It has been about 9 months since I last wrote a blog post. I kinda fell off the map. I pushed my coaching business aside and here is why.
In April of 2018 I accepted a freelance Art Director gig which involved a heavy commute and long hours. From the get go, I knew it would be insane. I was warned by people who knew the inside scoop. I also had that gut feeling that yup, this is gonna be a gong show.
BUT I also had this feeling that I HAD to take it. Not only did it pay well and didn’t require a contractual commitment, but I knew it was something that would serve me in ways I didn’t understand yet. It was for a media company I always wanted to be a part of, and it was almost a bucket-list kinda thing to check off.
So I accepted the ongoing gig and braced myself for intense corporate pressures and red-tape shenanigans.
What transpired was a 3.5 month tsunami of stress that left me beaten, battered, and completely LIBERATED.
First, the beaten and battered part.
Within those few months every part of my life went on a steep decline: health, self-esteem, relationships, and mindset. I had absolutely no work/life balance and was cranky AF every night. I would begin to demonize around Wednesday, and by Friday, whoa, look out, because I was on a war path.
My health went downhill the fastest. I developed crazy blood-sugar issues and found myself literally seeing stars some days. I was so tired I felt nauseous and I was eating junk food without a second thought. The vending machine outside the Photographer’s studio started calling my name - daily. An Oh-Henry bar? Don’t mind if I do. Ugg. Combine too much sugar with extreme stress and it is no wonder my body started to revolt. I also wasn’t sleeping most nights and my anxiety was bubbling up to an unmanageable level.
And my finances took a hit - though I was being paid well, um, I actually wasn’t paid for over 2 months (freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart). And because I let my personal business slide (I didn’t have an ounce of energy left for it) I found myself super stressed about cash flow. And then I was SUPER angry because I know better than to rely on one source of income! Gotta have MSI (multiple sources of income), people! So then I felt even more angry, frustrated and like a total failure.
On the upside, although I was experiencing all of this stress, the actual work was creative, really challenging and some days, I dare say, were super fun. I worked on photo shoots all day long and saw behind the curtain of the whacky world of television. And I met some amaaaaazing people and learned new skills that I will literally use for the rest of my life. Indeed, many wins were gained.
But the job had ridiculous hours and demands, the place was grossly understaffed, and most importantly, I didn’t feel valued by many people at the company. And since I have spent years working on personal development and feeling strong, I was like, no, not staying in this situation. I value my SELF too much. Time. To. Leave.
That leads me to the LIBERATED part.
The part of this story that has me literally thrilled to the bone is that within a couple of weeks of taking on this gig, I was planning my exit. If I had been in this job 10 years ago, I know I would NOT have tried to leave so soon.
I would have felt an obligation to stick it out, prove I can do this crazy job, and suffer daily to establish a sense of self worth.
I used to be completely addicted to anguish and I didn’t understand the difference between hard work and suffering. Now I absolutely do. And I will not continue to participate in anything that brings out my worst self and leaves me feeling like garbage. Not only is life to short for that crap, there are BILLIONS of other options out there for work that can serve you. It is your job to find the one that works best for you. Don’t sit and suffer, don’t just wait it out. MOVE ON, mavens!
Even though I was beyond exhausted, I worked to find a new contract. It took a few months, but eventually I landed on my feet like Nadia Comaneci at the 1976 Olympics. How did I do it? Aside from obvious networking activities, every day I diligently wrote out my intentions to leave, visualized something better coming my way, and focused on a life of balance and joy. It was such a cool experience I promise to write a blog post about it. I am now working a contract that leaves me creatively satisfied, provides financial empowerment, AND allows me to return to coaching and mentoring. From where I’m sitting, it feels like a perfect 10.
Soooo… I’m back. It has taken me a while to recover, but I am feeling better than ever! Hope to see you here again every other Wednesday.
To your brave success,