Life was handing me those fucking lemons, by the crate.
I didn’t believe her at first, but my therapist had warned me that purging/shedding my last workplace out of my system and all the effects it had on me was going to take time (possibly years even), especially in the first few months since quitting.
Looking back at the last entry and these last few weeks since parting from there, she was more right than she even knew.
It was only two weeks ago that I started gaining some sense of my original self back. It’s been slow. It’s been slow because, in hindsight, some really big change happened very suddenly and the change was just too big, too soon and seriously delayed the restoration of myself. So finding my footing in this new life arrangement has been tricky and understandably, I’ve lost my balance a few times already.
It went: 1) quit my job ➜ 2) had my birthday and birthdays always force me to reckon with the realities of my age and where I’m at in life, which is always a mental headfuck ➜ 3) started part-time at another French pâtisserie, only a mere two weeks after quitting the last one, and was put on the night shift ➜ 4) had to meet the crushing holiday demands and concurrent custom orders of my side hustle (will explain how my side hustle came to be another day and how I hid it from from almost everyone for six months).
And all while trying to shed the effects of my last workplace (dare I say that I have a bit of PTSD?)
I had set my expectations too high. I wanted things to feel good and relieving right away. I thought working part-time and then devoting the rest of the week to making the side hustle viable would make my life a lot more satisfying or easier, but I actually felt the same amount and same type of life-depleting stress as I did from my last workplace. And not knowing why this was and the ensuing feelings of disappointment really, really overwhelmed me.
It was time that I started taking control, my health needed it now. I decided that I had to start setting boundaries (something that is VERY new to me and that I’m just starting to practice now, so late in life), just to get a little breathing room. I asked for set hours at work (they weren’t consistent and it was turning my sleep schedule upside down, making me a dysfunctional human). I asked my business partner that we start turning down jobs. I know this sounds stupid or short-sighted for a start-up, but I’m short-resourced and can only pump out so much chocolate confection on my own at a time. It’s the best of problems to be in demand this early, but I also need to be real and continue to take care of myself so that I can perform consistently.
And Matt forced us to book a small vacay (a few days in Collingwood, which included a day at the spa). We even did a couple of absolutely gorgeous bike rides (!). We ate junk, got stoned, watched Harry Potter, played Cribbage, legs tangled up on the couch while we read books, fucked, all under this beautiful roof. It was a much needed recharge, for the both of us (Matt was in career hell as well earlier this year and it was a very demoralizing period for him).
So I am feeling a bit better, more normal, more in control now.
The few days in Collingwood, I was able to think and dream with clarity again. When I’m here in the city and getting crushed on all sides from work and life, I have no sense of anything. I’m not conscious. I’m just this zombie, on auto-pilot, leaning on muscle memory to get me through, and yet my head is just screaming with stress and anxiety. And everything seems in crisis and I have control over nothing...
And for a few days, I was able to escape from all that, in the sense of a prisoner breaking loose. And I remembered that I had actual dreams and remembered what they actually were again while we were away. I remembered the future I’ve envisioned with Matt. Everything was visible again…
Matt and I definitely want to be in Girona for a month.
Matt’s been drawing up floor plans for our dream Scandinavian-design bunkie that we want to build on the plot of land that we eventually want to buy somewhere in The Township of Clearview. We walked into a Remax yesterday and had a long consultation with the agent to see what our options were. Lord knows I’ve been saving up for property for so fucking long now (it’s still not enough, but we’ll see).
The point is that, I have to keep reminding myself that while it may feel like it (it DID feel like it, these two things were seriously caving in on me), life isn’t just work and entrepreneurial purpose. I can probably put it on my last workplace, but it was really feeling like if life solely wasn’t these two things, then I had failed in some way and that life couldn’t move forward if I didn’t have a handle on them. I don’t know how I got sucked into this toxic mentality. It’s cult-like brainwashing.
I have Matt and we’ve spent almost four years (!) building this life together, and it looks like it can get bigger. I hate confessing this, but I temporarily lost sight of us (and he inadvertently brought this to my attention) and I was no longer honouring us. I felt so typical by letting work affect my relationship. I’d become my Dad essentially (my Dad could’ve been clinically diagnosed as a workaholic in the 20+ years that he ran his design firm).
But just Matt and I being in Collingwood away from it all really brought me back and helped me remember what I hold most important.
Him. Us. Our life together.
Life was handing me those fucking lemons, by the crate.