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Rebuilding My Business

The Indulging, Obligatory Reflection of 2011

There has been a trend on this blog over the past couple of years. I get to the end of the year, burnt out, and talk about what I’ve learned over the previous 10 or so months. These posts have been somewhat depressive as I’ve been battling mental illness was pursuing an online career.

This year, it’s different.

As with every year, a lot of crap happened. There was a period of time when I’d laugh whenever I got bad news, because I thought that things couldn’t get anymore stressful.

Early in 2011, I realized that this was a year for personal growth and was content to put work stuff on the backburner. I dealt with situations as they arose. I cried when things fell apart and made huge changes in how I approached my life.

In this post, I’m going to talk about some of the major stuff that’s happened this year. I’m hoping to return to regular blogging now that things have settled down.

The boyfriend

My boyfriend and I are nearing our first year anniversary. My boyfriend. Huh. I never thought I’d be capable of having a relationship.

See, I struggle a lot when it comes to people. I didn’t think I could ever handle a relationship. Being someones partner means letting them see you at your most vulnerable. My partner has:

  • Watched me cry a lot when work stuff got on top of me. He knew far more about some work stuff then he should have.
  • Endured conversations where I’m somewhat incoherent
  • Shared my bed. I have a thing about beds. When you’re asleep, you have no control over how people perceive you. I’ve gotten so good at handling anxiety because I control how I react to stuff. With Glenn, I don’t care.

It took a while to get used to being in a relationship, especially as I felt guilty about him getting caught up in my crazy. There were a lot of conversations because I didn’t know what I was doing. Glenn was fantastic throughout the whole process and helped me realize that each relationship is different and requires venturing into the unknown. There are no rules on how people interact and relate to each other.Learning that allowed me to chill out. I treat the relationship similar to how I treated the friendship. We hang out and talk geek, and help each other track down the best comic-related items.

The only difference is now, we are casually planning a future together. We’ll probably be buying a house over the next year using the money he inherited. It will be *his* house, but I’ll be part of the life he creates there. We’re talking about what we’ll do if we’re still together in a couple of years, but aren’t making any commitments.

I never thought that being in a relationship could be this simple or so… enriching. I really believe he is one of the reasons I’ve been able to cope so well this year.

I will be writing more about this relationship in the future. I find it so fascinating.

The business

Business. What business?

I stopped blogging early on in the year. I stopped the Blog Networking Tips newsletter because I felt it wasn’t good enough. I’ve chopped and changed everything so much.

Business wise, this year was hell. Most of you guys are aware that I was caught up in the Salty Droid drama. Everything surrounding my ex-boss and his business partner has caused a great deal of stress. It felt like I was put in an awkward situation and didn’t know what to do. This isn’t anyones fault. There is no guidebook for how to handle a lot of stuff and people were just reacting to situations. I believe that stepping back was the best thing I could have done, considering how things played out.

The year wasn’t wasted, though. I launched a couple of projects, and did a lot of consulting behind the scenes. I learned a lot and will go into 2012 with a solid business plan, one that would be a lot more enriching then what I had planned to do this year. I’ll be creating a paid newsletter about that particular transition. Yes, I know that they are everywhere. I’m creating this moreso for myself.

Currently, I’m on income support payments from Centrelink. I’m getting support from a Job Network. When I talked them through my condition, they recommended that I get put in the some classification I was in when I had just had a nervous breakdown. This is kinda demeaning, as I am so much better now. It made me feel defeated, but I realized that these classifications are only there so that people can get the support that they need. I may rock at this social media and community management stuff, but I will need support to enter the traditional workforce.

Ironically, I start getting a lot of interest in my work in the same week that I apply to centrelink. I have a job interview tomorrow and am talking with a few people about helping them. I got a random freelance gig.

I’m not sure where things will go from here. I’m going to see how the next month pans out. I know I’m going to actively seek work, as I believe that I need more industry experience. I’m also interested in returning to study. I feel like my career, and life, has so much potential now and that there are so many opportunities. I just have to choose what I want.

The house

I moved this year. Erg, what a stressbomb.

It took 3 months get me into the new house. Everything kept going wrong. People got extremely ill, and cars broke down. I spent a good 8 weeks without most of my clothes and books. I’d put a lot of work projects on hold during this time so it was rather frustrating.

I love my new house. It was totally worth the effort to get here.

It’s in an upmarket suburb. I never thought of myself as a suburb snob, but now I see why people pay extra to live in a nice area. I come from a poorer suburb and used to defend it vigorously. I originally wanted to buy there.Most of the people are okay. The main issue was with the buses. You would get some scummy people on the buses. They would have public fights and talk about drugs. I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to stuff, but I often felt uncomfortable. My new suburb doesn’t have that.

It’s an older suburb. It’s very green and relaxed. It has the feel of a small township. I feel a lot calmer since living here.

It is a huge block. There are possums here, and cockatoos flying overhead. I can see the community garden next door from my window.

When my nephew visits, I show him the apples and pears that are forming. We look at the bugs and dig for worms in the veggie patch.

Kyo is now an outside cat. I used to keep her inside because I was afraid that she would die if let outside. BJ was an outside cat before I got him, so I didn’t try to control that. I tried to control her. She loves it outside.

I’m really happy here and am finally able to settle into work. Well… when I’m not outside gardening or playing with the cats. I’m really, really happy.

There are two months until the end of 2011. It has been a tumultuous year – one that has brought challenges that I didn’t think I’d face. I know there are going to be more challenges over the coming months and into early next year. It will be a while before I get back on my feet.

But guess what?

I’ve had shit blow up. I’ve been placed under a lot of pressure and have had my finances fall apart. Anxiety is fear of the unknown. This year so many things happened that I couldn’t have predicted, and I responded the best way I could.

I’m happy with how I handled this year. I’ve grown up a lot and am quite proud of the person I’m becoming. I’m starting to stop defining myself by my mental illness and defining myself by what I do.

Whats up for you guys?