Pretty much the last 3 months of 2019 were a Haunted House. Ok, maybe 4 months.
If you’re here, you probably are well aware I started a freelance writing business. The writing morphed out of social media marketing and has further morphed into a touch of graphic design and business coaching. I am also maintaining my blog and my Etsy store and my volunteer work. I went from working 0 hours a week to nearly a full time job while I maintain-ish alllllll the other happy, stressful, rewarding, anxiety producing shit that goes into being a mom of 4.
Let me tell you what. I’m glad I didn’t give the time consumption too much thought. I saw opportunities and I took them. Was I scared? Hell yes. Am I still scared? Everyday.
(I’m going to go ahead and lay out a disclaimer here. I am speaking about MY journey, not suggesting this is anyone else’s journey but mine and mine alone.)
Being a stay at home mom is THE HARDEST JOB I HAVE EVER DONE. Ever. I don’t care what happens with my business, my kids are still 100% my priority and I’m going to show up every day for them. But. Those adorable little cherub face turkeys wear.me.down. As a stay at home mom for the first 5 years, my entire goal in life was to make sure that they were well-rounded and cared for. You’re going to find this hard to believe, but I wasn’t always bad at laundry. While fulfilling the needs of my family was emotionally a home run, it mentally sucked my soul right out of my body in a black cloud of smoke.
I have known for YEARS that I needed something for me, but I also didn’t want to give up being there for all my kids’ stuff. I’ve had a side photography business since 2011. That’s cool, but doesn’t light my fire. I worked as a virtual assistant for a while too. I stopped taking work that didn’t excite me and eventually tapered off from it. That’s my fault because I didn’t anticipate that a majority of what I would be doing was what I was already doing as a stay at home parent. It’s great to get paid good money to make hotel reservations for strangers, but also, that’s not exactly mentally stimulating for me.
Off I go on the hunt for something else.
So. 2 years ago at the end of January, I started my weight lifting journey as a way to take back a piece of myself. Weight lifting makes me feel 1. Strong. 2. In control 3. Powerful (and, yes, that’s different from strong). Weight lifting started piecing me back together and giving me permission to make myself a priority for a few minutes every day. Weight lifting gave way to hiking and rock climbing… and eventually I’m making myself a priority every day for a little bit. The world didn’t stop turning. The laundry didn’t spontaneously combust (sadly). The kitchen still eventually got cleaned and I got myself showered everyday at least 70% of the time. I don’t think I lost any friends over my sweat stank. But, maybe I did. If so, I don’t miss them.
Do you have any idea how empowering that is? Seems simple. But, after what felt like a lifetime of NOT making myself a priority, I had convinced myself that if I didn’t focus all my energy on everyone else everything would fall apart. It terrified me to see what that looked like because I felt like I was barely hanging on as it was. Weightlifting and prioritizing myself for a few minutes every day got me thinking. When I realized we were going to be ok if I put myself first juuust a little bit… that maybe I could do it a little more.
So when my bestie offered me the opportunity to manage her social media, I jumped in with both feet. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I know my work ethic. It was scary to try to squeeze something else in for me, but I did it anyway.
I took the opportunity that Steph offered me and leveraged it on UpWork. As it turns out, people who understand finance/investing and also can write aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. What I found out quickly is that my unique skill set made me valuable. Me. I am valuable.
Y’all are probably ready to reach through the blog and punch me because I’m insinuating that finding work made me feel valuable. Remember when I said that this was my journey? Well. Frankly. Someone telling me that what I was what they were looking for and that I was doing a good job made me feel valued. It made me feel like a contributor.
It hasn’t all been breezy. I have applied to 2 other jobs that my not getting hired can only be described as a spectacular dumpster fire. You know what though? I’m still standing. I was prepared for devastation to my fragile ego. As it turns out, my ego isn’t as fragile as I’ve lead myself to believe over the last 9 years.
What I very indirectly SQUIRREL! have been trying to say here is that attempting to find some semblance of who Meagan is after so long of shuffling though required CLAWING out. It might sound dramatic to some, but I guarantee you that at least one person who is reading this can relate. I see you, sis.
So. If you’re reading this and thinking “I need something more” First. Throw that guilt shit right into the garbage can where it belongs. You are ALLOWED to want more. Not everyone does and that’s cool too! But, if you’re feeling guilty about not feeling completely and wholly fulfilled about what you’re doing day in and day out, STOP IT. Stay at home moms are allowed to want more. Drs and CEOS and mail carriers and trainers and literally everyone is allowed to want more.
I say this to my kids all the time. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. 2020 is the time to love your life. If you wake up and feel like you’re just putting one foot in front of the other- do something that scares you! Start a side hustle organization business. Pick up an old hobby. Go back to school. Start a book club. Whatever it is that scares you- do it. It’s OK to make yourself a priority. Your family will be ok. You will be ok.
If you need someone to talk to about scary stuff, you already know I’m your girl.