There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes the past few months, well, the past year more or less. A lot of it has to do with my career, but another chunk of it has to do with other large parts of life like home and family. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s been incredibly uncomfortable. I don’t think there’s ever been another time in my life where I’ve felt so lost – so disconnected from and insecure about who I am, what I have to offer and what I want in life. It’s been confusing, but last week I finally had a moment of clarity and was able to untangle everything that has been zipping around my head and at the very least, see them for what they are.
I spent a good chunk of the past year working through “stuff”, and by “stuff” I mean all the fears, self doubt and limiting beliefs that come up when life throws you a curve ball. At the beginning of 2022 I shared about leaving the company that I founded. It was a chapter of my life that didn’t go as planned, and while I would make the same decision again, the experience and the months after it left me questioning everything about my career, my intuition, and frankly my worth.
When I left the company, I knew I wanted to spend more time pursuing life online – blogging, sharing on social, as well as building a small freelance business in content creation and merchandising. For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to spend more time blogging and “creating content”, so when I starting creating content more intentionally, perhaps even more strategically, I thought things would just click; that everything would start to flow and fall into place. Tbh, it’s been a struggle. Things weren’t clicking, and they definitely weren’t falling into place like I thought they would. I wasn’t seeing the results that I expected and constantly wondered if people even cared about what I was sharing. Between my life offline and my life online, I kept looking for a sign, something to reinforce that I was moving in the right direction or show me where I should put my effort, but I just continued to feel lost.
What I couldn’t see then, but can clearly see now, was how much I was giving away my power and putting so much attention on things outside of me. I was overly focused on what “performed”, overanalyzed both my content and my career direction, and constantly looked for validation that I was “on the right path” rather than owning the path that I wanted to be on and moving from that place. I had become so strategic that I was no longer creating from a place of passion and inspiration, and ultimately, lost the connection with my own creativity.
The next layer of this is the topic of kids – starting a family, and how that impacts my career and work. At times I feel such a tension between wanting to build a career for myself and starting a family. I know the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but it would be naive to assume that it’s possible to do both to the fullest without side effects. I don’t need to be a mother to see that the struggle to juggling a career, taking care of oneself and being a present parent is a very real experience for women, especially in America where there is a catastrophic lack of support for all kinds of Mom’s.
For the longest time I wanted to have my career, personal source of income, or just the general “what I’m doing with my life” category locked down before having kids. There are obviously many ways to go about starting a family and navigating it, but for me, having as many big areas of my life stable would free up mental, emotional and physical space to navigate pregnancy and having a baby for the first time. I’m starting to embrace a different version of how career and family come together for me, but it’s weighed on me a lot over the past year.
The last piece of this three-tiered cake of a midlife crisis (or breakthrough as my mom likes to say) it is that life has felt very small and flat lately. I haven’t felt inspired by Portland for a long time and our life in the city is very small. Even though we love our friends and family nearby, outside of them there’s a richness and depth that I am missing.
I think there are a few reasons for this. For starters, I feel like I’ve isolated myself. Working for home can be very isolating, and on top of that I’ve also stripped back many other areas of my life in an effort to get clarity on the direction I want to go. I also think I’ve had enough of the condo life. It’s been great for the time being and has given us so much peace of mind when we’re traveling, but I miss having a house. I miss waking up to green outside my window, and having ground to walk barefoot on and enough space to entertain (oh how I miss entertaining large groups!).
So there’s been a lot of soul search to say the least. I’ve spent a lot of time journalling, talking with close friends and family and reading anything and everything that could give me some additional perspective. Rick Rubin’s book The Creative Act: A Way of Being has been such a tremendous help for me on the creative front. I keep it on my night stand now and sometimes just open it to a page to see what I need to read that day.
It’s been a looong journey, and it’s far from over, but I’m finally beginning to feel like me again – a newer version of me – and reconnect with the curious little spitfire of a girl that I was when I was younger. I’m sure I will still have some moments where I feel lost, but I’m learning how to trust myself again and dance with life rather than try to control it.
I big focus for me this month and staying connected to me – to my essence, my intuition, and natural rhythm. Like I mentioned I’ve been so focused on everything else around me. I’m excited to focus more on and pay attention to what comes from me.
On the Calendar
Very excited about this month because we have a few dinners and outings planned with friends and family as well as a trip to NYC and down to LA at the end of the month. I definitely want to focus on building a life the feels rich and full without tons and travel, but/and/also, I really do love it when we do travel!
Things I’m Looking Forward To
- Taking a Friday off and spending it in wine country
- Strolling Soho on a gorgeous day
- Warm, sunny days
- Spring produce – and making new recipes!
- Getting together with old friends in NY and LA
- Beach walks with Chris
- Erewhon (lol)
- Drinking a chilled adult beverage in the sun
- Planning our Europe trip (even though we are very late in the game!)
Things of Note
These quotes from A Creative Act,
In terms of priority, inspiration comes first. You come next. The audience comes last.Rick Rubin
The goal is not to fit in. If anything, it’s to amplify the differences, what doesn’t fit, the special characterstics unique to how you see the world. Instead of sounding like others, value your own voice. Develop it. Cherish it.Rick Rubin
Consider that it might not have been your initial style that attracted success, but your personal passion within it. So if your passion changes course, follow it. Your trust in your instincts and excitement are what resonate with others.Rich Rubin
These AEYDE flats. Be sure to sign up for their back in stock notifications on their website!
Nour Hammour jackets and coats *swoon*. I can’t get enough of this brand atm. I got my hands on the Hatti jacket during one of FWRD’s sales and am so glad that I didn’t talk myself out of it.
I just stumbled upon Julia Louis-Drefus’s podcast Wiser Than Me and immediately subscribed. I love that it centers conversations and the wisdom of older women.