I feel at this point, rehashing my story, my family’s story is both exhausting and old. But for those of you who do not know, last November we lost a very special and beautiful and young person in our life. My little brother(“in-law” as if that should matter) fell ill suddenly and after a month long fight departed this life.
After it happened, the months flew by so fast. As I write this, it has almost been half a year since. It doesn’t make it any easier though. I’ve had to rehash this story to family, friends, clients, and other vendors whom have cared enough to reach out and I’ve had some who are now learning about it because my absence from social media and communication has left them wondering.
The beginning of the year was filled pretty contently but once my family lost their home to the hurricane and then the loss of our sweet brother, my calendar stayed empty on purpose. I missed celebrating about features that had been published and in that same breath, left vendors that participated without any word unless they had been following the blogs themselves. I tried so hard to push through editing weddings that I began to forget the certain needs of some projects while the slightest unhappiness from clients would put me in a hysterical mess. Guys, I was drowning yet still running on fumes just to push myself to finish my workload because that’s what small business owners do. It took me a long time during this 6 month journey to realize that I was growing bitter at others for their success because it seemed like I was stuck in place when I’ve worked so hard. That is true. I was stuck but not because I’m not good enough but because I was not giving myself time to grieve and collect myself.
I had an “aha” moment today when I realized that some people were upset at my absence. I had to stop myself from thinking ill of my behavior because you know what, I was in the thick of it. Sometimes things come up in life that are more important. Self-care I’ve learned is extremely important. As small business owners, we don’t give ourselves enough slack. We know how hard it is to balance life and work. We know that it’s not as easy as leaving work at work because most of the time we work from home. We are constantly “in it” and we don’t take enough time to check in on ourselves.
About a month ago, I decided to wipe my instagram clean and start over. It was the equivalent of cutting my hair. It was probably viewed by others as business suicide. But once I did, I felt so good. Before it was all about posting for others, for building a brand for others and after my brother’s death I learned that life is really quite short and unpredictable. I vowed to never post for others, to never build a brand based on others wants, to never do or say anything that I don’t feel in my heart is what I want. That kind of thinking scares people I know it does, but for me it’s right.
I’m slowly gaining inspiration and reaching out to those who inspire me because this isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. Every day will be different than the last. It’ll either suck or be the greatest damn day of my life. All of that is unknown but I will no longer make myself feel bad for needing time off and further making myself feel undeserving or less because I need a “me” day. Y’all, take care of yourselves and your work and life will flourish.