Nothing Is The Same.
What happens when you dare to do things differently?
My boyfriend is making me breakfast: the first sign nothing is the same, or will be again.
I can hear him thrashing around in my kitchen. I’m wincing at the sound of my plates being thrown in the sink. He slams the microwave door with such force, I wonder if he’s pissed off or just heavy handed. He’s now blasting some South African house music; he’s most definitely dancing right now. I don’t understand the words of this song but I like the way it sounds. I really like this guy.
A few months ago, this scenario - me, in some semblance of a romantic sitcom - would have felt like a figment of someone else’s fantasy.
A few months ago, I was a blissfully single, career-driven, extremely independent young woman. And God, did I relish in this ‘identity’. I had two loves: my family and my career (in that order). At home, I thrived in my solitude. I once ate pasta out of a pan in my underwear - who could tell me no?
I liked that people found my singleness strange.
Is she cold? I bet she’s a problem. She must be difficult to be with. She’s too picky. What is she hiding?
The reason for my relenting singleness (of five long years) was simple; my career as a journalist took centre stage - nothing and nobody else could gain my attention. I was blinkered but free to be me. I loved those selfish years.
As a magazine editor, I wanted to not just be good but great. I put in the hours. I went to every event - even when my eyes could barely stay open. I’d prop myself up on a bar with a smile on my face and a glass of Prosecco in hand and I made useful connections. My imposter syndrome and need to please made me go above and beyond what I was employed to do; I was the writer, the video editor, the social media strategist, the presenter and the photographer. And I tried so damn hard. But I loved it so damn much.
Losing this job was, in many ways, the biggest breakup of my twenties.
My former employers gave me an ultimatum, to take a new role in the company or leave.
My body went on strike. In the weeks prior to making a decision, I suffered two migraines and the flu. From my bed, I made the biggest, and lengthiest pro-con list in the history of Excel spreadsheets. I spoke to my mother incessantly to the point of dehydration. I was so self-consumed. So SO tired.
Then I left.
I walked out of a role of six years into the absolute unknown.
I left security and fell into the arms of uncertainty, new challenges, FEAR…
Nothing was the same. I was no longer ‘the same’.
The first week after I left my job I went on a date. The first time in two years. Everyone was beyond excited - my friends and family became my ‘GO GET SOME’ cheerleaders . It was a whim. A distraction. Something new to celebrate my new life.
‘Something new’ is now dancing in my kitchen.
I believe the universe rewards people that dare to… dare. I hang a lot of hope of this - I picked myself up, took a chance and I should win, right?
Today, I’m a few months into being a freelancer.
I’m no longer shackled to a desk and I’m free to explore multiple identities: some days I’m a broadcast journalist and a writer, other days I’m an event planner, photographer and a dancer. I do brunch when I want, conduct work from my bed, I have clients, meetings and opportunities. And then, I panic every day, I have severe imposter syndrome and the lack of structure and security is doing me in. So yes, self-employment comes with its variety of issues which I’ll explore in another post, but in the most part I’m doing OK.
I dared on myself. I dared to open myself up to the possibilities of a new career, and yes, maybe, love.
For the first time, in a long time, I have no clue what’s going to happen next.
Nothing is the same. And I’m so RELIEVED that it isn’t.