2019 Was My Inflection Point
2019 has been a year of growth for me. Unlike the last few years, I’ve finally hit the inflection point in both my family and career. It’s been a wild ride. This is why this particular year deserves its article. I wanted to tell you about the brave steps that I took as a single mom. Mostly, my “down” moments where desperation meets ambition, allowed me to venture out into uncomfortable spaces.
Taking risks allowed me to snap out of my cycle of obsessively analyzing past events in my life — a habit I developed while recovering from PTSD, complicated by my ADHD.
I’m quite sure that my “down” moments are not over. But, this is the year that I consciously learned to deal with them. Along the way, I also learned to trust the world again. For the past several years, I have been recovering from the disconnection and mistrust of people in this world due to my past experiences. It has gnawed at the very core of my being.
Taking bold steps to heal meant trusting the world again and having convictions in my values. For the first time in a long time, I have “realistic hope” which is different than “false hope” or fantasy.
Writing has been both livelihood and medicine for me this year. I’m looking forward to 2020 when I will embark on more adventures. I’m looking forward to reflecting on those experiences here so that you can share my adventures with me.
The Bold Steps
In the beginning of this year, I had some money in my savings after I lost most of the money the previous year. I decided to put all of that money to use for my business. It was a bad decision. I should’ve used it all for my rent and expenses. I overestimated my own ability to make an income. I ended up losing my savings rapidly on different accounts to service my social media. I was left to fend for myself as my savings rapidly decreased each month.
In July, I ran out of money for my business and my anxiety took over. But, since I prepared for this step for two months, I had the cushion of a Medium income and some credit leftover.
Starting from January of 2019, I took these bold steps in my career.
- In January, I developed my WordPress website in 3 weeks and put it up. It was a parenting website. I emailed influencers and interviewed them for my website.
- In February, I started to grow my own Pinterest account and Instagram account. In both ventures, I was unable to monetize but I learned a lot about social media marketing.
- In March, I chose to write on Medium to earn a steady income after trying my hand at my parenting blog and affiliate marketing. After a year, this turned out to be the best decision I made.
- In April, I decided to join Medium writing communities, specifically electing to be the moderator of MPPF. Although other communities have been great, this one group was both a trigger for both my depression and anxiety.
- In May, I started to ramp up all of my social media exposures and started a branding campaign on my Medium account. It has made a real difference in gaining and keeping followers. I also started a number of publications on Medium.
- In June, I started to write technology articles in programming, data science, and artificial intelligence.
- In July, I started to scout for freelance writing clients on Upwork. This platform has allowed me to bridge the gap between Medium income and pitching for clients.
- In August, I decided to put together my poetry book after going on a poetry writing spree. I had to postpone this project and spend more time earning a living.
- In September, I started to write for Forbes due to the connections I gained in Medium writing communities.
- In November, I started to pitch for permanent client work.
- In December, I started to go for a journalism career at full speed on Forbes.
- In December, it’s the first month I’m unable to pay for our food and utilities. We had to go to the food pantry. But, it turned out to be the best opportunity to tame my son’s picky eating behavior.
Starting from January of 2019, I took these bold steps in my life.
- In Jan, my son was still very hyperactive. I decided to use myself as a jungle gym instead of buying him one of these giant jungle gyms for home.
- In Feb, we stopped our Montessori curriculum in favor of a Waldorf approach to his education. I also started to allow digital games, specifically puzzle and letter games to fill his curiosity.
- In March, I decided to wait another year for him to go into preschool. It was due to some of his special needs.
- In April, I started to embark on both water therapy and physical therapy for my son to tame his hyperactivity and insomnia. They both worked wonders.
- In May, we started to go to the playground and the park every day. This lasted until the summer was over. My son’s temperament markedly improved.
- In July and August, I started to teach my son to swim. It was an interesting experience and a learning lesson for me to teach a strong-willed child.
- In September, my son had sensory avoidance issues again. We had to spend the next two months dealing with that. His insomnia was back with more time spent indoors.
- In October, we embarked on a different preschool routine with one-hour lessons and some readings scattered throughout the day. He plays independently for the rest of the day.
- In November, socialization became an issue again for my son after a lot of time spent indoors. I started spending more time playing with him. We spent a lot of time flipping time zones to find a “sweet spot” when my son can sleep for up to 12 hours.
- In December, my son’s sleep issues were finally better. With it, his eating issues got better, especially with limited food choices. His hyperactivity issues have gotten significantly better: he is now sitting willingly. I am finally beginning to think about preschool for him again.
As a single mom, it’s the bold steps that count. With all the career moves that I made, it doesn’t matter if they failed or succeeded. In the end, it’s the experiences that count. These experiences made me a better mother in the process. I’m able to compartmentalize my son’s issues and simply focus on resolving the symptoms as they came up. My son’s issues at times were very hard to deal with in conjunction with my career this year.
But, once you persevere that, you feel like you can accomplish anything.
Two moments defined this year for me:
- There were many nights when I was sitting in front of my computer trying to write while holding my son on my lap. While on my lap, he would have a meltdown that prevented me from doing any work at all. I remember cradling him and feeling the scattered thoughts in my brain. It felt like I will never be able to work again.
- There was this moment when I went to the food pantry to get food for the first time. I broke down. People there were kind and simply gave me as much food as they had. I will never forget these tears because I haven’t cried for the last 3 years. It was a victory to feel my sadness because I wasn’t compartmentalizing it for survival.
As a career woman, I have to say a thank you to all the wonderful people I have met, worked with, and had laughs with, you are the reason I get out of the bed and put energy into my business.
In the end, being able to make a living is great. But making connections and immersing myself in the network of my connections to engage in conversations is much better. It is this “creative” work that drives me.
Happy New Year!
May your celebrations inspire you to take great leaps in the new year.