The past several weeks, I’ve been involved in all kinds of wonderful projects, and it has felt so empowering. I’ve nurtured relationships with potential clients and enjoyed interest from new people. I’ve been blogging, outlining my novel in prep for NaNoWriMo, and writing a decent short story (something new for me). I even got acquainted with someone from my college years and together we have started a writing group. Best of all, she has been kind enough to let me join her online magazine, Latter-day Woman Magazine, as Associate Editor. This means I have a few articles to write and a part in a real mag! So exciting.
Of course, about the time that everything seemed to be going perfectly, I realized something important was missing; namely, the new clients, new copywriting projects, and the moolah they would generate. I had planted plenty of seeds, but when I looked, there weren’t many contracted projects to speak of. …Uh, where’d they all go? With a quick rundown of the budget, I knew money would be even tighter. I had to hope I could get a few new projects without selling off our possessions…
And that’s when the poop hit the fan. I was counting on getting paid in full by a client, but they only paid me half. That meant I didn’t have new work from that client, and my other clients didn’t have anything to offer me for awhile, either. The ball was out of my court for all client prospects. And to add to the drama, my cat, Moki, didn’t come home one night. (I don’t have kids, so I kind of dump all that nurturing on him [and my husband]. I realized I would be devastated if I lost him like that.) I had so much going for me, but all that seeming failure–I was a cat killer and a breadwinner with no bread!–was too much.
Sometimes I think stress is hard-wired in me, because no matter what I do, when things get rough, the optimism and self-respect go out the window. I can’t see reason. I can’t see hope. I can just see plain and painful emotion–and a big sign that reads”YOU FAILED!” staring me in the face. And of course I can’t function when I beat myself up like that. For a couple days, I went into a kind of panicked trance, asking all the “appropriate” self-damning questions: Why hadn’t I been more focused on making money? What was I going to do now? How could I have been so stupid? All the while, I was walking the streets of my neighborhood, lamely searching for my stupid feline.
Then, just as quickly as the drama had started, it righted itself. One day, I got up, heard a cry outside, and opened the door to a very dirty cat. MY cat. Yay. That same day, I got a call from one of my clients. And lo and behold, he wants me to go to Europe (you read that right) with him and his secretary for two weeks to help out on business. I’ve never been to Europe and suddenly I am going, and getting paid for it!
I’m a target for lesson learning, I guess. With the kinds of things I pull, who blames God for reminding me on a daily basis that freaking out is not the way to handle the tough blows of life. Fortunately, I know the message of this lesson well, and it applies to you just as well as it does to me: Yes, crappy things happen on occasion. Sometimes they seem just a little too messy to clean up. But you know what? They always work out eventually. ALWAYS. Perhaps now I’ll get this through my tough skull and remember it next time something potentially disastrous comes my way.
For all my crazy anxiety issues, I’m at least good at turning them around with a big helping of gratitude and a desire to work even harder than before. I feel so fortunate for the opportunity I have to work on this writing business of mine. Sometimes I do feel like a failure, but other times, I feel really proud of what I’ve accomplished. More than anything, I know I couldn’t do it without a fantastic support system. My dear husband is the king of patience, optimism, and control during stressful times, and he is gracious enough to hear me out when I’m panicking and then gently remind me that it will work out.
It always does.