Reflection

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I’ll get straight to the point. I’ve been having a hard time lately. I’ve been struggling with a few things and while I have no real reason to be complaining…I like to be real. I become fearful of being someone on the Internet that only pushes forth a shallow/fluffy life. So here’s my reflection. The good and the bad.

I’m starting month #8 as a self-employed designer and reality just caught up with me. “Holy crap. What if I just stop making money? I don’t know enough. I’m not good enough.” That’s been running through my mind lately. Money has been consistently coming in but some projects are just feeling stuck and I’m still figuring out how to identify the best fit when it comes to booking clients. I know this is all natural but it hit hard last month.

For the first time in my life, I truly want to be a mom. That stuff makes me emotional! I just spent the past weekend around my best friend and her family of four. I had so much fun playing with her kids and I really hate that I don’t live closer. For the first time (EVER) I felt like I could do that. Someday.

You guys. Too much shopping. I spent way. too. much. money last month. I’m on a spending freeze this month. Every time I think about shopping now, I try to identify what emotion or stressor I’m trying to push off.

I know I’m blessed. I know I need to just get out of the rut. I know, I know, I know. I just couldn’t blog about my (awesome) nail polish color when I was feeling so blah-dee-blah. I’ll be back to blogging on Monday, March 18th. Catch you on the flip side. 

32 Comments

  1. Allie, thank you for being real and sharing what’s really going on in your heart and life.
    In the spirit of camaraderie, I do understand part of what you’re working through.

    While I haven’t made the full-time freelance switch, I desperately want to.
    My husband is holding down a day-job that is completely unfulfilling and it does NOT utilize his gifts. Every afternoon when he comes home, my heart aches that he isn’t able to do what he loves full-time. I so long to be able to help out financially in a way that would give him the freedom to break out of this “place holder” position and step into what he was truly created to do. But the fear still lingers in the back of my mind – what if I’m not good enough, what if I have a great couple of months and then…nothing, what if I can’t take this to the next level, what if, what if, what if…I’m trying so hard to not let lies of the Enemy sneak in and destroy my passion or confidence. Easier said than done.

    If you need a baby fix, I’ve got a sweet toddler and a squishy baby just 15 minutes away from you that you are welcome to come snuggle and chase…I’ll be napping in the back! Ha! I’ll pray for you and your hubby as you figure out growing your family. I’ll tell you that freelance and mamahood are a major balancing act, but not completely impossible, sister!

    And spending…oof! What is it about the proverbial “retail therapy” that is so ridiculously true? It’s always dumb stuff that I DO NOT need (p.s. this only gets worse when you have kids). My weakness is that stupid dollar spot at Target, but I’m sure you’re running across some great budget-busters on your travels this month! Praying for you!

    Thanks again for sharing. Know that you are not alone.
    Cannot wait to meet up when life settles down…please tell me it settles down at some point.

    • I love your sweet words! So encouraging. I realized while reading your comment that the fear/doubt/lies will never stop but sometimes they are just more noticeable. It’s a time where we need to trust that God has a plan and it’s not always so easy.

      Oh and I would love to spend time with your little cutie pies!! Plus I love it when moms can get a nap in :)

      I’m hoping now that all our travel has settled down, the spending will also stop for awhile. I’m focused on simplifying and so I’m excited for that.

      Life may never slow down but we should meet up anyway…SOON!

  2. Allie, the greatest gift you can give yourself is to be happy. Don’t be plagued by those doubts about whether you’re making enough money.
    I used to have a conventional career, an unremarkable repetitive office job in a cutthroat industry and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled or happy. Now I’m a freelance translator. I earn one third less than I used to with my regular day job grind. But I’m happier. Less money, yes, but less needs too. Or rather, different needs. I can spend more time sewing, writing, focusing on photography, working out, cooking… and less time worrying about my work performance and having to nod at money-oriented colleagues’s derogatory remarks. No matter what, it’s a win-win.
    I get you on the too much shopping thing. Etsy is a bloody dangerous website. =D

    • I love hearing your story! And it’s so true. We used to survive off of barely anything. I need to stop worrying and realize how exciting it is to be working for myself with amazing clients. Thanks for your kind words, Marie-Anne!

