I think we can all agree that social media and the Internet in general is pretty awesome. Right? In the last few months, especially, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the opportunities that all of this connectivity affords us, and I certainly can’t imagine a world where I don’t feel totally up-to-date on the lives of everyone I care about simply because I’m following them on Instagram.
Unfortunately, there is a darker side to social media. There’s been a lot written about how curated feeds and blogs have created a new standard of perfection that feels almost impossible to meet (this Bustle article sums it up pretty well).
As much as I love sharing the high points of my journey here, it’s also important to me that I am authentic. Like any other blogger, I can’t help but curate what I post, but I want to take ownership of the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the transitions happening in my life. While I’ve been lucky to find some success pretty early on with my writing, it hasn’t been easy — there are moments where it actually feels really HARD.
I’m starting a new series today called Real Talk, where I’ll shift gears and write honestly about my more ridiculous, frustrating, and discouraging moments. My intention here is NOT to complain (I promise!), but to give you a balanced picture of the ups and downs I experience in this new chapter of my life. I’m not perfect, and neither are the changes I’m navigating. Read on to get a glimpse of a few of my low points.
- Last week, I broke down in tears and cried on the floor of my apartment because I somehow managed to lose both of my contact lenses in the same morning and I didn’t have any back-ups. (Ugh, I’m embarrassed just to admit this!) Obviously, it wasn’t really about the contact lenses (as I always say, “it’s never about what it’s about”) — it had been a tough week and I was feeling strung out in every possible way. I had also scratched my eye in the whole mess, and when you spend most of your time working alone, it’s easy to get a little freaked out that if you really got hurt, there wouldn’t be anyone immediately available to help.
- I haven’t purchased a new piece of clothing in three months (not even a T-shirt). My amazing husband and I pool our collective income to keep things moving here financially, and my paychecks have now started to roll in (yay!), but I’m still being very conservative with spending until things get further off the ground.
- I’m still adjusting to talking about my new job as a writer when I meet people for the first time. When I had a more traditional gig, I barely gave it a second thought when people asked me what I did for a living, but now I find myself stumbling over my words. Since this is all still new and I’m continually growing my portfolio of clips, I’m not 100% confident about how to present my career to new acquaintances in a way that will be taken seriously. (Any advice from fellow writers and freelancers on this would be much appreciated!)
- Bad weather can be isolating. It rained almost every day last week, and the cold temperatures are finally starting to set in. I’m finding that it’s now all the more important to make a little extra effort to get myself out of my home office and into other workspaces.
- Getting bad news is REALLY hard when you’re on your own. I’ve found that working for myself means that the professional highs feel very high…but that the professional lows feel that much lower. At my previous job, I was lucky to be surrounded by some really special co-workers who were always there to pick me up if I was having a rough day, and now it’s entirely up to me to turn the mood around. It’s also difficult not to take things personally when they don’t go my way.
These challenges are honestly so minor compared to how I felt in the hard days toward the end of my previous corporate job. Still, it’s not all about writing fun stories and making my own schedule, regardless of what my Instagram feed and the rest of this blog might suggest : )