Hi Friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve shared anything publicly and even longer since my last blog post. To put it mildly, life looks very different now than it did a year and a half ago and if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been or what I’ve been up to, I’m looking forward to sharing that with you. Right before the pandemic, I decided to take time off social media to focus on myself, focus on my life, and figure out my next steps. I noticed that I was falling into a rut that I couldn’t quite shake off and figured it would be best to lay low for a while. Not long after, I found out I was pregnant, the pandemic hit, a close relationship of mine unexpectedly dissolved and I didn’t know how to deal with it all.
Getting pregnant at a time when my life felt out of balance took a huge toll on me mentally and emotionally. I had no desire to create anything new and the few projects I did start went unfinished. To be frank, year after year of hustle mentality and obsessing over my business day in and day out left me feeling completely drained. I’d unknowingly burnt myself out to the point that I no longer found joy in what I was doing. Who was I working so hard for? What exactly am I trying to accomplish? What is the purpose of all of this? I had no answers to any of those concerns. My internal struggles ran deep and the amount of anxiety that built up around my work was unmanageable. I constantly critiqued everything I created, I compared myself to others (still an ongoing struggle), and I didn’t feel worthy of success because I felt it wasn’t in the cards for me.
I noticed how obsessed with the process I’d become when reading my journal entries from previous years. The only things I wrote of were about my business, my goals, things I wanted to execute, etc. But when I looked at the work I created, it didn’t match the goals I set for myself. Essentially, I’d been half-assing doing things I wanted to do because I was afraid of judgment, afraid it wouldn’t sell, afraid to put my thoughts out there, and afraid to be seen.
Looking back, I simply didn’t think that I was good enough to be successful. I know it’s foolish to look at oneself in that light, but I couldn’t help how I felt. Given my mental and emotional state, it was resoundingly clear that I needed to step back and shift my gaze to something that was not lettering, blogging, or business-related; and that’s exactly what I did. For the first time in a very long time, I just chilled. I took stock of what was happening in my actual life and instead of focusing on things out of my control I looked inward and started the journey to healing. I asked myself “what does Nkem want?” What do I see for my future? How is my relationship with my partner? How is my relationship with my friends and family? By asking those questions I realized that all those areas needed work. I prioritized the wrong things and the wrong people for years and in this onset of becoming a mother, I needed the space to process it all.
So in essence, that’s what I’ve been doing; focusing on my personal needs and doing the inner work.
In the time I’ve been away, I’ve been able to take care of myself in ways I didn’t know I needed, and motherhood has been one of the biggest eye-openers. For starters, women are the most amazing beings on this planet! My respect level for us has amplified a thousand folds since becoming a mom. The process of bearing a child is a hurdle in itself but the mental and physical demand of taking care of a child is next level. I have seen a different side of me throughout this process. I am stronger and more resilient than I ever could’ve imagined. This person has always been there, but it took this moment for me to finally acknowledge her.
By doing the inner work, I’ve been able to appreciate me for me. I’ve been vulnerable with my spouse and having difficult conversations so we can continue to expand and connect in our marriage. I’ve been observant of how I spend my day, especially in this new work-from-home environment. Understanding that now more than ever, fostering relationships with others is extremely important. I need community. I need to talk to others and be comfortable sharing my ideas and speaking up.
Over the years of trying to make some form of a business and having successes and many failures along the way, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned from the mistakes of my past and I’m getting back up to write a new narrative. From the experience of watching my child grow each day, I see that much like him I’m still a baby learning the ropes of building a business. I’ve fallen on my face more times than I can count but that’s just part of the process. With every failure comes new lessons and new opportunities to pick yourself back up and try again.
So, I write all this to say that I’m working my way back to showing up here consistently. I have to give my ideas a fighting chance and the only way to do that is by showing up. I’ve learned that there will never be a point where doubt doesn’t creep in no matter what level of success you reach. Success is not linear and there are always hurdles to overcome throughout the process. The best approach is to stay on course and stop derailing ourselves when things get difficult. In most cases, we tend to be our own worst enemies and often trip ourselves up. From my experience, I’ve learned that when you fall, reassess the situation and get back in the game with a different perspective. Take breaks when needed because productivity does not involve always doing something. Rest is an essential piece of the equation. And most importantly: ask for help when you need it! Don’t let pride get in the way of seeking guidance and assistance. No one ever got anywhere without the support of others.
I am looking forward to revamping my business and making changes as I go along. I’ve started dedicating time to creating new products and have every intention of continuing to bring you all along this journey with me. Things are different and I have a renewed outlook on life. I am no longer the afraid girl I once was who feared other people’s opinions of me. I am ready to be seen and tired of hiding.
Here are some healthy nuggets of truths that I’ll continue to keep in mind:
1. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Your ability to listen and empathize with others is your superpower. Lean into that and be open.
2. Speak up! Your voice matters, your ideas matter, and your vision matters.
3. Keep it simple. There is no need to complicate things.
4. Laugh more and have fun. Life ain’t gotta be so serious all the time. It’s ok to make a fool of yourself occasionally.
Till next time,