The Butterfly Effect
OK, so this is going to be a bit more of a vulnerable post because this is a topic that’s been weighing on my heart the past few days. At this point, we are now reaching the 8-9 month mark of me being in business solely for myself. It’s been amazing, truly. I have absolutely incredible clients, I love the work that I do, there are more opportunities every day, and I’m making WAY more money than I ever did in my wedding industry career.
… so why aren’t I happy?
I have everything I’ve ever wanted. Anna a year ago would be tripping balls over the life I have now. Anna a year ago BEGGED for the life I have now. I thank God every single day for the life I have, and yet there’s this gnawing truth that just won’t shut the fuck up! That I am programmed to earn.
My whole life all I’ve ever known is to earn praise, earn approval, earn the grade, the job, the promotion, the prize. There’s always been a dynamic of there being someone to please, a prize to earn, and an overall goal to achieve. There were these little victories all the time because I put SO MUCH STOCK in how other people thought of me.
When I got dressed in the morning I would wear an outfit I’d hoped to get complimented on. When I got to work on time or early, I felt good knowing that I met someone’s expectations. I did extra side work and got satisfaction simply knowing that it took something off my coworker’s plate. It was a constant existence of pleasing, pleasing, pleasing, pleasing… and now?
Now I make the rules, and it’s both terrifying and unsatisfying.
I am not programmed to get a rush when I get my way. I get a rush when I help someone else get theirs. I have been trained to serve and while yes, I serve my clients, I’m not getting that constant sense of validation. It’s also not the same power dynamic. When you’re working in a job there’s a boss who has work for you to do, and you get a gold star when it’s done. With the work that I do, we are both bosses and the production of my work is an expectation. It’s more an exchange of goods rather than a “service”. Which leaves me with this unnerving empty realization.
My existence feels meaningless because I’m not living to please people day in and day out.
WOW. I can’t wait to tell my therapist that one.
I came across a quote yesterday that said, “perhaps the journey of becoming your highest self isn’t about becoming anything but about unbecoming all the things you were told to be in the first place.”
I mean, holy shit, right?
To be completely honest, this season has felt like a cocoon, butterfly situation. I feel like I’ve been in the cocoon from October-February, then the shell started to break open, and honestly, it was a little traumatic.
In a matter of a few months I’ve lost some of my closest friends, stood up for myself more than I’ve ever had (and now I feel like everyone hates me), Jared’s and my relationship did a 180 (in a good way), I’ve made more money than I ever thought I could, the high of the new business faded away, and I’ve actually hated my body for the first time but I’m also proud of how far I’ve some post-surgery. I have massive anxiety, I’m feeling super depressed, and yet I’m living my dream life.
Yeah, it’s been ALL the emotions.
I am completely out of sorts. I don’t even know who the fuck I am right now, and being in this position with unlimited potential and opportunity, terrifies me that I’m going to piss it all away.
OH, MY GOOOD it’s the most. It’s raw and harsh and I have no idea if it's all for the better or I'm really just losing it. But even as I say that I know that’s not true. I know that there’s a greater good to everything. Maybe just for the fact that you’re reading this, you get my struggle, and we need to get a margarita sometime! Who knows.
That all being said, it’s OK not to be a “boss” all the time. Some things were programmed into our way of thinking, and coping mechanisms we’ve relied on our entire lives. It’s OK to be grateful and hurting at the same time. To be sure of the desire but confused about the process. To feel like your life is coming together but also falling apart. Maybe in the process of stepping into the person, you’re meant to be, the old you are going to fight like hell to stay on.
We can be works of art while still being a work in progress. There is no “happily ever after” in business. There is no magic wand that will turn you into a boss, but a little effort every day will do more than you think. (I say to myself as well).
All I really know is that women like us are built for this shit, and the work I do to grow now will make an impact on everyone around me now, and for the future generations to come.
So I’m going to drink some wine, cry about it, and try again tomorrow.