Just for a small while.
You know that age old saying ‘Out of the frypan and into the fire’? Well that’s what I did. In this situation I went from a job that I couldn’t stand to one that I love but gave too much to.
I chose to give too much of my time, my energy and passion for someone else’s passion, which saw me working days, nights and finally nine days straight at which point I wasn’t really sleeping, eating right or functioning as a human. I think it is safe to say I was just existing.
My solution to this was to meditate and boy did I meditate. I’ve been meditating for a few years now and I think everyone should to it. However, during this crazy period I would sit or lie down to begin my session and my mind would completely wander off track to a never-ending to-do list and suddenly, I’d hear this voice.
“…imagine your bed is a raft, floating on a river and you’re just moving with the gentle flow of this river…”
At which point I would snap back and think ‘’What is this absolute rubbish I am listening to and why would I want to pretend my bed is a raft on water?!” Having completely forgotten that I was meant to be meditating with the only goal of calming my mind. Not mentally checking off and adding things to my to-do list.
It was working well, right?
The craziness didn’t happen within a few days or over a couple of weeks. It happened over a few months and for me the worst part was that I didn’t see it coming. Do other people see it? I don’t know. Maybe that was because it started off small, saying yes to little extra bits here and there and with every extra yes my priorities were shifting. I didn’t necessarily forget what was important to me, I disregarded them as things that would be there when this busy period ended, including the people I love, my creativity and myself.
It was registering mentally that I was letting go of the things that made me happy but it was all temporary. It seemed okay because there would be an end.
There had to be an end!
Sorry – slightly dramatic – but I was hanging out for the day, the week, even just the smallest moment that I would be able to catch my breath.
I also couldn’t see how grumpy I was getting; how short I was with everyone and I couldn’t see how unpleasant I was becoming to be around, and I mean really unpleasant.
All for a job.
I ended up in this vicious cycle of sickness, yelling at everyone, bursting into tears randomly because I couldn’t get the exact soy milk at my local grocery store, then getting outraged and wanting to write a letter to everyone that pissed me off! Trust me when I say there were a lot of letters. Thank goodness I didn’t actually write and send them. Can you imagine being on the receiving end of one my letters? I would’ve sounded bananas! Imagine all the exclamation marks and capital letters I would’ve used, all over soy milk.
I continued this way for too long, for me. I kept going and pushing through, even though I missed the people I loved, I missed my creative outlets. I missed my life. It was unsustainable and I knew something was going to give. I knew that if I wasn’t going to force myself to take a break then someone or something would.
In my case, it was someone. She came in the form of a small human, that is my little pocket rocket, my daughter and she said to me so simply.
‘Mummy, I don’t want to be around you anymore’
Thank you, Charlie. There is nothing like the brutal honesty of a six year old.
This whole time I thought I was deeply connected to my mind and body, that I was aware of how my emotional state effected my physical state, but I was so wrong because I didn’t see this. I didn’t see how much I had not only pushed myself to limits that I am not proud of, but I had pushed the people I love the most to not want to be near me. To tell you that it completely broke me would be an understatement.
All I can say is that I’m human and completely fallible.
Note to self: I am not a robot that can be programmed and has no feelings. Robots don’t need to eat, sleep or breathe. I do.
Human and fallible.
How was it that I became okay with spending maybe an hour a week of quality time with Charlie? The rest of the time I think I was just yelling at her or other random people. And can I tell you, when you want time to slow down, it goes even faster! I was not present at all. In her life or mine, all I was doing was thinking about the next thing I had to get done.
It was horrible and I was a mess. One big mess.
And then came the deep breath. In and out. Okay maybe there was more than one deep breath. Maybe it was more like a 100…
I’ve spent most of the last 2 weeks beating myself up over all of this, which hasn’t been pleasant but I have an incredible support system around me and I will never be able to say thank you enough to all those people.
So, where does that leave me now? Well I’ve had time to reflect, catch up on oodles of uninterrupted sleep, celebrate another birthday and just be. Do you know how nice it is to just be? It is something that I will be doing more of.
I’m such a strong believer in the power of choice and I made some shit decisions, but I also believe in learning from my mistakes and I don’t make the same mistake twice. Unless it is to do with terrible tech decisions or eating too much cake, in those instances I make the same mistake multiple times, which I’m okay with. So that makes it not a mistake, right?
Sorry, easily distracted.
Change is never easy, and it takes time to build better habits, but my life is too important to waste and I am willing to change for myself and the people around me. Always.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been setting up some boundaries to create change and even though they are hard at times to stick to, I keep reminding myself of what is important to me and why I have these boundaries in place. I am also giving myself plenty of mental and physical space and taking small steps to be creative again. I’m loving my family and giving my girls lots of extra hugs. That is enough for now.
Oh, and I keep telling myself “Human, not robot. Fallible”
This post is a completely left of field from the last two posts and I will go back to my story but I had to write this. I had to explain where I had gone. I had to say sorry. To everyone I love, to myself and to you.
After all this is my accountability. To show up here and at home, for myself and for the life I want to live.
And I don’t want to get lost again.