F*ck a Silver Lining

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To borrow a line, and title, from Panic! At the Disco: f*ck a silver lining.

Are you too having one of these days, weeks, years?

The sort that you are going through, and although able to stay standing through each of life’s lessons, the growing pains are getting to be unbearable?

One where an inner turmoil swirls within your soul?

A confliction because you have so much to be grateful for, but enough crap at the same time, it is all taking a toll?

The sort of exhaustion you’re unsure how you will recover?

If this not just sounds, but feels familiar, I welcome you to soak in comradery and potentially swap some empathy in the comment section.

After decades of always being happy to earn what I have achieved, work the extra hours, or take those risks that define opportunity, I am so low on reserves these days. I am finding myself for the first time in life relying on the hope of luck.

And before I dive in, I fully acknowledge that there are far worse things occuring in the world, and my problems are benign in comparison. In saying that, my personal exhaustion is also real.

I have shared with you guys my road back to health in a few posts here on A WOMAN. And although things are gratefully rolling along, it has not without a few bumps. I started having some complications that were notably unfun for my blood pressure medication. So after battling through the nurse to get to my doctor, and then being placed in a holding pattern for her to return from holiday, I have started a new medication.

The previous medication was gifting me with a cacophony of unfun. It felt like I had a peptic ulcer (having had one, it wasn’t a theoretical comparison). I was also experiencing lethargy, and had the bonus of packing back on some bonus pounds. I’m feeling so much better on the new rx, and am grateful to not be getting sick (a polite way of saying I have stopped throwing up). So there’s a silver lining, but I really want to say “F*uck it.” I'm tired. After enduring years of unwell, I also worked my ass off to lose fifteen pounds, only to have five return courtesy of a pill. So I just want a rest. A Respite.

Business has also had me feeling especially gloomy these days. With the reversal of Net Neutrality, then the scourge of GDPR, and now the Supreme Court stating States can collect sales taxes from out of state online business, I am exhausted from struggling to stay afloat on the interwebs. Ad blockers eviscerated income for sites years ago, and we have been struggling to earn income ever since. Now that the government is pretty much moulding the internet to be a zone for only large companies and corporations, I do not see a long term way to survive and operate Design Seeds, or any small business sites.

The shrapnel from all the affiliate, sponsored, data collecting websites have landed a lethal blow to the blogging industry. So although Design Seeds site is doing better than ever in many ways, I’m also backed into a corner. I don’t see a sustainable option as folks stay stickly on social media platforms. And in the Amazon era, folks do not support or purchase from small sites these days. And even there becomes a way to create revenue through ecommerce, how do we afford the accounting support to collect sales taxes from all fifty states? These are thoughts playing on endless loop on all small business owners' minds these days.

It is an understatement to have your nine year passion project go from a job to an impossibility, and call it heartbreaking. The sixty hour work weeks to keep it going, while creating a debt because the online climate is direly different, has me exhausted. I want to focus on what is going well for my business, but with operating nearly a decade, I feel a whimper of “f*ck a silver lining” wanting to bubble up.

And then I think about my little passion project here, and it is a mixture of excitement and loneliness. In 2018, do people really want a long form blog? Am I writing into the wind? Is what I am hoping to create as far as a space for connection? Is it a pipe dream with relevance to one, and that one being myself? Considering the toll of my health, and what it takes to keep Design Seeds alive, am I a fool to be creating a debt to get this blog going? These are other questions swirling through my brain.

I saw a tweet the other day, and this person shared that after having worked in-house, as a consultant, and now as a sole entrepreneur, loneliness is a real thing having your own business. And all I could think is, “ya think?!” It is remarkably lonely, and although I don’t think the loneliness has the profound effect on me it once had, it makes navigating these dark times infinitely more vulnerable.

I have been at a company that went under. I have also been at a couple that downsized. Layoffs were occuring at such an alarming rate, walking to your office was a walk of terror not knowing if you would inadvertently step on the trapdoor tunneling you to HR for termination papers. But in all those times of stress, it was a different feeling compared being a solo act watching your creative baby asphyxiating in a toxic climate. The comradery of sharing a house of terror is surprisingly beneficial versus the solitude.

So although I started this Sunday with optimism and planned on taking the day off, things changed. Gone were my plans of being chill and capping it off with yoga before whipping up an awesome dinner. The day’s curveballs have me typing away. After a few emotionally exhausting hiccups this late AM, I was suppose to be on the couch right now enjoying Stage 9 of the Tour de France. However, YouTube TV was not working. So in my solitude, I figured I could whip up a post. Although I strive to keep it elevated, look on the bright side, or share a transformative jewel with each mini essay, I have a cathartic “F*ck a Silver Lining,” playing on loop.

When I was able to catch up with my Mom this morning, and I shared my heartaches about my optimism for my career and business. I told her I’m not giving up, but needing to dwell in my misery for a bit. And when the new horizon shows itself, there is one quote I am holding on to right now in hoping to helps me hold onto my hard earned sanity, and that is the echo of Osho’s words:

“Be realistic: Plan for a miracle”

So although today is one where I feel face planted into a wall of pessimism, I am hoping to bounce back to a unicorn trot. And although a pragmatist with optimistic tendencies, I am hollowing up a pocket for pure unexpected hope. The unexpected. That miracle.

So what is going on in your universe?

Are you seeing the forest for the trees, and able to find your silver lining?


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