I have only ever promised myself truth. Once upon a time I lived in this incredible bubble of self-interest. As Sia once put it, "Party girls don't get hurt, can't feel anything, when will I learn..." It led me down many wrong paths in my life. It cut me off from others and from myself. I was spiritually bankrupt. Fortunately, I found a way to crawl back from that place and it took a lot of support, hard work and trust. But mostly, it took honesty. I had to get real with myself about who I was and why I responded to the world around me in such detrimental ways. For me, sharing my truth is the only thing that keeps me healthy. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
This pandemic has hit my family like a freight train. Like many in our small business community, we survived because of the daily support we received from our clients. As someone with a store front, the physical space and the connections I made with our community there is what have allowed us to grow in ways I never imagined. We created new services, designed new spaces and brought in more staff in order to serve our clients and keep those connections thriving. It was beautiful.
In isolation I have learned that it was those connections and that drive to grow my business that had provided me such a sense of purpose. For me, as someone who is living a life that depends on feeling of service to others, I have really struggled with not being able to go to work everyday and feel of value. For years, I was able to keep busy. Keep moving towards a goal. It gave me a deep sense of self-worth. Pearl & Birch is a testament of my desire to live a life that contributes to people, the planet and supports my family. And in two short weeks that was ripped away from me.
At home with my children, I find myself struggling with this suffocating feeling of uncertainty. I feel paralyzed in my business and physically sick with stress. I see people on the internet posting pictures of their home workouts, tables full of a days worth of baking and funny memes of toilet paper and I admire them for their bravery. I wish I was as strong as them right now. I wish I could see the silver lining in the struggle. But I am just not there yet. Like with everything else in my life, I am just a little behind in where I want to be, because I can't get out of myself long enough to seek a new direction.
If you are struggling with finding your place in this new world order, you are not alone. If you are a business owner and have not found the strength to pivot your services yet, you are not alone. If you are a mom who hasn't created a homeschooling agenda that rivals a Montessori classroom, you are not alone. And if you overcooked your first batch of muffins, don't worry there will be plenty of more days to bake.
Mental health and self-care are not just hashtags and buzzwords. And not feeling like you are enough because you haven't risen to the occasion they way you wanted to, or the way you perceive others are, is probably happening to more people than you think. The important thing is that you stay honest about how you are feeling. Talk about it. Write about it. Blog about it. Paint it out, cry it out, sing it out. Our secrets keep us sick. And holding on to these feelings will only make them so much harder to live in a time where things are already hard. I don't have any answers, but I do have my truth. And that is what my business was built on. And it will be the path on which I find my purpose again.