Stress. It’s a six-letter word that can cause a great deal of damage.
For most of last year, it was something that encompassed my life. I was stretched thin at work. I felt exhausted, but somehow I couldn’t sleep. The lack of rest gave me headaches and made me feel dizzy all the time. I became irritable and not fun to be around. (Luckily, with only necessary interactions today, only a few people were exposed to this.)
Epilepsy and stress do not mix well, especially if it’s a seizure trigger. For the last few years, I’ve worked hard to continue being seizure-free. Knowing what it feels like to lose your freedom and gain it back, just to lose it again is a tormenting thought.
I wasn’t going to let this happen. So, a few months ago, I did a thing that is so unlike me. I left my full-time job to start doing freelance work. (Of course, I did this after carefully discussing it with my husband. We might be kids at heart, but we’re still responsible.) We weighed the pros and cons. We understood what challenges and sacrifices we would need to make, but we would thankfully be okay.
For the last few months, I’ve gone back-and-forth pondering whether this was a good or bad decision. Having free time to pursue my passions is amazingly liberating! I registered for a WordPress course, which will, hopefully, make this blog better. I started reading the books that piled alongside my desk. I even started taking time to do nothing and relax.
It’s been good, but it’s also been…dare I say it?…TORTURE!
There is no tangible proof showing I’ve accomplished something. For me, it’s very crucial to see some sort of “physical” progress. Gratefully, I’ve had somewhat steady writing work come my way, but nothing that has made me feel accomplished.
But…sometimes good things happen to those who wait. Last week, I landed my first real challenging freelance project. It was scary. I wasn’t too sure of myself after I said yes. I didn’t think I knew what the hell I was doing, but do we ever?
I didn’t think I did, but I do!
Working on something a little more difficult was invigorating and definitely worth the wait.
We each have our little bubble where we can control what happens and feel at ease. Stepping out of that comfort zone is frankly terrifying. We’ll second guess ourselves. We’ll convince ourselves we made a terrible mistake. But, we just need to be patient. If the thing you left was doing you harm, removing yourself from that equation is always best.
I’m not drowning in stress anymore. Yes, there will always be some form of it, but I know I’m healthier now. I sleep better. I’m energized, and I’m so excited to see what’s ahead. I just needed to take that leap of faith, and today I reflect on that.