Over these past summer weeks of intensive thinking (like intense workout, only you don't use your limbs as much and still get exhausted) I've realised that sometimes, even for an avid writer like myself, you need more of talking than writing (!).
And the more you think. And talk. And don't write, the less inclined you are to write. And for every idea and thought I don't put to *paper* the higher my own quality demands on blog posts get. Thoughts like 'Is this really worth writing about? Can I, should I really share this too? Is this helpful, useful, inspiring enough?', when in fact it is my blog and I write what I want to. And life isn't always, obviously, happy and inspiring. At least not in the usual sense. A lifestyle blog - which to be honest sound so trivial, superficial, dimwitted and boring, but I suppose that's the closest I get describing the World According to me - really is about ups and downs, darkness and light and everything in between. It really doesn't have to be clever, in one way or the other, all the time. Life itself isn't.
We all go through really tough periods in our lives, heartaches and sorrows. Of course that will show in the way we interact with others. As it should. That's life. And perhaps we simply are our worst critics when it comes to the (invisible) demands of being upbeat, inspirational and light? And neither happiness nor sorrow lasts forever, at least not in that initial, intense, overwhelming way. But the latter needs a lot of work, of the think, talk, write kind.
And by doing that, the thoughts and words will repeat themselves many times until they are (reasonably) out of the system, in order to move on. Most likely also repeated over and over again in blog I suspect, different constellations of words, same thought process.
So what has happened since 20 days ago when I decided this will be a summer of thoughts and simple actions? And since I baked awesome vegan cookies? (have you tried them, did you enjoy?)
Surprisingly enough both very little and a lot, I would say.
- One new thought that striked me this past week is that with this new financial situation, being dependent on just me, myself and I, with lack of the stability that comes from being in a partnership, it actually feels like I'm in my 20ies again, fresh from university, time to build up it all up again but now on my own. With three main differences - a) I'm 20 years older and no naive spring chicken anymore (well, I've probably never been that naive really), b) truckloads of experience both professionally and emotionally and c) grown up responsabilities like a house filled with cats and bills to pay.
This realisation that I'm kind of thrown back to my twenties but in a new life-suit was kind of an aha-experience. And the crazy thing is that it's not only scary, even if it really is, but also quite exilirating. Empowering actually. Forcing me to both be active as well as having faith that things will be alright again, in new, different and in the end very good ways.
- Still really bummed that I've been done out for a summer in my city because of the commuter train/bus debacle, but at the same time I've had this plethora of hours to really think. On a blanket, on the grass, in the garden, in the sun or the shadow, with furry critters. And reading quite a few books I've related a lot too (it's indeed strange how all of them have resonated lots in my current situation without me actively chosing to read them because of that. They have simply appeared). I'm so happy for my house, for my garden, for the tykes. There have been not only good thoughts, but lots of honest and useful thoughts, going through options and solutions and strategies.
And the few times (limited to two occasions per week to keep my stress levels down) I've had meetups in the city I've treasured those moments all the more.
And guess what, now it's almost only one week left until the trains run as usual again! How awesome is that. I'm going to do the summer city like crazy, use my travel card and just walk around on my own, discover new areas, enjoying the change of scenery not having to stress out over the awful bus rides. Having lunches and coffees with friends coming back from summer holidays. Grab every inch of those 3,5 last weeks of summer. It's going to be great.
- In mid July I had a second meeting with my new accountant, I dreaded it a bit because of the current financial status, but she continued to be really helpful, explaining the hows and the whys and calming my worries. This time it took me 3 hours one way though, so yay, basically 6 hours spent on buses only that day to get there and home. As nice as Norrtälje is to visit, it's much nicer when you can go by car and it takes about one hour. But the annual closing is done now so I don't have to think about our next meeting until next spring.
- Last week I was contacted by a London-based agency for a three weeks' gig as a social media manager for a well-known brand's Swedish social channels. We did actually agree on the hourly fees - which is a surprise given that I've been contacted by so many London-based agencies as a freelancer and they have always, always offered offensively low fees, compared to what I've been offered from agencies in other countries and compared to the hourly rates I work for in Sweden, that I've until now declined. Being a freelancer not a serf, you know. - so I'm now working my first fun week of that.
I really enjoy working as a social media manager, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy it as much if it was full-time or for an infinite time. The strategies are already set, you are much more constrained than you can imagine and you're basically an obedient tool. That said I do enjoy getting a peak view of different brands' approaches to social media, how very different their strategies can be, how more or less efficient everything is organised, how hierarchically business are run in some countries compared to others.
- Got a call about one of the jobs I've applied for a while back - one I stumbled over in a Facebook group I rarely visit - and we've set up a meeting after the holidays ie August 28, for a job that starts early September. I would of course loved to have had that interview next week already, but well, glad I got that call at all of course! It's a 50% communicator maternity leave cover for 10ish months, two train stations away and I would absolutely love getting the job. It would be a great opportunity to do some good, meet new people (but not having to grind with them 9-5 five days a week), get an interesting, professionally useful experience, get the bills paid, save up and at the same time give me 50% to continue running my own business. Not to mention it's in the opposite direction of the rush hours into the city, farther out at the end station of my line so I don't have to stress about the rush hours either. Seems perfect really. Fingers, toes and paws crossed.
Overall, despite sadness and worries, ups and downs from one day to another, I feel like I'm in a good flow right now. The Zone even. I'm so grateful for that and I do hope the flow will continue to be generous with its sprinkles of real goodness.
The sudden, shocking passing of M has been a really sad wake-up call, forcing me to address life changes I know (and knew) I really needed to make even before. I feel I'm quite a few steps down the road of redefining myself already. I just wish these necessary life changes had happened under less heartbreaking circumstances. But at the same time I accept that perhaps something as tragic and drastic as the death of someone very important in my life was the wake-up call I needed to go through with these necessary changes. When you aren't brave enough to make those changes on your own, life has a tendency to abruptly force you to make them. The realisation of that doesn't lessen the sorrow per se, but it does make me accept it, working for and being open to a new life. A great one to come.