This is the most personal post I’ve written.
Maybe the most personal I’ll ever write.
I’d like to share some truths, but I’m afraid that they are just too raw and exposing.
So I’m going to have to hide behind metaphor and imagery to an extent.
But isn’t that what the best writers do?
This year has been my most turbulent and life-changing ever.
To be fair, I knew beforehand it was going to be difficult. I also know that 2020 hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park for most of us.
Some of the lessons I’ve learned
No-one knows me better than me. Even if you’ve been part of my life for years, you can’t know my thoughts and feelings the way I do.
Unless, of course, you’re omnipotent and omniscient.
And as far as I know, no human has ever fitted that description.
On the other hand, people have spotted traits in me that I didn’t see myself. I’m starting to value them now.
And that’s only because others have drawn my attention to the fact that they are valuable.
My eye for detail is one of my superpowers. I can spot things that other people miss.
That can come in very handy in business and life.
(Tip: try reading the instructions or the small print.)
But it’s also a weakness.
Sometimes I lose focus and end up daydreaming or wasting time examining minor details that ultimately aren’t important.
Having my own space suits me. I’ve done two house moves in three months. In the midst of a pandemic.
I’m currently settling in to my new place. There are still cardboard boxes all around me.
But it’s my space. Not anyone else’s.
And you know what?
It’s been a very intense and disorienting time. Now I need some time to rest and recalibrate.
Right now, like many of us, I’m looking forward to the Christmas break.
Control of my own environment matters. Without that, it’s too easy to slip out of balance.
For me, that usually means more stress, which leads to worsening physical and mental health.
And I know from experience how health underpins so much else in life.
I need to set strong boundaries.
Guilty as charged!
Lately, I have taken on too much, and pushed myself harder than I might have imagined I could cope with.
On the plus side, I have learned heaps. And some of it’s been fun.
But I have also seen how too many demands on my time and life has turned into overwhelm.
Disrespecting boundaries means disrespecting myself. That breeds resentment, drains my energy, and is bad for my health.
“Me time” is so important.
Everyone has impostor syndrome to an extent.
Even those at the top of their game, earning six figure incomes.
Well, maybe not a soon-to-be-ex president, but he’s the exception rather than the rule.
Living life at a slower pace is good.
It gives me the time and space to think. When I have that, I can be more creative.
Working with the right people makes all the difference.
If you are on the same wavelength, work becomes effortless and easy. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like work.
Being the centre of attention for an extended period is not something I’m comfortable with.
I don’t mind having my time in the limelight, but I need some quiet time too.
Faith and spiritual growth are personal things.
I don’t want to get into too much detail, but in the last few months in particular, I have definitely been on a spiritual journey.
Maybe it’s not the one that some would recognise or hope for, but it’s my personal truth.
I respect your beliefs: please don’t try to force yours on me. Let me find my own path.
Suspicion and paranoia are two of my worst enemies.
And at times, they have been sat right on my shoulders, making it impossible for me to devote my energy to anything else. I’ve had to put self-care first.
But I have had rather a lot to cope with in a short space of time…
I have spent a long period of my life taking, and not being able to give back.
Worse, being made to feel guilty for taking in the first place.
Now I can give back and want to give back. Allow me the breathing room to do this.
I’ve had to face a lot of hurdles in life, especially this year.
Some I haven’t yet got past.
Others I probably never will.
Some I have surmounted in various ways: via skill, through luck, and by thinking outside the box.
Other times, people have thrown up barriers for seemingly no reason, and that’s frustrating. Sometimes they aren’t even aware that they’re doing so, which is even more frustrating!
The coronavirus pandemic has upended everything in our daily lives, and suddenly a lot of “impossible” things are possible.
I’m thinking along the lines of work, here.
I hope that the days of work being “go into an office and work Monday to Friday 9-5” are gone forever.
It’s such a limiting belief, and denies some of us – and I include myself in that number – their chance to shine.
Sometimes coincidences aren’t just random chance.
I’ve been noticing rather too many lately, and while some of them have made me smile, or taught me a useful lesson, at other times they have been intense and just too much for me to deal with.
I’m only human, after all.
A few messages
William Shakespeare, from Twelfth Night
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
If I have made it, I hope it was on my own merits.
Maybe with some help, but mainly because I had the talent, and I deserved it.
Put it this way… I don’t think I’m destined to be the world’s greatest web developer.
But I could be a great writer.
To everyone that knows me:
Thank you for being part of my life journey.
All the time I was quietly getting along with life, I didn’t think you had noticed me. But you did.
I see that now.
But you don’t need to try so hard to get my attention any more.
And I don’t need to try so hard to get yours.
To one particular company:
I have looked, and I can’t find a mention of your company values.
I sense that I have found my tribe in you.
I need to know if your values align with my own.
(Guess I had better update my About page…)
And to one particular person (you know who you are):
I seem to have been guided along a path to meet you, though ironically we haven’t met in real life yet.
Maybe in another universe we have, but not this one.
I like working with you, but I don’t really know you.
I feel as if I’ve only seen the mirror version of you.
Sometimes I like what I see, but other times you act like an illusion, as if someone else is taking your place.
Did I pass the test? If so, you need to show me who you truly are.