The beginning of the pandemic in early 2020 was hard on all of us. It was hard for me too, believe me. I was working as a freelance writer at the time. Freelancing was always a tough industry to be a part of. It was so competitive. And then, all of a sudden, it became even harder to be part of the industry when the pandemic hit. As more people lost their jobs, more people started new businesses. Freelancing was just the way to go. That meant that I had more competition than I could even count. I kept losing jobs and projects to new freelance writers who were doing their jobs for free so that could build their portfolios.
Right at the beginning of 2020, I was approached by a friend of a friend of mine after we celebrated New Year’s together. She asked me if I wanted to be part of her new podcast that would be all about invisible disabilities. She said that after looking through my Facebook page, she saw that that I’d been through a lot, that I had stories to tell, and that she’d be honoured if I got to tell them on her show. I was very hesitant at first. But it was something I’d never done before, and my New Year’s resolution at the time was to say YES more often than not. And so, I told her I’d do it. I won’t say what the actual podcast I was a part of, but if you come across it and you watch the first few episodes, you’ll recognize me.
Being a part of the podcast proved to be challenging from the beginning. I was always a better writer than I ever was a talker. I’ve always been more comfortable writing as I could express everything more smoothly, mostly because I have a stutter. I’ve always been especially uncomfortable talking about myself out loud. Blogging was always a platform for me. I never even knew what podcasting was before I became a part of my friend’s friend’s new podcast. But with each episode that we recorded, I got more and more comfortable doing what was necessary as a co-host. It actually became fun to be part of the podcast once the other three girls and, I became friends with them over time. It felt especially liberating, and I’d say necessary as well, to be part of the podcast during the pandemic. My business was down and I practically had nothing to keep myself occupied during the pandemic except for being a part of the podcast, which took up A LOT of my time.
The podcast was, and still is, all about invisible disabilities. The four of us talked about our own individual experiences of living our lives with invisible disabilities. Even though cerebral palsy isn’t considered to be an invisible disability, I talked about it as well. The topic of disability was never something I was truly comfortable sharing, specifically when it was about my own experiences. We recorded episodes once a month, but there was a lot of communication involved in between; too much communication, I’d say. None of us did it for money; Though money would’ve been nice, especially during such time of uncertainty. We did it solely because we were passionate about it.
I left the podcast after about 7 months. It wasn’t that the experience of being a part of the podcast became terrible. On the contrary, it was a great, wonderful experience being a part of the podcast. It taught me a lot and it helped me face my fears. But it wasn’t my passion to begin with, but rather that of the creator of the podcast. I respected all that she wanted to do with the podcast, and I thought her vision was great. But it wasn’t my vision, and I just started feeling that it wasn’t an equal partnership between the four of us as it used to be and as I was told it would be. I became an employee and an ’emotional support dog’ for the founder of the podcast. She had too many personal issues going on the time, and she dumped them all on me and relied on me too much for emotional support. I also started feeling that it was way too much disability talk for me. I felt pushed to talk about things on the podcast that I wasn’t comfortable sharing or saying out loud. I needed to feel respected and I needed to feel that I was being listened, which I wasn’t. I also just needed to focus on my own endeavours; ones that I was truly passionate about. I needed to bring my focus back to my business, as well as my book, 12 YEARS A WOMAN: MY JOURNEY TO HAPPINESS, which is available now on Amazon.
It can be very tricky to be working with people who then become your friends. That’s especially the case for women. You spend most of your time together, both as friends and colleagues, and the relationship can clash over time. The three other girls and I are no longer friends, but I have absolutely no regrets being part of the show, even if it was for a short while. Being on the show challenged me in a good way, and now some things that I do now to grow my business are because I was a part of the show. Since my stint as a co-host ended, I’d been a guest on numerous podcast shows discussing different topics such as mental health, chronic illness, positivity, and much more. I now even host my own IGTV lives on Instagram where I invite guests to speak on anything that has to do with health and wellness. This is a very big step for someone who practically used to be afraid of speaking.
I don’t see me leaving the podcast as a failure. Instead, I see it as a complete success. I agreed to the challenge and I knew exactly when it was time for me to leave without having to sacrifice my health and my own happiness for it. I got to meet so many amazing people while I was on the show, and I got to learn so much that I wouldn’t even think of learning otherwise. Taking part in something new that doesn’t bring you money can be the best thing that ever happened to you. It can bring you a new hobby, it can impact you as a person on a positive level, and it can improve your skills set all at the same time, which can lead to more opportunities for the future. And it doesn’t matter if you work for a company or if you are a business owner. I’d recommend it to EVERYONE. The best part of doing something you’re scared of is that the only way togo from there is up. You mess up once, it’s totally fine. You just try again.
Even though it didn’t work out between the girls and I, specifically the founder of the podcast, I wish them all the very best and all the success in the world for their future. Thank you for letting me be a small part of the show. Though it was a small part, it made a big impact.