Happy New Year, everyone! I’m back with a brand new blog post, as I am finally in a different space than I was since my last post. I figured, there’s no time to start anew than at the beginning of the year, so here I am!
Phew! I have so much to tell you, but I don’t want to make this really long, so I’ll just come out and say it. When I stopped blogging last year, I was at my wit’s end. To put it plainly, my life was in shambles, and my mental health was steadily declining. I wasn’t going to talk about my experience until at least another two to three months because I thought I wasn’t ready, but I feel like now is a good time. So, let’s talk about 3 things I’ve learned while I was gone and my experience along the way.
1. It’s okay to take a break, be it temporarily or permanently.
In my case, I took a temporary break that led to a permanent break from my job. There was so much going on that made it difficult to be at peace. To sum all of it up quickly, my father was having surgery for the first time, there was a major increase in my workload, I was working from 6am to 11pm more days than I want to admit, and I experienced a lot of doubts that caused me to second-guess my career path.
Now, do you see why my life was in shambles? I needed to pause some of my major responsibilities like blogging and working so that I could figure some stuff out, and thankfully, I feel so much better. Taking a break from everything allowed me to spend more time with my family, care for my father, focus on my mental health, and reevaluate my career goals.
It wasn’t always my original plan to leave my job permanently, but after a lot of support from my loved ones, I realized that leaving my previous position was the right choice for me and my family.
2. Your mental health matters even if no one else seems to care.
As you can imagine, given everything that I mentioned in the previous section, I struggled a lot with my mental health from the end of September to around Thanksgiving. There was so much going on, and working from sun-up to well after sundown left me no time to process the things going on in my personal life. Now if you know me, you understand how difficult it is to admit when I need help. I usually will grin and bear it or just figure it out on my own, which was what I intended to do. However, I was severely struggling, and I thought it’d be best that I tell someone at my job what was going on and ask for help.
Much to my surprise, I didn’t receive the response that I thought I would get. I reached out and explained all of my concerns regarding the workload, my mental health, and my dad’s major surgery, which he was about to undergo in three weeks. Unfortunately, I was told that what I was experiencing was normal for a lot of people in the office and that it was fairly common that most people in the office didn’t have time to cook dinner or clean their houses because of the workload. THAT. IS. NOT. NORMAL.
I felt unseen and unheard — I was doing the right thing by reaching out for help, but my concerns were generalized, normalized, and dismissed. Times like this make me so grateful for my therapist, husband, and mother because they really carried me through and helped me realize that I needed a break or else I would explode from the stress. I’m also thankful to have had enough leave to take a month off and be with my family, and I am thankful for my supervisor, as she allowed me to make whatever choice would be best for me. No matter what, I was going to prioritize my mental health.
3. Disconnecting provides clarity to better understand yourself.
Disconnecting from everything left me with more time on my hands to put the pieces of my life back together, do some research for how to better my blog, and invest more time into thinking. Overthinking? Possibly, but thinking nonetheless! I started thinking about career goals, reflecting on the kind of person I became and if I like her, and even turning the mirror on myself and shining the light on all of my flaws. I was essentially doing an intervention on myself, and while I haven’t completely figured everything out, I noticed that I wouldn’t have been able to think clearly if I didn’t disconnect and take time off.
It was unbelievably difficult to stop blogging and posting on my social media, and I felt so disconnected from my readers because it’s been such a long three months. However, because I wasn’t focusing so much on putting out blogs every other week, I was left with a lot of time to do some self-evaluating. Once I made the decision to leave my job to care for myself and my family, instead of jumping right back into blogging, I decided that continuing to disconnect would help me get to know myself better. Thankfully, it has, and I have so much to tell you about what I learned that I hope to share with you in the many blogs to come!
I feel like I’m doing a lot of rambling, so I’ll keep this brief, but I’m so grateful to be back. I received so many notifications that new people have followed my blog while I was away, and that warms my heart to know that y’all are continuing to support me and my journey! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So much has happened since I’ve been away — mistakes were made, lessons were learned, risks were taken, and so much more. But, I can honestly say that the choices I made have been so impactful and have led me to a much better path than the one I was on in my last blog post. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for your patience and support, and I’m looking forward to an amazing year filled with growth, love, and lessons learned.
“There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed.”
– Kate Douglas Wiggin