A Year in the Life of Me

Two years ago I gave up my quest to become an entrepreneur — -or a boomerpreneur as I affectionately “coined” it. A lot happened in that time frame. I was pushing closer to 60 and found myself lamenting over the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve of my life. Mind you, I’ve accomplished many wonderful achievements but in my mind, I COULD’VE always done more and I WOULD’VE if I had more operating capital and I SHOULD’VE had more hustle, more drive, more of what it takes to get to the Oprah level. (Perhaps I am the only one who has felt like this). �

That led me to start looking for work again which I found, lost and found it again. I will say this, once you’ve worked for yourself it’s hard to go back and work for someone else — -especially in an environment where you are just one of the faceless at the bottom of the totem pole. The last time I felt that low was in my very first job nearly 40 years ago. I am still learning to swallow my pride and say “Yes, suh” and “Naw suh” to the man. And it is has been appalling to see how corporate greed is out of control with little or no respect for their employees or consumers. (That’s another story for another day).

My mortality has all of a sudden gotten really real. Around Thanksgiving 2015, I became ill. I thought it was a flu virus but I wasn’t getting any better. It zapped my energy and distanced me from the world. On many occasions, I felt like I was near death. And then a good friend of mine passed away. I stopped writing publicly. I stopped making the daily social media rounds. I became a recluse and, ironically, after a few months, I discovered I could live without social media.

So why am I sharing this? Because I know someone is going through something similar — -if not more complicated than me. I have learned a lot about me over the past two years and, believe me, not all of it has been good.

Here are my takeaways:

1) Stop fighting with the noise inside your head: The negative thoughts will keep you from moving forward. Life itself is full of ups and downs. You only make matters worst when you keep harping on your “woe is me mentality.”

2) Learn to manage stress: When I find myself slipping into a mental place I don’t want to go to, I pray, read my bible or play some old-school, upbeat music. It changes the channel of my mind and takes me to a happy place where I can rejuvenate and renew my spirit.

3) Be around people and things that inspire you: When I disconnected from social media (especially Facebook) I cut out more than 80 percent of the noise that was affecting my world. I became overwhelmed with the “perceived” success of my friends. When I stopped connecting online, I found other things to inspire me like taking walks at Umstead Park and going to the gym more often. I also decided (with my husband) to change churches and I have actually found inspiration in many of my millennial co-workers. They keep me laughing and appreciate my wisdom.

4) I am still resilient: In my nearly 60 years on this earth I have learned that I can bounce back after bad things happen and I am still employable.

When a baby is learning to walk, they will fall many times before they finally gain the confidence to stand and walk on their own. We all fail from time to time but it doesn’t mean we are a total failure in life. Failures are a part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn and if you don’t learn you will never change.

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