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Sometimes you have everything under control on Monday and by Thursday you have no idea.
I lost a client and had drama with another, family disputes pulled my focus, a friend left, Eskom load shedding set me back in my business, the neighbour’s dog barked excessively that kept me awake, another neighbour treated me like a criminal, the unkind store clerk gave me unnecessary grief, digital overload took a toll on my mental health while a decreased appetite ruined my physical health, and sexual harassment distracted me from my purpose. All this happened within a week. And while my last nerve hanged on a thread, a seemingly “innocent” sexual joke snapped it right off. At this point, I simply watched in horror as my world crumbled.
Consequently, all I could think about was to put my head down on the pillow and sleep for the rest of the year…
So I disappeared for a week!
Here’s what I learned after unplugging from the world:
- The power of emergency funds. If you have ever been in a difficult situation, you would know how great it feels to have emergency funds to back you up. As a freelancer, I have only once before now had to use my emergency funds due to unforeseen circumstances, but this time I was able to unplug by choice while knowing bills will still be covered. I learned that saving for an emergency is never a waste of money.
- Who stayed and who left. I was able to see who cared enough to support me and who didn’t. I learned who I can count on during this waking nightmare.
- Spring-cleaning breathes new life. This includes unpacking everything and properly cleaning the stagnant air in my home and organizing the messy thoughts in my mind. I learned that making space breathes new life.
- Resting heals. During my time away from the world, I cancelled all plans. I didn’t spend a single second pleasing anyone. I learned that switching off from the world and focusing on resting my body and mind heals the soul.
- Forgiveness releases anger. While it’s easy to keep resenting the people that do us harm, it’s a wonderful sense of relief when you decide to forgive, let go and move on. I learned that forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing toxic people back into my life, but releasing the anger sets me free.
- I’m human. In a world where good and positive vibes are always expected, I forgot for a moment that it’s okay to feel emotions deeply and that it can sometimes spiral out of control. I learned that if I give myself permission to acknowledge my feelings, forgive and remind myself that I’m only human, life slowly returns to normal.
Most importantly, what I learned after unplugging from the world is that choosing myself puts everything back into perspective.