On being brave

2019 has been quite the year. It feels like everything has happened all at once, with no respite. Incredible things and moments of despair have come up at the same time with no space to just sit and figure it out.

About three months ago, I decided to quit my job and pursue freelance work. And if you told me that this would happen a year ago, I would have laughed right in your face. In a moment of pure manifestation – I ended up e-meeting (as is the norm these days) one of my favourite street-style stars. For years, I’d pinned her outfits to my #fashun board and somehow I ended up working with her and her incredible team. A group of talented, kind, compassionate and supportive women. I felt seen and heard. My voice was appreciated.

My friends jokingly called her my fairy godmother, because the opportunity came at a time that I desperately needed a shred of hope.

It was a lifeline as I felt like my career had come to a plateau. I’d come from an award-winning communications agency that tackled big projects and did incredible work. I learnt so much on the job, from my peers, my mentors and had experiences that taught me so much about my industry. And now, I was in a space that was very, very different.

And in the last two years, I’ve lost a lot of myself. I’d lament about how much I missed younger me, who wasn’t scared of anything and barreled into situations with charm and a prayer.

But I had dealt with so much upheaval. We had a court case that placed so much strain on my family. Unfortunately, if you’ve never pursued a court case, there is no way to explain how the process is built on gaslighting, inept service and reliving your trauma. After more than a year, we didn’t get the result we wanted and it was devastating. Close friends knew the frantic calls and my panicked energy when I saw a car that resembled our harasser’s. I have never felt so helpless and terrified.

And to be honest, for the most of this year – I was merely existing and I didn’t realise it until I got the opportunity with ATPB. At first, I was sure I would be able to hold down a 9 to 5pm while contributing to the site. But as things escalated and other factors came in, I realised I needed to make a choice.

Then, about three months ago, my friend Bakang did a tarot reading for me. It was the most accurate reading I’ve had in a while, describing my personal stance on life, my current work dynamic and that I was coming into a period of rebirth. The reading also highlighted that I focused on the negative shit in front of me, while I had so many wondrous things going for me too.

And I hadn’t told her about anything beyond being stressed at work.

And that, dear reader, was the sign I needed. If I was gonna fail, I might as well fail at something I’d enjoy doing. Life is scary, short and filled with things you just can’t plan for. I did tarot readings, picked angel cards and burnt my incense. It became clear that I just needed to trust my gut, the doors would open once I did.

So I said “fuck it, let’s do it” and made the leap to freelancing full-time – and it’s the scariest move I’ve done in a while. I planned out my time, my savings and got my money right.

My final day of work is today and I was lucky enough to work with wonderful colleagues (like, real friends). But I knew this is the decision I needed to make.

I could feel the change happen, like I was slowly coming back to myself. Like the feeling you get when you’re listening to Homecoming (- this blog was written with I Been On and Diva on repeat, btw)

Finally, I’m never going to be 23 year old me again and I had to let that shit go. I’m older now, with a few more skills under my belt and a bit more sense. 28 is meant to be the year I get it together, but maybe it was finding out what courage really meant to me.

But one thing is true. I’ve always been brave, I just forgot that for a bit.

x A

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