Getting Up Close and Personal

Last week there were two days that I wanted to be super vocal on, and in fact fully intended on doing so, but I ended up missing both. Between some struggles with my own mental health issues, some craziness with scheduling, and bringing home a new puppy…well, the week got (understandably) away from me. So I’m taking this moment to get a little up close and personal.

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First, last Wednesday (October 10) was World Mental Health Day.

I make no secret of the fact that I have anxiety and depression. It took years to understand how and why my brain was sabotaging me, and even longer to figure out the right was to cope daily. Coping is not the same as curing. Am I better? Undeniably. Do I still have mental illness? Also undeniably. Are there good days and also really bad days and everything in between? Hell yes. The point is, I will always speak up about self-care, about mental illness, and about surviving when your own brain is a traitor, and I will also signal boost content about those topics any time I can.

The very next day, Thursday October 11, was National Coming Out Day.

Oh boy. This one is…complicated. I appreciate the idea of a day meant to bring awareness to our community, and for those who can safely do so, celebrating being out or coming out for the first time. I just wish more focus was put on the fact that even today it’s NOT easy or safe for a lot of people to come out. I’m so tired of seeing arguments about this day being unnecessary, that it’s not a big deal anymore. Guess what? It is. Maybe it’s not if you’re a cis white gay dude in California. But in rural, very red areas? In extremely conservative religious households? If you’re trans? If you’re older? If you’re younger? There are still a lot of misconceptions and fears and struggles. I just don’t want an arbitrary day to make anyone feel pressured to come out.

Oh, yeah, hi. Still here, still queer. I mean, I could go into allllllll the labels I have used and how my identifiers have evolved as I’ve learned more about myself, but let’s save that conversation for another even more personal post, shall we?

Where am I going?

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In my coaching group – wow, that sounds so bougie. It’s not. We’re all super normal people. Well, you know, for a certain definition of normal. We’re all just looking for ways to be better at, well, life. I digress. ANYWAY, in my coaching group we’ve been working on our Life Maps – basically, instead of a standard (endless) to-do list, it’s a success list. It’s only about the things that will move my goals forward. I’ve been struggling with it, because most of the goals I had, I’ve met. I know, poor me, I’ve achieved my goals. My life must be so awful. I can see you eye-rolling.

But the thing is, if I’m honest, those goals were only mid-level difficulty. And I still didn’t really believe I could make them happen – ah, mental illness and self doubt, you are fun partners. And by fun I of course mean horrid. And yet, here we are. We moved to Portland. Our cost of living is lower. I’m working fully remotely on my terms. Harrison is down to part time. We’ve paid down a couple thousand in debt. And…as of the end of last week, we got a dog. My current life is about 90% of what is on my vision board. Sounds great! And I don’t want to discount the fact that we’ve gotten this far, it’s amazing. I need to remember to stop and celebrate that.

Is there more I want? Absolutely! From a financial standpoint, we want to be able to pay off all our debt. I want to be able to look at my income and Harrison’s art income, compare them to our bills, and tell Harrison “We no longer need your day job paycheck”. We want to be able to not have to double-check bank balances any time we want to treat ourselves to a movie or dinner. I want to have extra money to throw at other people’s passion projects and creative endeavors. We both want to travel more – which financial freedom and job freedom would allow.

The general “what” I want is there. It’s the how to get there I’m stumped on. What’s my next business plan or goal? How do I achieve it? That’s where I’m stuck. I’m one person. I can only take on so many individual clients before I’m out of hours. So I need to figure out what else I want to focus on. Do I go back into more creative work like sewing? Do I tackle more writing? Do I find other ways to use my business knowledge to help others? Do I combine all of them?

Like I said, I’m a bit lost. So I’ve really been trying to instead focus on how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished. And also, I’m focusing on spending time with our new puppy. 🙂

Everyone, meet Milo Thatch. He’s already spoiled rotten. Look at that face.

Update: Okay, so I finished typing this last night and had it almost ready to go, and then today had an AWESOME video call with my coach and had some epiphanies and got some clarity, so I actually have a pretty good plan forming. But I’m leaving this post intact as written, because I think it’s important to share the struggles I face as well as the successes. As for the new plan? I’ll share more once it solidifies. 🙂

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