Austin blogger and tarot card reader seeks out a meaningful life through the gig economy

Addie Broyles spent 15 years working for a newspaper. Then the pandemic changed her plans.

By Sarah AschAugust 23, 2023 10:00 am, ,

Addie Broyles had been working at the Austin American-Statesman for 15 years when the pandemic hit.

She was the paper’s food writer and spent her days in the world of print journalism. Then, COVID-19 arrived and shook up her plans.

“During the pandemic, I just saw all these opportunities to make money that were not in a traditional job. I started my substack, which is called The Feminist Kitchen, where I write stories about travel and parenting and history and ancestry, weaving all the things I used to write about for my food column, but just in a different format,” she said. “And then I started picking up side jobs like dog walking and dog boarding, and then I built my tarot practice. So I do tarot parties and I even host experiences through Airbnb.”

More recently, she’s been working with clients on organizing their lives.

“(I’ve been) helping one of my clients go through her late mom’s things after she died,” she said. “It’s interesting that Swedish death cleaning is now part of what I would put on my resume as the things that I offer my community. I just do a little bit of everything, and I don’t think I could have done this 10 years ago because a lot of these gig economy jobs didn’t exist then.”

Addie Broyles walks dogs as part of her gig economy income.
Courtesy Addie Broyles

Broyles said her choice to step away from a traditional 9-5 job wasn’t only prompted by the pandemic.

“I lost my dad, and I lost my grandmother, and I lost my 17-year-old dog. And I just started thinking more deeply about what it means to be a human in this world. And this idea of ancestral healing really started to resonate with me,” she said. “I would define ancestral healing as part of the search for meaning – the quest for understanding your place in the world and how that’s always changing.”

Broyles sees herself as transitioning between being a young person to being an elder.

“One of the reasons why I’m here is to make other people feel like they’re not alone. I was raised in a time, like so many people, to think that there was one way to be successful, and it was to go to college and get a corporate job and climb the corporate job and become a manager. Work until you’re 65 and then retire. And then that’s what happens with your life,” she said. “Well, my dad died at 65, and if he would have waited until that point to live any type of retirement, he would have missed out.”

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She said if she could talk to herself just five years ago, she would tell herself that there are unknown possibilities ahead.

“Pay close attention to the books that people recommend to you and the things that you hear or you read, or the memes that you see, that you just can’t stop thinking about,” she said. “When you start thinking about things through that kind of lens and picking things that mean something to you because they resonate deep inside your bones and you feel it in your body, and you pay attention to that, it’s going to guide you in the right direction.

“It doesn’t mean it won’t be without pain or conflict or difficulty, but there are some really beautiful things that happen when you take leaps of faith, and you have to take the leap in order to find out what that is.”

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