Progress Journal: One month in
July marked an odd start to freelancing. It was my first whole month after leaving my job, but, because I had so many bits and bobs booked in, I couldn’t jump head first into all the things I would have liked to - creatively or work-wise.
I initially made a promise to myself that I would give myself a week off at the start of the month. Almost like a buffer period between jobs, to take a breather and get in the right headspace… But I ended up working here and there. I went on holiday to Devon, but spent a lot of it feeling weighed down my my brain, and, between you and me, I would have been grateful for it to have been a week, or two (or three…) longer. Then I stayed at my boyfriend’s house for a couple of days; he kindly brought us tickets to see Hamilton for my birthday, and it’s cheaper to get into London from where he lives. It was amazing and I’m so thankful I got to see it.
The moments in between were spent thinking about projects, fretting about projects, and ultimately feeling so overwhelmed that I couldn’t work on said projects though. So, I’d try to pause. Unwind. Indulge in some self care… Which came with bundles of fear, insecurity and freelancer guilt… As you can imagine, it has been so! Much! Fun!
During this month, I felt like I was failing at being there for myself and working for myself. Like I was becoming all-talk, no-action. It sucked on so many levels, because I had created this opportunity for myself, worked for this very moment, and now I was the one blowing it. Then, I stopped myself.
I reflected on how far I have come in 2019, and penned the post The difference a year makes. This made me realise that I had actually done quite a lot this year. I may have gone on holiday, to the theatre and binge-watched the new season of Queer Eye this month, but I also: worked on portrait shoots, have been in talks with folk about editing their podcasts, worked on my blog, started my Snapshot series, gave this entire site an overhaul, and am in the process of creating a newsletter too…
Somewhere along the line, these Progress Journal entries slipped into being solely about sharing the fears and feelings I have regarding my career. Whilst I don’t think it’s a bad thing to share my thoughts and feelings, as they start conversations and help me to connect with others feeling the same way, these posts were also meant to be a celebration. A way of championing everything I had achieved and learnt during a month (i.e. journalling the progress I have made) - which they ceased to be.
Now, I’m not about to make any sweeping statements about the content of these posts. Like what I can and cannot write about, or specifically how from this point forward they are a NEGATIVITY FREE ZONE - positivity only, punks. But. instead, I want to take a note of an important lesson I have learned from all of this: Reminding myself of the good things helps me to appreciate and value them. Taking the time to feel the bad things helps me process them. Stepping back and being objective about everything helps me notice patterns, create understanding, and move forward with clarity. It’s okay to celebrate myself and feel my feelings, but that doesn’t mean I have to live in them. Onwards and upwards.
Planning my days, giving myself a start and end time, and making the most of being my own boss by scheduling midweek treats, has really helped me make progress towards the end of this month. It’s time to move forward, so here’s to August, and all it brings.