Two of the most challenging years later and two job changes later as well, if there’s someone who has gone through a lot, it’s me.
Lost my uncle and my grandmother this year, I stop writing on this blog, never posted as much on social media (especially Facebook), had a few nervous breakdowns and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and well, let’s just say I’ve become an expert at ‘soldiering on’.
That’s actually something my radio career taught me well and it’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because it allows you to not focus on the issues weighing the heaviest on your mind. Soldiering on or ‘keeping your head up’ means you stay busy and give everything else in your life the attention it deserves. But it’s a bad thing because while you’re doing that, you aren’t giving the one thing that matters the attention it deserves….yourself!
I realized that I was anxious a lot this past year and that I had the feeling of being overwhelmed more consistently than I should have. I mean I know these are things no one really likes but thanks to therapy, (yes I do that) I have learned that instead if ignoring, deflecting or doing those other things that our friends tell us to do when we feel this way,…(‘don’t think about that’, ‘focus on the good things’… or worse ‘think of people who have it worse than you’), it works better to unpack what is triggering these feelings.
Scariest part was realizing it might have been because of something that happened in the past that I just did not effectively get over. Like my dad passing away in 2012. Yeah. 2012! As in all those years ago! Suppressed feelings have a way of coming back to the surface and in ways you least expect.
I never thought anxiety was like a ‘real disease’. I thought, ‘I just need to grow thicker skin’ and ‘I just need to be more confident’. The second one I would even hear from people who were closest to me.
It’s solid advice. But confidence, like a lot of things in the entertainment industry can be faked. And you can really fake it till you make it. But you also can fake it, till it breaks you.
So, throughout all the ups and downs I have been through these past couple of years, my biggest take-away was to learn to be kind to myself!
Yes. At this my big age… lol… I am done looking at myself through anyone else’s eyes but mine. Cause my eyes tell me I am the sh*t! And even when they don’t,…cause self doubt is a thing, I will train them to. I would have never pegged myself to be the kind of person to have made some of the big decisions I made during this time but making them has built my trust in myself.
And it all started with being kind to me. Being kind to myself has allowed me to accept the things I really can’t change, to be very choosy with what kind of energy I allow around myself and to be selfish with taking time away to do things that make me happy!
It’s only the start but this was such a big lesson that I just had to share it. It won’t always be easy but don’t beat yourself up when you don’t get something right on the first try. Or even the second or third, or tenth! Don’t let someone else who seems to be ‘doing better’ or ‘earning more’ keep you from celebrating where you are in life. Don’t wear make up for anyone other than yourself! Don’t be afraid to negotiate for what you feel you are worth and to walk away when you don’t get it.
Being kind is key! So be kind, first to yourself!