I’ve been thinking a lot about life and what I’m doing with mine. I so wish I content with my life as it is now, but somehow, I’m just not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for the life that I have. I have a beautiful home that I call my own and I’ve built a beautiful family with my husband and now my son. But sometimes, I just wish I had more. I wish I’d accomplished more. Specifically, I wish I’d accomplished more professionally. It might seem surprising for you to read if you’ve been following me for a while. I’m always so positive about my hardships and all that I’d endured. Let’s face it, though. Even the most positive people have their sets of vulnerabilities
I had big plans for my career path. I was going to finish my education and work as a Human Resources professional. I was on the right path as I finished the Human Resources Bachelor’s Degree and obtained a Project Management certificate sanctimoniously. The year 2015 was promising, exciting, full of optimism and reassurance. One fateful car accident changed everything. I used to be glass half full, but then I became glass half empty. It became impossible for me to live the life that I used to know to be normal.
Nevertheless, I attempted to work on my career path. No matter how I hard it was, I was determined. I was determined to be where I wanted to be in my career path. But it wasn’t meant to be. I tried so hard for 6 months after college. I went to interviews almost daily. There were some bad ones, and then there were some REALLY bad, disgusting ones. If I had some of my job interviews on camera, I could’ve had a ton of settlements and never have had to work again. The idea of working from home wasn’t even discussed, providing any assistance or leniency for work-life balance was frowned upon, and able ism was a real thing at the time despite it being against the law.
At the 6 month mark, I got extremely tired of all the endless rejection. So one Saturday evening before I was about to go to a friend’s birthday party, I made a website and started my freelance writing business. It was meant to be a short-term plan B until I got back on my feet following the car accident trauma I’d endured. I was so hungry for success that I was willing to put my health (and life) at risk. I worked days and nights promoting myself as a freelance writer and getting myself out there. And when I say I worked days and nights, I’m really not kidding. I could stay up until 7 AM desperately working, working, working. And I’d only go to bed that late (or that early, depending on how you look at it) only because I figured I had to sleep sometime. I didn’t want to sleep, but I forced myself to go to sleep even for an hour every morning at 7 AM.
In hindsight, I think this type of an unhealthy lifestyle was what caused my epilepsy diagnosis. Me working on my career was more important than my health and well-being. This mentality failed me miserably. I was getting myself out there, and yes, I was getting clients and getting sh*t done, slowly but surely. But it all came at a cost. Me working so hard on my new business was what led to my epilepsy diagnosis and everything else that followed. I know I’d been saying that it was due to a car accident that I was diagnosed with epilepsy throughout the entire blog, but now that I think of it, it was the unhealthy lifestyle that I was leading following the car accident that caused it.
Nevertheless, things were only looking up for me business wise. I was getting bigger clients and bigger projects. By the first month of 2020, I was writing and editing content for government agencies and getting new clients through word of mouth. My hard work was paying off. My health went to sh*t and there were days where I felt I was dying, but my success as a freelance writer made up for it. All I wanted was for my business to take off, and after years of sleepless nights, it finally did. All of a sudden, though, everything crashed and burned when the pandemic hit. People didn’t have the money anymore to be able to afford my services. Even my long-term clients left. Throughout 2020, a lot of people were still trying to outsource me for new projects, and I was still getting new inquiries throughout the year. But everything diminished by December 2020.
And just like that (Yes, I realize I just made a reference to the ‘Sex and The City reboot. We’ll be talking about that another time.), I was at square one just like I was when I graduated college years prior. I was downright angry. My hard work was for nothing, and sacrificed my health and well-being for absolutely nothing. I felt like I failed all over again. I was a loser. So I spent the next 6 months or so figuring out what I should do next. I couldn’t figure it out for a very long time.
It was September 2021 when I came up with the idea for this blog. Just like with my freelancing business, I busted my a** off to get my blog off the ground. It became my passion project just like the blog I had before in 2012. I’ve been writing about projects I’m passionate about. I’ve been selling products I believe in and making myself. And I’ve been getting others to write their own inspiring stories on the platform. People loved the idea for the blog, and so many people have been wanting to collaborate and be part of The Graceful Boon’s tiny, but very important (at least to me) platform.
Somehow, though, it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I wanted more views. I wanted more followers. I wanted more recognition. No matter what I did and how hard I worked on the blog, nothing was ever enough. I felt that way for a very, very long time. If I’m being completely honest, I had the feeling of defeat just recently. It wasn’t just a moment of defeat, but rather days, and sometimes weeks, of defeat. But then, I got to watch the Netflix reality show, ‘Jewish Matchmaking’, where the hosts told her viewers that finding someone to share your life with was the hardest thing anyone can do.
As soon as I heard that, I started thinking long and hard about my own life and my own insecurities, because let’s face it, that’s all they were – insecurities. I achieved the toughest thing there is for someone to achieve in their lifetime – find someone to share my life with. I did that at a young age and all while having cerebral palsy and, years later, an epilepsy diagnosis. Our relationship hasn’t been perfect by any means, and we’ve gone through our troubles and tribulations, but we always came back to where we started – better and stronger than ever as a united front. So if I achieved the hardest thing someone could ever achieve in their lifetime, why can’t I believe in myself a little more and know that I CAN achieve everything I deserve in anything else, like my career path?
My mom recently told me that the problem with me is that I tend to begin to implement and work on bringing my ideas to life, but I give up at the first sight of trouble. I can’t even deny or argue that it’s not true because it’s most definitely true. But any work that takes so much creativity takes a lot of time, effort and patience. Now more than ever, I realize that if I want to be successful at what I do, I just have to be patient and keep going no matter how hard it might get. My career path might look different than what I imagined, but different can be a great path to success. My plan A did work, and that’s okay. My plan B didn’t work either, and that’s okay too. Now I’m just determined to be working on my plan C. I thrive to be the best that I can be without having any regrets and while not looking back.
So to answer my own question in the title, I think both your personal life and professional life are important to work on. Both are hard to accomplish in their own right. For a woman especially, it’s so extremely difficult to be taken seriously in a male-dominated world. If one aspect of your life is looking a little dimmer than the other, it’s okay. A little patience is worth the wait. It’s important not to settle for anything less than you deserve – both personally and professionally. Life will only surprise you from then on.