Self-Advocacy

My 9-5 Career Made me Miserable.

A smiling photo of me from a professional conference a couple years ago

You see this smiling picture of me from almost two years ago? I have a confession to make…I was miserable.
I was climbing the ‘professional ladder’.
I was earning the most money I had ever made in my life.
But I cannot tell you how many nights I cried, or how many times I escaped to the bathroom because of a panic attack.
This was at the height of my mental health deterioration.
I was not in a healthy environment.

I was doing work that really and truly did not align with my moral values. Better yet, my passions.

This is not to say that I didn’t work with amazing people (I did). But almost everything in my life felt unaligned.

So I did something unconventional and quite frankly….quite uncomfortable.

I saved up enough money to live off of for six months.

But why did I do that?

I made that incredibly risky stupid decision, in order to re-launch myself as a professional woman.

My goal was to launch my own blogging business, and become a successful (and happy) self-employed individual.
So far, my self-employment and entrepreneurial journey has been clumsy, messy, sloppy, and most times…awkward.

Sometimes, to this day, I question my decision and wonder if I made the right step.

However, when I look back to the days when I was a government employee and reflect upon what I used to spend my workdays doing,

I feel no ounce of regret.

Absolutely zero. Synch. Nada.

While I’m still trying to figure out how to be successfully self-employed, there’s a hell of a lot that I have learned up to this point.

I especially know that there’s a lot that I have learned about what not to do.

I’m not going to lie. To this day, I still struggle with Depression and Anxiety. Shoot, I even find myself going into existential vacuums.

However, I have to say that overall, I am a happier person.

I’m finally beginning to develop a rhythm to my day-to day routine.

And while I don’t earn as much as I used to, I’m now in a much more financially stable place.

Needless to say…I’m doing OK. But in a pretty darn good way.

Now, I am in a place where I am no longer afraid to exit a situation that doesn’t align with my soul.

Even if that place is the one that gives me a paycheck.

I’m not learning that it’s even OK to have a few clumped side hustles, sandwiched between part-time employments.

I’ve also learned that things do not always go according to plan (hello 2020!)

I’ve learned that life often gets in the way of making or following through with all of the minute details that you designed within your entrepreneurial business plan (thanks, God, I see you, comedian!)

As I said before, I may not make as much money as I used to, and my career path isn’t an expectedly clean upward line like it once was. But I feel a hell of a lot more peace and sanity.
Just because someone appears to be happy and well-polished on their social media feed doesn’t mean that they actually are…also remember and know this:

Your professional life shouldn’t be the sole thing that defines you. Be gentle with yourself. <3

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