I used to be in a sobriety forum and it took me a whole year to work up the courage to post a thread about myself. Early one morning, I finally worked up the courage and I submitted a post. I titled the thread “When Does It Get Better?” At that moment, I was hungover and defeated. My drinking was at its worst, and I didn’t see any silver linings. So I asked the community, “When does it get better?” When does sobriety get better? When does living a sober life get easier? How do I do it? Where do others find the strength? How can I be a better version of myself?
A few months later I committed to sobriety and I’ve been sober ever since.
This is a similar post. Not about sobriety, but about life in general, I suppose.
When Does It Get Better?
I’ve been telling myself to get out of my head over these past few weeks. Do you ever tell yourself the same?
Stress has been weighing me down. We’re opening a new office in Rotterdam, which sounds exciting. This new office has been a goal over the past 5 years. So, I’m closing contracts with clients; instead of helping other businesses, I will now be helping our own business. We’ve been making a lot of leaps lately in our Euro-life. Big decisions are being made. Things are happening and reality sets in. Then the doubts come.
Then there’s this blog, Expat Housewife, which has been a lingering source of tension. Like a homework assignment I’ve been putting off until the last minute, I know it’s there, and I know I should be working on it. But… I’m not. There’s the side work of making a blog; side work that I never knew about until I started writing; side work which takes up more time than the actual writing itself. Many things to check off and start. Networking, marketing, sharing, quoting, creating… all time-consuming.
Dream Life Doubts
Suddenly, the dream life is not joyful, it’s a stressful obstacle that I cannot navigate and I can’t wake up from. I tell myself that this is how it is in the beginning and that it gets better. It must get better.
Think about others who have started something big. While I’m sure the tasks I’m tackling are not as grand as other ventures, the mere stress of the journey has cloaked the joy of building the dream life. Nothing goes the way it’s supposed to; the office is not set up for accessible internet connections, the phones don’t connect the way they should, hardware from the expensive printer we just bought has gone missing, and I have no idea what Dutch clients are trying to say to me. Nothing is streamlined, nothing is easy.
It’s the New Me! And It’s Not So Great…
The mindset has leaked into my core. Now, it’s my new baseline. I have no idea what to write for my next blog topic, and even as I write this post, I feel like I’m complaining. That’s not what I wanted for this. I wanted a place for others to connect and share experiences of starting over. A place where we can try to better ourselves while adjusting to a new life: getting sober, losing weight, looking for work, and finding passion.
This is all things I’m passionate about. Like others, had I known what would happen before I got started, I’m sure I would have never begun in the first place. But, I’ve made the bed, there’s no going back. I’ve asking other small business owners how they felt when they started. They said the first few months are hard: you’re setting up, getting your shop organized, tweaking your website and marketing the way you like, and it’s hard. After a while, it’s back to business as usual.
I hope I can get back to where I was before: back to sharing, writing with a smile on my face, and bubbly interactions with clients. Like anything new, you adjust. Adjusting to adjustments – it’s what we do. Until then, I’ll try my best to sweep away the gloom and return to a place of love and encouragement.
With the exception of sobriety, every time I’ve thought something would happen, and things would get better, it doesn’t. Something else comes along, then another, and so on. So, I’m not going to say that it will definitely happen. I feel it will, but I’ve been wrong before. Regardless, I’m hoping for positive outcomes, just like when I first asked for better things in the sober forum and got my wish. In the meantime, I thank you for making it to the end of this, rather pathetic, blog post. I wish you a day filled with snippets of joy that encourage you to keep moving forward.
Keep going. Keep your chin up. Don’t crumble. You can do this. Ciao!