This blog has been very quiet since May because of so many good — and a few heartbreaking — things. Working through and adjusting to the rigours of work and life took up most of my time and energy, so what little I could write went straight into my journal. So, where have I been since May? The shortest possible answer to this question is: I was actively growing.
As I said in my last blog post, I had just learned about nagomi, and I was in the process of practicing it. I felt it was too much effort to share this transformation here because it was deeply personal and a ridiculously busy time. Sometimes, life happens all at once, and there’s no spare moment to sit down, wrangle all the stray thoughts, and form a cohesive story for others, let alone myself. I simply experienced it firsthand and, now, that things have calmed down, I can gather those experiences into a nugget of wisdom*.
In the process of resolving conflict with some family, I found stoicism. It helped me better understand people who think emotions are the devil and also helped me find the courage to deal with them as directly as they do with me. To be fair, stoicism helped me handle conflict better because I removed emotions from the situation.
During a deeply hurtful falling out with a friend, I tested my resolve and judgement. Keeping a level head when others hurl their emotions at you isn’t easy. In this instance, I got to practice something of stoicism: remaining objective, actively seeking repair, staying transparent and accountable, and enduring the hurt with dignified grace. Although I grieve for what I lost, I know there wasn't a failure of kindness in my actions. As Walt Whitman said, "These are the days that must happen to you."
My conflict communication improved. I've stopped taking everything too seriously and instead practiced the “balanced agreeableness” they talk about in nagomi. There seems to be little reason not to be agreeable at all times, and it also means that when I’m not agreeable, people take it seriously and know that something is actually wrong. Personal and internal conflicts have since decreased.
I encouraged myself to be curious rather than judgemental. We watched — nay, devoured — Ted Lasso recently; this show couldn’t have come into my life at a better time. If you’re looking for a wholesome show that doesn’t shy away from the hurts of being human, then this is it. And if you’re not a fan of soccer by the end of it, you’ll at least learn how it works. I think.
I began working full time with a former TFQ client. This was the best decision I took! I love my new company and the people in it. The company culture is one of professional accountability, safety, and transparency. Creativity is welcomed and it’s delightful to work with capable people I don’t need to pick up after.
My role as the Operations Lead allows me to wear multiple hats. I’m an editor, a quality assurer, a project manager, a conflict resolver, and a leader. I love that I get to build this company — and the culture — from the ground up alongside a team of equally professional women!
I’m on track to maintain a healthy, rewarding work-life balance. It’s a privilege, and I am grateful I get to live it every day.
The monthly Book Club continued running through the winter, and maintaining this community of women who love reading has been nothing short of rewarding. Thanks to them, I read consistently and learned so much more about the world. In terms of work, The Freelancing Quill has become the foundation of my career now. Yes, it was a baby step — wobbly, unsure, and walking straight to what I set my sights on despite it. Yet, I dip into my experience from running TFQ every day, and I now accept that it counts as the work experience I was so desperately carving out for myself.
I don’t have a name for where I want to go next in my career yet, but I know that I’m honing the skills I need to get there. What I’m doing feels right, and I’ve learned to trust that feeling because all things work together for good.
That’s the update for now. Glad I got to stretch my writing muscles again. I’ll find something interesting to write about in the coming weeks.
*wisdom from a 27-year-old isn’t as dodgy as the same from a 17-year-old, but sometimes there’s no difference 🤷🏾♀️ Ask me again in a few more years 🌻