The new year has officially arrived…and with it a plethora of New Year’s resolutions and goals posts. While this post is most certainly in the same vein, it is also a little different; more complex than that. I want to be quite transparent. I want to be transparent because I don’t think that this journey I am taking will be successful without a new level of transparency. I want to talk about my work. Mainly, why I’ve just barely been doing it and why I have struggled to work and blog consistently the last few years.
Firstly, let me define what I mean by “work”:
When I say work, I mean anything and everything surrounding being a blogger and influencer. This looks like many things, such as creating quality content, going after collaborations and sponsorships, attending events, pursuing new ways to monetize my Instagram and blog (nothing wrong with it people, I’ve got to make a living!), and blogging regularly.
Now, on to why it has been such a struggle to remain consistent and persistent in these areas and more.
There are many reasons; from struggling with a ridiculous amount of health issues, to coping with on and off depression over the last few years (which is also a health issue obviously), to caring for a spouse who struggles with mental illness, to prioritizing relationship with my children, the reasons are many. However, there has been a common theme that has contributed to my inconsistency and that is lack of support. I just haven’t really had the mental and emotional support to take a career seriously. On top of that, I haven’t had the practical support, especially with childcare, in order to take a career seriously. This isn’t to blame Sam, or anyone else in my life, I’m just being brutally honest about what I have been struggling with the last few years.
Another thing I have constantly been up against is, simply, fear. Fear of ANOTHER false start where I pick work up again only to be slammed with another health problem, or a lack of help with the kids, that overwhelms me, gets me down, and results in me pushing pause on a career. I hate being flaky, I hate half-assing (pardon my French) what I do, and yet…that is exactly what I have done.
A third obstacle…lack of discipline. This is embarrassing for me to share. But, I am committed not only to transparency, but vulnerability as well. I wasn’t raised in the most disciplined household. The environment I grew up in offered many, many positive things, including a strong work ethic, but not discipline. There were many reasons why; neither of my parents were taught a high level of discipline, although they were both capable of it and exercised it in certain areas, but they were up against A LOT. There were many difficult circumstances that challenged the orderly life they tried to create when I was young. Things like losing our home to a tornado, various separations between the two of them, and finally my mother’s illness and death, created an extremely tumultuous and unreliable lifestyle. As unfortunate as all of that might be, as an adult, I am responsible for learning what I wasn’t able to learn then. I have grown in discipline in many areas but others still have room for considerable improvement, career being one of them.
The next influence I would point to is guilt. I really freaking like blogging and influencing. I think it is amazing. It feels like a dream come true and while it has its challenges, it never feels like “work” to me. Because of this, I have actually carried a lot of guilt about making it a priority. I know, its insane. Dumb logic. It sometimes feels like I’m choosing something “fun” over other responsibilities. This of course is ridiculous as long as actually pursuing this career is financially sound. I’ve already shown myself that I can make real money doing this, so this is one negative thought that simply needs to be banished from my brain.
Now, here is the reality…I AM NOT A VICTIM. Sure, some of my circumstances are challenging and out of my control. Yeah, that sucks. It can be really, really hard. It can be extremely painful. But, it isn’t really an excuse. There are successful people with far worse circumstances than I and far greater obstacles. I and I alone control how I spend my time (even if that time is being shared with watching the kids). While I can’t control every health issue, I can make lifestyle changes to improve my health as much as possible. And when I am sick, I can choose to be answering emails instead of binging Netflix. This goes back to discipline, which I took some massive steps toward improving this year. I spent months with a life coach who offered daily accountability, feedback, and more. I started a fitness routine and stuck to it (for the most part ;), I cut out gluten for months, I did things I’ve never had the discipline to ever do before.
Honestly, I am sick and tired of not being where I want to be in life and not having the career I KNOW I am capable of having because I am unwilling to grow in these areas. I can’t do it, this isn’t me. I’m way tougher than this, and entirely too stubborn. These challenges develop “grit” if we let them and I am determined to be so full of grit that I am unstoppable.
I am ready for my life, relationships and career to reflect who I feel I am.
I’m not perfect, and I know this process isn’t going to be perfect, and that is okay. Last night a friend said that there are two types of failure: when you fail, but refuse to acknowledge that you have failed and keep plowing through it continuing to make the same mistakes – and – when you fail, acknowledge it, and let it keep you from moving on. Then there’s something else, failing, recognizing the mistakes made, growing, and trying again…it isn’t really “failing” at all. I am perfectly happy with whatever happens as long as I choose to live my life according to the third option.
You know the exciting thing about realizing that you aren’t a victim? Realizing that you have a lot of power over what your life looks like and how you live it.
I am excited.
I am not expecting to be completely on top of every aspect of my life and career this January…that isn’t realistic…but I am going to hold myself to a higher standard than I ever have and fight through the lies and challenges that come at me. I am excited to share this journey with you and to grow a career that feeds me the way this one does. I am excited to grow even more into the person that God designed me to be and who I know I am. I think this year is going to offer me more opportunity than any year I have had yet; not because “the universe” says this year is “my year”, but because I am going to pursue the hell out of opportunities and cultivate a responsible landing place for opportunity to be seized and executed.
Thank you. Thank you for all of your support thus far. Thank you for every like, comment, DM (even the ones I have failed to respond to), email, opportunity, share, and kind word. This dream career of mine wouldn’t exist without you and I can’t wait to take the next step of this amazing adventure with you.
So cheers to 2018…let’s make it our most successful yet!