      Oh and yes…Etsy is SO dangerous!!!

  3. Girrrrrl…I feel ya, on all fronts. (OK maybe not the mom thing ;) ). I’ve been super hard on myself lately – not feeling good enough or smart enough or successful enough…blah blah blah. I’m in a total creative rut because of it. Frustrating! But thanks for sharing your struggles – I love that you keep it real!

    And OMG the shopping. Someone take away my credit card!

    • Haha. Well the mom thing for me is often a fleeting thought (but noticeably there). By the way- SO PROUD of you with school and Chicago. Loved spending time with you tonight. Your apartment is lovely.

  4. I felt the same way around month #9. I had so many things to be proud of, but I was just worried and stressed instead, over things that I had been able to quickly put aside before. Hang in there! For me, I just had to focus on one thing at a time and give myself more breaks until it passed.

    • Thank you Lisa! I really needed to hear that. Breaks and chilling out have helped me a lot the past two weeks. Breathe. That’s what I keep telling myself. I have lots to be thankful for.

  5. Allie,

    Thanks for being so real and honest. Posts like these are always a breath of fresh air. You’re doing a brave thing starting your own company. It can be hard to follow your dreams. But you followed this path for a reason. And it must have been a good one. Try to think about the power you have in your own life, just by choosing your path.

    Hope to see you back here refreshed and relaxed.

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  6. Thanks for the honesty. I have felt like this for the last few months, although under slightly different circumstances. I am hoping that it is just this grey time of year and that optimism and exuberance will return with the daffodils. Enjoy the mini-break.

  7. Hi Allie,

    Reading your post was like reading my own mind. I’ve recently been struggling with a few things and though generally life is great, I still suffer with some real anxieties that make each day a battle. A few months ago I got into a new relationship with a wonderful man. While now should be the happiest time in my life, I still stress daily about money, my health, my career, what am I doing next week, month, year etc. Instead of focusing on my day to day, I get scared about the future and what’s next. I get restless and irritable and push people away. Thankfully, my new relationship is still going from strength to strength despite those problems.

    My only advice would be to start a diary. I find it relaxes me if I can write down the problems or anxieties I’m having; it becomes the piece of paper’s problem, not my mind. With the money side of things, do you plan out any budgets? I have a spreadsheet which I use and providing I’m strict with it, it really helps me.

    Keep going with your career route – you chose it for a reason and I’m sure it’ll work itself out. Don’t compare yourselves to other, just focus on what you’re doing.

    Also, try reading The Happiness Project. I read it last year and, while I still suffer from time to time, it’s helped me focus my thoughts and look at the good things. The emotions I experience are much more under control than they’ve ever been before.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Leanne @ Knit me a cake

    • I do need to be more consistent with my journal. You’re so right!

      With money, I budget like crazy! It’s all totally fine but I just get afraid everything will stop coming in. I love having a savings account though. That’s what should keep my fears away.

      And thanks for the recommendation of that book! Checking it out now!!

  8. Hey, Allie, thanks so much for the honesty. I struggle with that, too, when writing online – that balance of vulnerability at the right time and about the appropriate things, and not acting like everything is okay when it isn’t. I tend to just not write at all when things aren’t okay. Thanks for providing a good example on how to do that balance. Praying for good things and tangible encouragement for you this week! And, I feel ya on the longing to be a mom front. Some days that ache hits me like a ton of bricks and it’s rough. Anyways, just wanted to say you’re not alone in having these hard days.

