Hotline Bling For Big Dreams
overwhelmed? have support on speed dial
Monday is never as bad as I imagine it. I might claim to have a “case of the Mondays,” but to live through a Monday usually turns out to be like living through any other day of the week.
A company I worked for years ago ruined Fridays. TGIF was more like FML. They’d schedule (or call last minute) one-hour meetings on Friday at 4 p.m. that would inevitably go over due to incessant pontificating about sh*t that no one has the capacity to care about on a Friday at 4 p.m. They single-handedly made Monday great, comparatively, because it would never be as terrible as Friday.
Why am I talking about days of the week anyways? Because the villainous Monday of urban legend finally happened to me last week.
As soon as I opened my eyes, it started. I woke up at 9 a.m.-ish, which is to say, I woke up late. I work from home, but still govern myself with a few basic rules. I can dress as sloppy as I want (perk), but I must be out of bed by 8 (another perk, given the hour I had to be out of bed when I worked a traditional 8-to-5). So, when I was still in bed at 9, I looked real triflin’ to myself. It went downhill from there.
I thought about The Tended Garden and everything I’m trying to do with it. I thought how my experience with social media was like yelling into a canyon, “Is anyone out theerrrre?!!!” and only hearing the sound of my voice call back. I’m having the same experience that so many other influencers and business owners have starting out. My experience isn’t unique, just frustrating at times. Then I felt ridiculous for concerning myself with social media validation. I thought about my career and how I’m not exactly where I want to be. I felt disappointed in myself. I felt further disappointed by my lack of discipline that green-lit Mexican food AND bread pudding the night before that left me feeling sick. It doesn’t help that I’ve gained weight and haven’t been consistent with my workouts. I’m approaching my workout regimen as if I have no exes to make slap themselves with regret. I do.
Lying in bed, my thoughts went haywire: “How can I judge a crackhead for doing crack when I can’t stop myself from eating Mexican food and bread pudding?”
I was second-guessing myself. I was feeling like a loser. I was breaking down.
I got up and headed out to Discount Tire to see about an almost-flat tire. I called my friend Val, a business owner, on the way there. It took 10 seconds. It took 10 seconds into the call to start crying. Shit, I’m crying now in the customer waiting area at Gillman Acura (my alternator went out) as I think and write about this.
I told her a more colorful and expletive-laden version of what I just told you and what she said brought me out of the darkness.
“There’s a saying,” she recalled, “If your dreams don't scare you, then your dreams aren't big enough.” She told me that I was in the exact right spot.
She laid it out for me:
• It’s called growing pains. It's an adjustment.
• Most people don't know what they want to do, so be fortunate that you do.
• Some people are only working a job to pay bills, so again, you’re fortunate that you know what you want.
• It does get better.
• Some days you’ll be like, "What the f*ck am I doing?!" And you'll want to throw everything off your desk.
• But ask yourself: “What's one thing I can do now?” Pick one thing only and do that.
• If you try to do everything at once, you’ll get overwhelmed. Then you'll want to eat Mexican food and drink adult beverages.
• Have your moment. Get it out. Then come up with a plan.
• Breakdowns suck, but they make you think.
• Breakdowns push you to your growing pains and to your breakthrough.
• Talk to others with experience who've been there.
• Not all advice is good advice, so take what you need and leave the rest.
And then, she said she wanted to quote me back to me. I braced myself because only Lord knows what I said.
• “You aren’t saying kind things to yourself. Give yourself a break. Be gentle with yourself.”
Listen. As a single person, you may not have someone at home holding you and telling you everything’ll be okay when you get into a funk. Sometimes even couples don't have that in each other. But on really bad days, you don’t even have yourself.
That morning I wondered if I was a loser. I didn’t have myself in that moment. All I had was a friend who answered the question for me: “No. You’re not a loser.” It’s so easy to isolate yourself and try to figure things out on your own, but isolation takes a toll.
Who do you lean on for support? Who do you call when things get bad? How do you resolve life’s bigger questions, like: How do I use Google Adwords? Do I need to charge state taxes on my business transactions or nah? How do I differentiate my e-marketing lists without double-dipping duplicated names? Or whatever your big issues are.
The best thing I’ve done for myself in the last 3 months is join a few business Facebook groups—Brand, Build + Launch with Arsha Jones is my favorite. I didn’t realize how isolated I was until I became active in digital group conversations about business- and blog-related topics. It felt like breathing.
You can go to a group with a question and the problem is solved in less than an hour. Many are happy to help. You hear about trials and triumphs. You learn best practices, trends, and secret sauces in your areas of interest. And, best of all, it makes your own hike feel less lonely.
Here’s what I never knew about dreams: If they’re big enough, they can do more than scare you. They can have you in tears from frustration, fear, and growing pains.
Please get support when you get overwhelmed by the things you have to do or the things you want to do.
Go to YouTube to find some motivational stories—I’ve always loved Jim Carey’s check story. Find a good Facebook group or meet ups in your city. Hire a business coach. Or call a friend. And if the issue is deeper, talk to a therapist.
After Val talked to me, Monday kept being Monday. My car went dead in the parking lot of Walmart. I had to buy a new battery. My tire treads were dangerously low, so I had to buy 2 new tires. For encore performances days after, my automatic garage stopped working and I lost the first post about this that I wrote. I could name off more Ls, but at this point, I don’t want to think about it.
Today has given me hope. I thought this week was going to be a repeat of last when my alternator died this morning, but it was covered under my extended warranty. And here I am at the end of this post and miraculously it's still here. Maybe things are looking up.
Photo credit: negativespace.co via Pexels