A letter of advice to myself to help make 2021 a success. For the Dear Me contest.
Wow, 2020 was a doozy wasn't it? So glad that's over with! Who knew so many things could go off the rails so quickly, all at once? It started with such promise after moving to San Antonio in December 2019 for a new job as an Executive Assistant. Within about 3 weeks it was clear that was going south but it was hard to leave. You made friends there and to some degree it was nice to be able to use so many skills in such unique ways. Then COVID-19 happened and things really got bizarre. Scary. Once again you faced financial devastation. But your husband stepped up and did what needed to be done - going back into trucking. It was hard (and is hard every day) but it was the right decision because it meant you could return to where you belong (more on that in a minute). We're not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the past here - it's over and done. Let it go.
The main lesson? You learned that you can literally be successful in any situation. Nothing can stop you. NOTHING. But not only that - you were and are often the one thing that can make the difference. You make success happen. Giving up just isn't an option, no matter what you're doing. Many times you managed to save companies from themselves and despite their efforts to prevent it. Until it just became exhausting. The more successful you were in saving everyone, the more they expected you to do it. But when the verbal abuse started, you made the decision to leave and at its core, it was a good choice. Sound at the time. How could you know you would leave one abusive situation for another one? Sometimes those are the chances we take. The job itself was great at the law firm but the owner was a psycho. Nothing you could do about that and when a line was crossed that was intolerable, you did the right thing. You left to protect your mental health, because in four months it really deteriorated to a new low.
After twelve months of trauma in the workplace, you and hubby decided to pursue self-employment. Scary, isn't it? After working so much for others, being self-employed again feels like being at loose ends. Ill-at-ease. Yet familiar too, in a good way. The freedom - that's amazing! It's hard not having that reliable income every two weeks, isn't it? In time, you'll get there. You've already started. But what's hardest of all is you can no longer equate your value to a paycheck. Being your own boss isn't scary, it's the income + productivity = self-esteem and self-worth that really is the tricky part, isn't it? Then there's the guilt over not being productive 8 to 12 hours a day.
Let me ask you: is it wrong to take a nap in the middle of the day? Is it wrong to color when you feel like it? Or go play poker in the middle of the day? Or late at night? Is it wrong to have FUN? To enjoy life as much as possible? NO! In fact, it's exactly what you should be doing.
Do you realize how fortunate you are? Your husband not only makes enough money to support the family, but he doesn't resent doing it (like the previous one did)! Robert fully supports you finding your own creative path toward success, no matter what it looks like. Writing? Marketing? Public Speaking? You can do all of it. He's giving you the freedom to do whatever you want and take as long as it takes. What faith! What trust! What a gift! And now, after seven years together, you're ready to return to self-employment, to be in charge of your own destiny and life, despite the fear it puts in the pit of your stomach. Let that fear go. It's not going to serve you.
The first step is to heal. Take the time, but don't put a timeline on it (you know you want to so don't). It will take however long it takes. A month, six months, a year. You'll know when it's time to move forward because you'll feel ready. Free and unencumbered. Strong. Don't push this, don't be impatient with it. It's important - you need to take the time. You have a lot of wounds to heal. You've never just let yourself just "be" in your entire life. It's hard but you must let go of the "work" mentality and relearn your creativity. You had it in your 20's, remember? Before life became a series of dips, loops, and loop de loops. It's been a crazy ride. Now you must find your way back to creativity again and this time, it will be richer and better because YOU are richer and better inside. The last 21 years have really changed you - made you stronger, wiser, better in all the ways you will need in order to be a success. Honor that and give it time. However long it takes. Know that it may happen in stages. That's okay too. One day you'll wake up and feel it. You'll know it when you do.
The second step will be to build. You're already doing this. You have a new client (and are working to get more) - use that opportunity to test out things, to relearn things or learn new things. Build a partnership and use it to build from. Rome wasn't built in a day and your multiple business ventures won't be either. You're the CEO/Owner of five businesses - that's an incredible achievement. In time you will find ways to meld them together seamlessly so they feel like one big company to you. This too will take time. Remember - you can't have an idea until you have it, so be patient with yourself.
The third step is to enjoy life. You've spent so many years miserable. From trauma to bad relationships to the mental health crises with Libby to traumatic and abusive work environments - the time for that is over. Done. You're going to start on this new path and not look back except to remember the lessons you learned and use them to improve your future. You have a rare opportunity to create a life that will fulfill you, make you whole again, and bring out all the amazing things inside you - your creativity, your inner light, your love for others, and your potential which has never been utilized fully. Don't hold yourself back from this - just enjoy life. It's allowed. I'm giving you permission.
Never forget: family first. Phoenix and Robert still need you, so don't lose sight of them in your pursuit of these goals. Everything you do, you do for yourself and them. Remember to put yourself first - self-care is important too.
I have complete faith in you.
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