  9. One of my very favorite things about you is that you are real in this online space. Praying for you friend.

    Also… have a baby.
    ;)

  10. Sounds like there is some sort of 9-month itch because I’ve been feeling similarly on the design front. Projects aren’t wrapping up as fast as I’d hoped, I was very bad about shopping in Dec/Jan and that’s catching up to me, and every couple days I think ‘Am I failing at this?’ even though clients/aerial/teaching/blogging are all going well. I was attributing it more to the weather, but it sounds like I’m not the only one! Feel free to shoot me an email if you need someone to commiserate with :)

    • Crazy isn’t it? How it seems to hit a lot of us at the same time? Those dang slow projects really get me. Any tips?

      And OMG shopping. I thought Hawaii would be safe. There is so much shopping there. Just not good. Officially on a spending freeze until my birthday in May.

      I actually may be emailing you soon too…

  11. Allie,
    What you’re feeling is completely normal and all self-employed individuals that I know go through the same thoughts and feelings. I’ve been self-employed for years, and still struggle with it some days. It is o.k. to feel the way you feel… not just o.k.- it’s more than o.k.! I feel it is a necessary part of the process and all a part of self-discovery.

    When I start to feel the “mind gremlins” creeping in, I visit my favorite motivational site- themavencircle.com. Jena and Jen’s videos are insightful and so on-point, plus they make me laugh which is a huge stress-reliever in itself. They confront issues head-on in a positive light, which is one of the things that I love the most about them.

    Focus on self-care and the rest will fall into place. I keep a journal and use it to hash out my fears and also the good things in life. From reading your blog I know that you are getting back into journaling too and I wish you continued success with it.

    I do hope that this helps, and like all of the lovely ladies above me show, you are not alone in this. Embrace it, learn from it, and you will come out to be a stronger person on the other side.

    <3, Tricia

    • Thank you so much for saying that! And sharing. And I love that you encouraged laughter. It totally helps.

      Thanks for your lovely words and thoughts, Tricia!

  12. Thank you for such a honest post. The energy must be in the air, feeling it on the West Coast too. Maybe it’s part of spring cleaning? Regardless, keep your chin up and enjoy your vacation! It’s important to reflect but you are exactly where life intends you to be in this moment. You are already ahead of the game by checking in with yourself. That’s an amazing tool to have in this journey. :)

    • I need to spring clean! I actually think it will make me feel better to do it this weekend. My vacation was so lovely and really made me appreciate my routine and life at home. Thanks for your comment, love!

  13. I completely feel the same way about kids. I know we have talked about it, and maybe I just don’t feel ready in this moment, but I so badly want to be a mom one day. Sometimes there is guilt there for not wanting it right this second, and sometimes i just get flat out scared. Will I even be good at it? I really just need to seek God’s counsel with this one WAY more than i do! Thanks for sharing your heart girl. It’s good to keep it real.

  14. i have a really cute munchkin that you can borrow until you’re ready for your own. :)

    hang in there, working for yourself is HARD, but worth it. i know you know this already, but sometimes it is good to hear from someone else. YOU DO KNOW ENOUGH, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.

  15. We spent way too much in New York! We were on the skimpiest budget until this Friday. So weird to live so large, and then cut out half my groceries.
    Engage in whatever sort of denial you have to do to believe you are good enough, more than enough, even. This is no time for a realistic overview of every talent on the market. That’s the internet’s fault that we feel even slightly responsible to decide how good we are.
    And, the good news is that as you develop this business you’re working towards developing the perfect space for a child! You’ll be able to have a flexible schedule that still mentally challenges you–most mothers’ dream!

    • Oh my gosh. So awful how much we spent! And we spent even more in Hawaii. ACK. Spending freeze and cooking at home until my birthday in May.

      I really appreciated your advice, Rachael. I’ve never really heard that perspective until now.

  16. Hello Allison, I really appreciate people like you that just isn’t afraid of sharing they thoughts about the not so pretty face of working for oneself. I’m working toward that goal rigth now. In preparation for this big leap I took 3 different e-courses from Braid Creative that have being really enlightening for me in this planning stage and I’m confident that they will continue to be helpful in the future, there is one called “Dream costumer catching” that I specially recommend after reading about your struggle whit your costumer booking. Really, check them out! Bye Allison, good look!

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