2015 NEW YEAR AND NEW ME right?! I have all these goals and I GOT THIS. Um not exactly…We’re only 20 some days in and I already had a mental breakdown. Not how I wanted to start the year off but sometimes I’m the type of gal who needs large flashing lights in front of her face to realize something needs to change. So after a couple of good days in a row and reflecting, I decided I needed to share because that’s what I do…I’M A SHARER. I share too much. Anyone who reads this blog knows too much stuff that you should only know from a long intimate coffee date with me. But I have always seen this blog as a place of sharing my experiences. Because why are we experiencing them otherwise, to keep them miserably locked inside? No. Mine will be shared (at least as much as I can professionally share with you).
This past week was a whirlwind of not great outcomes. I don’t know how else to put it without being my dramatic self and saying it was horrible. Most weeks I come out just fine balancing a million different work projects for queenikathleeni while working my other jobs but this week that was not the case. It started with my anxiety creeping up, me pushing it to the side once again and then it exploding in my face and taking out all my stress on the one I love the most. I don’t have the tools to deal with my anxiety at this point because it is quite a new development for me. Depression is an old enemy that showed up at my doorstep after the anxiety explosion because I felt bad about it and then I found myself in a slump for the next four days. I rarely lack a passion for life. I am passionate about a lot of things like my outfit today, simple and stupid things like my knee socks get me excited to go about my day. Not last week. I was seeing everything through this fogged lens that has been blinding me far too often lately.
On top of my anxiety, I had a few very unfortunate personal and business mishaps. I GOT MY FEELINGS SERIOUSLY HURT in multiple areas of my life back to back to back. I refuse to hurt people’s feelings on this blog so I won’t be sharing details (look at me filtering myself!!!) but I put everything into what I do so when someone I’m working with doesn’t respect that, it hurts me horribly. This brand of mine is incredibly time-consuming to upkeep and it’s expensive to develop products and a huge chunk of my livelihood is earned through my work (I’m super proud I can even say that). It’s a very dangerous thing when you make your passions your livelihood because it’s almost impossible to not take things personally and keep your feelings out of business. Especially when your brand is based on yourself and your personality is the brand! To me, it’s more than just some products in a shop, this is a personal passion project that is deeply rooted in me which brings me to my next point.
I spend almost all of my time working. My schedule looks differently than what I think is expected of me. It doesn’t matter what other people say to me…I’M INSECURE ABOUT IT. This makes me want to work more. So when I’m not working, I’m thinking about working and I don’t feel like I’m worthy if I’m not working. Wow…glad I got that out.
I think that’s one of the bigger misconceptions with “doing your own thing”. Some people I’ve talked with think you do it so you don’t have to work as much and you have freedom. True to an extent. My work days start at 10 am which is pretty much the coolest thing ever (and I wear whatever I want and sometimes I shower and well sometimes I go through a million cans of dry shampoo…)but you end up working 50-60 hrs/week just so you don’t have to sit at an office job for a 40 hr/week. That’s my choice and I know I’m much happier with this lifestyle but it is insane at times and it comes with a learning curve that I haven’t quite navigated yet. This week I was at 38 hours just between my part-time jobs so you can imagine what ended up happening once queenikathleeni was added in…chaos.
Okay so long story short (I know this isn’t short BUT who is even still reading?!) I needed to figure some things out about myself and set some boundaries. So here they are:
I am my number one priority. Keeping my mental health in check is very important to me, especially with my history in struggling to do so. I wrote a post here about struggling with minor depression and I have recently started experiencing anxiety and having some nervous habits develop. I personally believe these issues need professional help so I decided to go back to counseling to gather some tools to help me know how to properly deal with my anxiety.
I have no responsibility sharing any details about my business or myself with people who are not supportive of what I’m doing or not supportive of me. I don’t know why this has taken me so long to come up with but it was an epiphany for me this week. If they aren’t interested, that’s fine. In the past, my feelings have been very hurt when people in my “real life” don’t follow me on my social channels. With that being said, there is definitely a difference between being blatantly unsupportive and choosing to not follow along with queenikathleeni on one channel because for a lot of people social media is just not that important.
Social media is not life. This is so tough as a person with a business that is promoted thru social media and often gets opportunities because of it but I refuse to be unhappy in my life because I don’t take the perfect picture always. The root of this problem is comparison. I will not look at things that make me feel like I am less great than I am, because I am great and my work is great!
When something feels off, it is off. I’m really good at ignoring warning signs. I need to take care of myself and for me that means asking for help and saying no.
I need to be kind to myself. I am currently trying to appreciate me for the special talents and gifts I bring to the world. No one can do what I do like I do it! It sounds like I’m a kindergarten teacher but I think a lot of adults forget this. When something doesn’t work out for me in business I need to be my own cheerleader and not say “Katie you messed up here and you’re an idiot.” Instead I will be saying, “Good for you Katie! You tried so hard and that is so great!” Positive self talk and reassurance.
Lastly, I had to rewrite my 2015 goals because they were all accomplishments I wanted to meet. So I crossed them all off and here is my new list:
1. Be happy
2. Be kind to yourself
3. Have fun
And seriously, if I had a kindergarten class, that’s what the sign would say when you walked through the door. We are going real simple for 2015 and life feels like it will be a helluvalot easier now that I have no accomplishments on the list. Those three things are going to be hard goals to accomplish for me. Over working and over achieving comes naturally to me and not in a good way, so this year they are nowhere on the list.
ps. Thanks to everyone who let’s me feel comfortable about openly sharing mental health struggles on this space. Which is basically everyone who reads this blog.
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I’m Katie, the brand strategist, designer, dreamer, and entrepreneur behind Artful Brands. Dreamy typefaces, clean layouts, and soft color palettes are my love language— but more importantly designing strategic brands that book.