Oh, hey! It has been a minute. I’ve been busy pivoting.
The past few months have been a wild ride to say the least. I have experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. I wallowed in some really dark, painful places, hoping there was a reason for all of it.
I know COVID had a lot to do with it. Although COVID was and is such a devastating thing to be living through, the slower pace, and the way that changed pace affected so many parts of our lives, was eye opening for me. It became clear fairly quickly how much the career I pursued impacted so many facets of my life – taking up a lot of emotional and mental space, as well as seeping into my free time and relationships. With a full year or more of reduced outreach and event commitments, the thought of going back to how things were (going to 40+ events on top of my regular duties) was panic attack inducing. I didn’t think I could do it anymore after 15+ years in this field.
The more the world opened up, the heavier my chest felt. I knew what was coming and honestly could not deal. I could feel my mental health taking a dive and called my mental health provider. I was in tears with her the first two calls as we talked through what medication changes we could make. On the third medication pivot, I could at least function enough to act professional at work (without biting at people, crying in my office, etc.). If you know me, this behavior is not me, so this was another glaring red flag.
I also faced the fact that for most of the years I had been in my profession, I ended up miserable – crashing and burning. Then I hopped into the same role somewhere else out of desperation to escape, only to meet the same demise. I’ve switched jobs more than I’d like to admit. It is something I am ashamed about, but, working with many different places made me better all around, strengthening my skills and network, and gave me confidence at my last job to execute an entire program/plan on my own with complete ease. I honestly considered myself an “expert” when I left.
This cycle was really the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result. I HATE being in that position. I am solution oriented when I see this happening in my life, and it was time to do something about my job. The true wakeup call came when I was becoming physically ill, calling into work, something I don’t do. A pivot was calling (and necessary).
Side Note: This is actually a thing in 2021. They are calling it the “Great Resignation” according to The New Yorker: Why are so many knowledge workers quitting? Super fascinating.
So much of our life was up in the air during the time I was struggling most and preventing me from making a change. Certain things needed to fall into place before either Joel or I could move forward and go after what we wanted. Joel being down for eight weeks due to ankle surgery didn’t help things…but he feels better and we are so thankful that we have access to good health insurance. That’s all that matters there.
Then all of a sudden, things started falling into place very organically. I don’t know that we’ve experienced such fortune at one time before. We’re extremely grateful for it and do not take it for granted.
The job I applied for and was most interested in got back to me and chose to hire me very quickly. I now work from home for a business based in Oregon. I have the best boss and coworkers, we clicked immediately. The position is in a field I’ve been interested in for a very long time that will allow me to get where I want to go by allowing me to essentially be educated on the job. Joel got a full time position with benefits, which was necessary because mine did not offer health insurance.
Due to the medication and job pivots, I am a different person. I often tell Joel, “This must be what it feels like to be normal.” I needed more and different medication than I had been taking. I needed to reevaluate my work and find a job that was better suited for me. These two things combined have changed my life in big ways and I’ll be forever appreciative.
What parts of your life could use a pivot? It’s worth taking the time to face the facts in front of you. Going through tough periods to get you where you want to be are so hard, but worth it (I say this from the other side of one). You deserve to be happy. Find paths that help you get to that place. It may be messy, but if your choices prevail, the work it takes to get there is priceless.
Here is me in my home office with my co-workers!