The girl, a journey & an update
I want to use this post to give you a bit of an update on how things are going behind the scenes at Pen & Peplum. This is an update not so much about the blog, or the store, or the stationery, but an update about me. The girl behind Pen & Peplum.
Grab yourself a hot cup of tea and settle in… this is going to be a long one.
Where do I begin?
My new life as a blogger and entrepreneur has been the hardest and the best thing I've done so far. I've had lots to take on and take in during the short time I've been out on my own. I've had wonderful, amazing days and I have days where I struggle. It's been an emotional time - a time of elation and complete satisfaction, and also a time of fear and panic.
I'm out on my own. I make all the decisions. What happens or doesn't happen is on me. What I earn or don't earn is on me. This freedom makes me feel limitless and pressured all at once. I've had to adjust to new routines, figure out how I fit everything in, work out how I spend my days, and set my own goals and tasks. There's no one to check up on me, to tell me to stop or slow down, or to tell me that I've done enough for today. I set expectations for myself and what I want to accomplish and there's no one to let me know whether or not these are reasonable. If my site goes down I have to try and figure out how to fix it. If I want to make some changes or additions to my site I need to be the one to look into it. And there's a lot to manage. I often wish I had someone in the next cubicle, who does what I do, who I can turn to and say: "Hey, what do you think about (x)?"
I've had to wrestle with a whole heap of old demons and toxic habits - this has probably been the hardest part so far. Because when it's just you, there's just no room for it. I'm a perfectionist and my own worst critic. What if I fail? What will people think of me? Am I just kidding myself? Making something - anything that's your own - and putting it out there for people to see and expecting them to pay for it can feel awfully terrifying. I've never felt so exposed in my life! I had a moment a couple of weeks ago when I was curled up in the foetal position hiding under the covers of our bed because I was too afraid to deal with what I had to. I know now that I was totally overreacting, but at the time I was certain everything I made was rubbish and that everyone would think I was a total joke. But there's no room for that. Everyday I have to keep myself in check and remind myself why I'm doing what I do, why I've taken this turn.
And it's been very interesting meeting new people and being asked: "So what do you do?" "Um… ah… well… " I stumble here. This was never an issue before. "I'm a child psychologist", I would say. I said this because I had years of training and a piece of paper that told me so. But I have none of that now. I struggle to define my new role - not because I don't know what I do, in my mind I'm a writer, a business owner and a designer - but I'm afraid to tell people that. What right do I have to call myself a writer, business owner and designer? What training or qualifications do I have to allow myself to do these things? Um... none.
And behind all of this is the financial pressure. This is real, folks. We've literally halved our household income and it's been tough! We stress out about money and I put a lot of pressure on myself to hustle. We've had to make some huge adjustments. This is the first time in my adult life where I've had to think really hard about what I spend my money on. The first time I've had to go without buying something I wanted.
So do I regret my decision?
All that stuff is part of my learning and part of my growth. I've only just started and like any new job it will take a while to find my rhythm. And until then I need to chill out and go easy on myself.
I love what I do. I wake up every morning and feel so thankful to have the opportunity to spend my days doing what makes my soul sing.
I get so excited and feel so inspired!
I never not want to turn up to work.
I feel like I am doing what I was put on this earth to do.
I love being home when my husband gets home. I love talking to him about my plans and ideas for our business. I love that he's noticed the colour return to my cheeks, my smiles widening, and the sparkle return to my eyes.
I love that I spend my days surrounded by beauty and colour and design.
I love that I'm forming some really beautiful friendships and networks both locally and across that other side of the globe.
I love that I'm pushing myself, testing myself.
And I'm having a ball!
Whatever your dreams are, my lovely, please chase them! It will be hard but it will be so good!
Have a beautiful weekend.
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