All I’m going to say about February is that I’m glad it’s over. Well, that and it’s a bit of cosmic irony that the month when my batteries were lowest is when I had a ridiculous number of demands to be social. But it’s over now, and I am relieved to have made it to March without just getting in my car without a word and driving south until I hit Key West and then drinking all the sangria on Earth.
I’m looking back, but I’m looking back a whole year because as I said, who wants to look back at February? It’s hard to believe how hopelessly stuck and desperate I felt this time last year.
After landing in the hospital twice with stress-related issues, I felt like quitting my commute had become a life-or-death issue. After more than a decade of honing my copywriting and social media skills, I felt like I had hit a wall professionally. I knew I wanted to revisit the design skills I’d set aside to focus on wordcraft, but I was working in an agency where they already had a ton of talented, trained designers. I just didn’t feel passionate about my work anymore, and didn’t know how to reignite that spark.
I had one kid who was a senior in high school who still didn’t have his driver’s license and another in her last year of elementary. I had a pressing fear that I had missed all the most important parts of their lives just trying to help provide for them.
Now, my eldest has a license, a job and is halfway through his first year of college – and has probably talked to me and spent time with me more the past 6 months than he has since preschool. My youngest is navigating middle school … probably better than most kids navigate it. I’m working from home, for a nonprofit whose mission I am 100% invested in, proud of, and passionate about. I get to continue to use my writing and social media skills, while also building design skills (eventually under the guidance of an experienced creative director).
The past year was a complete roller coaster, with some absolutely terrifying moments. But seriously, now that I’m on the other side? Wow. If some time traveling madman with a box had found me a year ago, and told me both the good things in store now and the absolutely insane journey it took to get here?
Well, it’s probably better to not know.
Most of the time, we’re marching towards the hope of a future we can’t really picture, and can’t be certain will be waiting for us at the end.
But time marches on, with or without you. If you don’t keep taking those steps, you’re just going to get dragged along anyway. And you may not like where you land.