Last year, due to Covid, I lost most of my freelance work. I found myself home all the time fighting to get published and struggling to make an income. With this I also felt like a failure, felt inadequate, and grasped for my self-worth, believing the woman I am was inherently tied to the work I was – or wasn’t – achieving. I found myself lost in a dark night of the soul with no purpose or direction or motivation to even want to face each day.
Because of this I decided to take a break from writing and work as a barista. There have been many things about this work that I’ve loved. I truly love making coffee and being part of creating a small piece of joy in people’s day. I have loved chatting with people and hearing their stories. I’ve loved having a sense of achievement at the end of each day and knowing I have an income that isn’t dependent on finding work in what has been a volatile industry.
However, living in a crazy popular tourist town sees summer become the busiest and hardest time of year. More days, longer days, exhausting days. This summer I found myself working more often than not. On the days I wasn’t working I was so tired all I wanted to do was flake on the couch and never move. My stress levels went up, my health came crashing down; both physically and mentally. I stopped exercising. I stopped eating well (or some days, barely ate at all). I stopped journalling and writing and meditating and being out in nature and doing all the things I need to do to care for myself.
Most of all, I stopped having the time and energy to spend with my children over their summer holidays. My younger ones especially felt this and struggled with my absence at a time in their lives they need me present the most.
It was a difficult decision but after much consideration I resigned from my job. I have been unsure of whether I made the right call or not; unsure whether working full-time from home was going to be the right thing for my mental health, or not.
But this morning I set my 6am alarm, made coffee, and went for the first morning walk I have taken in months. As I breathed the cool morning air I felt myself unfolding; opening up to this new day and all the possibilities and opportunities laid out once again before me; both peace and hope expanding inside me.
Walking back into my office this morning was a feeling of coming home. And I realised this hasn’t been about starting, and stopping, and finishing, and failing. It’s just the ebb and flow of seasons in our lives. If we can learn to move in and out of them effortlessly; to surrender to our winter that we may find renewed strength for our spring, this is where we will find our peace.
I needed the time away from writing. It has been the ultimate reset. But I find myself today filled with anticipation; relieved and excited to have already found work and once again be able to write and create and feel myself living again, not just existing.
The work of one season is always preparing us for the next.
This is my today. I can’t tell you what my tomorrow will look like. But I know in this moment, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.