Yesterday, I had a pretty big mind-explosion moment that got me stuck in the super-helpful & ego-building WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?? cycle.
I’d been working up to this freak-out for a good week or so. I could feel it. For days, I didn’t sleep well. I’d wake up to find myself sweaty and panicked. And, let me just tell you, there ain’t shit going on over here. I mean, no one is trying to take my kid away from me. I know where I am going to sleep tonight. I have enough food to eat. Everything I’m dealing with is completely middle class, privileged mid-life crisis type stuff. Unfortunately, recognizing where my plight lies in the spectrum of human suffering doesn’t make this particular point in time any less frustrating or agonizing.
So what put me in a tailspin?
Losing something I never actually had in the first place.
Two weeks ago, a former client called with a project that would’ve spanned over the course of a year–and would’ve significantly added to our income. Significantly. The client & I discussed pricing and timeframe. They suggested some light reading (think more like reading the operating manual to a Boeing 747) to catch me up on the industry. I was just waiting for confirmation on due dates and the topic for the first written piece.
Then. The client backed out. At the last minute.
And I was crushed.
I spent most of yesterday wondering why I ever thought I could be in business for myself–and what I was doing wrong, exactly–and simultaneously reminding myself that I never actually had the gig in the first place.
I had the promise of something. Not the thing itself.
It wasn’t like the client looked at a draft & was like “GOOD GOD, WOMAN, THIS IS THE EPITOME OF SUCKITUDE.” They just went in another direction on a staffing level.
Once I simmered down a smidge, I began to think about what the Universe might be trying to show me. It’s hard for me to be still & listen lately. My mind whirs incessantly. So, looking for insight was a challenge–to say the least. But what I finally got around to admitting was that this particular job (or I guess the promise of this job) didn’t light me up like some of my other work does. It was absolutely the right thing to take it when it was offered. But now that the offer was no longer on the table, I began to think about what this might free me up to do.
And there’s this project… oh, how I am ON FIRE with excitement about this project. I’d be supporting a friend in her own passion project–one that I believe in so wholeheartedly that it’s hard for me to contain my enthusiasm when I talk about it. But supporting her in a real and meaningful way involves researching and writing grants–which is a helluva lot of work. But it’s work that can literally change the world–and it’s work that is part of who I am as a person.
So maybe, I realized, this was why I got a no when I wanted a yes. Maybe it was so I could say yes to the work the Universe is calling me to.
Maybe. Either way, today feels less like a crisis and more like an opportunity. Which, I’m gonna just go ahead & call a win.