know what I will do when I quit, but I’m trying a few things. As soon as I can earn enough cash to pay the mortgage and the basic expenses, I will quit =)

    I “liked” your page on facebook, but I can’t share there because I have my boss as a friend (he is actually my friend, but I cant tell him I don’t want to work here forever… yet).

    I’ll be sure to come back and read your previous posts =)

    1. Pleased to meet you, Omar! Thanks for stopping by, and please make yourself at home here. Browse around, comment, join the conversations. We quitters need to stick together. 🙂

      Good for you for going into adulthood debt-free. That is a HUGE advantage and I can’t wait until I get to that point and have more freedom as a result of it.

      I understand about FB. That’s why I deliberately don’t have any of my coworkers friended. 😀

  8. Cordelia! Officially in love with your website……I am about to turn 52 – have done all the house, kids, divorce thing – and have always felt that our society has begun to value us more for what we own than who we are. I too was the office imposter doing an amazing job, rising up the ranks, yet still feeling I didn’t belong!!! No matter what job I do – it’s not me – for the true me is a writer, a wordsmith, a passionate reader for whom words are the only TV my brain really craves. The musical notes to which my dreams and thoughts dance. THAT is how I wish to earn my keep on this planet and not get sucked into the conformity that others so eagerly embrace. Thanks for being out there. I am an eager new subscriber on my own path to making a living the non-9 to 5 way! Ciao, Ciao.

    1. Go you! I’m so glad you’ve come to realize what really makes you happy and that you’ve decided to pursue it! It is such a liberating feeling, and you are by no means alone in this journey. One this this blog has shown me is how many people out there share the exact same frustrations (and dreams) that you and I do.

      I look forward to having you along for the ride! Keep me posted on how your own progress is doing! 🙂

  9. My my my! I knew there were others out there who felt the same way I did but I never imagined anyone feeling the EXACT same way! I am now a loyal reader of your blog, it’s inspirational and realistic at the same time…just what I need right now.

    Reality TV usually does the trick (it makes me appreciate my life much more) but your blog is something I won’t be ashamed to let people know about! (I’m not really ashamed about letting people know I watch the Kardashians but at least I won’t get any disapproving looks!)

    Just loving the blog!

    1. Oh, there are MANY of us! I had the exact same realization when I first discovered the blogosphere! I am very glad to meet you and to have you on board. 🙂

      (And, I have to admit that certain reality TV shows are guilty pleasures of mine, largely for the same reason. Nothing wrong what that whatsoever!)

  10. 11 months. I’ve got 11 months of indentured servitude left. I recently made a resolution to cut the “Kipple” (Phillip K Dick) from my own life so I can spend more time doing the things I love.

    The way you mentioned doing the same thing over and over, reminded me of “Everything Will Be Okay” by Don Hertzfeldt. I’d recommend youtubing it.

  11. Stumbled across your blog and love, love, love. Good for you for calling it quits to living on autopilot. I agree with everything you believe in / trying to do. I’m also following you on Twitter. I’ll be reading regularly!

  12. Way to go girl! I’m just starting to see some bright looking prospects in my writing career and I tell you, there’s tons more OUT there! Ohh, by the way, you might wanna check my guest post at Be a freelance Blogger http://beafreelanceblogger.com/freelance-blogging-k-pop/ @sophielizard runs it. Please let me know how you’re fairing in the blogosphere.:) Thanks.

    1. I’m just beginning to see the possibilities that can open up when you give yourself the full time to pursue them. Here’s to incredible success for the both of us!

      1. Thanks for the positive reply Cordelia. Really appreciate it. I’ll be open about it–when I checked your profile, I was overwhelmed with your credentials! Sooo impressive. I’ll surely pick-up tips from you.

  13. How have I missed this bog until now?! Soo glad I found this! I have a lot I want to do, I’m just working on paying the debt down/off. Loving the articles. Thanks for having us all along for the ride!

  14. Pingback: I Have NO Idea What I’m Doing… | Naomi Gallichan
  15. I love this blog! I also love the line where you said you are an escapee from the 9-5 because so am I! I pursued a course that was normal and after having worked in an office job for three years, I felt frustrated, annoyed, boxed in and creatively stifled. Having had enough of living my life by time and to boring standards, I decided that I wanted to be happy again and so I called it quits. I passed my driving two months after quitting and now I am pursuing my real dream, that of Graphic Design and more importantly enjoying my life instead of complaining about it and staying stuck. It’s nice to know that there are others who think outside the box and are brave enough to do something different, regardless of what society and people tell/ think we should do. Awesome! 🙂

    1. Good for you! I love how you say your dream is “Graphic Design and more importantly enjoying my life instead of complaining about it and staying stuck.” That is SO important. Sometimes when we quit the 9-5, we can get all caught up in how to make our biz work, how to bring in the dough, etc. But never forget that the whole point of quitting in the first place was: first, to do work you love, and second, to live a LIFE you love. Never lose sight of that. Money only does so much. You have all the time and freedom in the world now to pursue LIFE itself in all its fantastic, windy paths of adventure.

      How freakin’ cool is that? 😀

  16. What a truly refreshing blog. You are so funny and I love your blatant style. You have a new fan!

  17. This blog is awesome and JUST what I needed to discover, as I, too, refuse to fulfill whatever it is a 28-year old, college-educated woman is supposed to…I can’t wait to dig in and share! 🙂

  18. Someone recommended your blog and I’m glad they did. I can’t wait to examine your blog more. I want to be a quitter too!

    1. I’m glad they did, too — welcome! Make yourself at home and don’t hesitate to jump into the fray. I hereby declare you a Quitter! 🙂

  19. Hi Cordelia, great blog! I’m working to call quits on drama and negativity by visiting a positive blog every day of 2014; came to yours today, and will definitely return to read through the archives more.

  20. I came across your blog today. And well, it was right up my street! Well, not literally-but you know what I mean. Looking forward to reading the rest of your stuff.

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