It’s Okay to Not be Okay.
Hey everyone, I’m back. I know I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from social media, blogging, talking about mental health, and just being present online in general lately. There’s a lot of reasons for that. One of the biggest, I just wanted a break. I was sick of being on my phone so much, and I just wanted to take a step back from the digital world. Also – just to be super transparent- I was in a new relationship and super ~in love~. So I wanted to let myself focus on that, too. But at a portrait session a couple weeks ago, my client shared with me how my opening up about my mental health journey has helped her, how she started going to therapy and it made such a positive difference in her life. And that hit me deep.
I had always hoped that my sharing of those parts would help someone, but you never truly know. There comes a time when you wonder, is anyone really reading this? If they are – does it resonate? Or does it sound like crap? On the other side of that, sharing these kinds of things with the world isn’t exactly easy, but sometimes, it helps me feel better. So since I haven’t shared in awhile with you, I have a few things I want to share with you now.
Something I’ve noticed as a business owner is that so often, people expect you to be okay, pretty much all the time. Because you’re running a business, right? So you must have your shit together. Nothing can affect you. Nothing can prevent you from answering those emails. Sending those products out, getting to all the meetings, doing all the things. Who else is going to keep the trains running if it isn’t us? We can’t expect our clients to understand that we’re going through something right now… can we?
Except, you know what else I’ve noticed? As humans, we’re never okay all the time. We’re all just people, navigating our way through life. Through all the ups and downs, and all the joys, struggles, growth, challenges, and other whatnot that comes with it. How are we, as humans and business owners, supposed to not let that affect our business? That is the question I think so many of the self-employed struggle with constantly.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m not okay right now. Like the ‘it’s hard to get out of bed’ not okay. And it freaking sucks. Luckily, thanks to therapy, I know I AM going to be okay again. I know that without a doubt. But right now, in this season, it got very hard very fast, and was very unexpected. I’m not going to go into all the details here but to summarize: breakups freaking suck y’all. Especially when it’s with someone you’re actively in love with. Especially when you feel like you’ve had enough heartbreak in one year to last you a lifetime. When you feel like you’ve already done this. You’ve done all the hard work to get to a mentally healthy place. You’ve done the hard work to be able to be a healthy, supportive, caring partner. So haven’t you earned a bit of a break here? But not everyone else has done that, and sometimes, you just need to let people work through things on their own.
So how exactly am I supposed to let that not affect my work? I mean, I work in the business of love. Literally y’all, love is my job. Supporting, serving, and caring for couples so in love they are choosing to spend the rest of their lives together is what I do. I also work from home. Meaning my bed, is righttt in the other room from where I’m typing this right now (at my desk-slash-dining-room-table). I don’t have to get dressed to see anybody most days because this is slow season for photographers. I can stay in sweats for as long as I want. Which, is super nice a lot of the time, but also makes it that much harder to pull yourself out a rut.
So why am I sharing this with you? I wanted to tell you, that it’s okay to not be okay. Truly, it is. Because that’s how life goes. We’re all chasing our own dreams, and our own goals, but it’s not like once you “get there” that all other parts of life magically stop and you’re just happy forever. Life is constantly changing, meaning sometimes things are great, and sometimes they’re not. And you know what else? Yeah, sometimes that means it might affect your work. We’re not perfect. We are HUMAN. What’s important, and what I want you to take out of this very long and possibly slightly rambling blog post, is that you will be okay. This will not last forever. So if you take a little long to answer some emails, or can’t possibly bring yourself to make that meeting today, give yourself a little grace. Most of us business owners are all the same, we’re people pleasers. We’re constantly putting others first. But sometimes, we need to put ourselves first. And in the seasons where we’re struggling, that becomes more important than ever. So turn on your auto-responder, put on some fuzzy socks, and binge watch the new season of whatever you want on Netflix until you can’t stand to sit down any longer. Then, get back up, and get back to work.
Sending you all the love,
P.S – I wanted to add a bit of advice, to every single person reading this. If you can, invest in therapy. Maybe it means you cut back somewhere else, maybe you can only go once a month for awhile or once every other month. But let me tell you – it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself. It’s been one year of therapy, and it’s been the best year of my life. And I can say that with a smile knowing I went through two shattering break ups this year and plenty of other struggles. Why? Because therapy gave me the tools to do so. Because it’s the year I’ve finally come into my own. It’s the year I finally started living for myself, instead of what everyone else wanted me to be. I finally prioritized me, and did the (yes, hard) work to get into a healthy mental space. And it’s an ongoing project, and always will be. But it is worth every single penny I’ve put into it. Because I’m worth it. And so are you. Have questions about therapy? DM me on insta (@paigeelizabethphoto) I’m more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have! <3