So I want to tell you that almost every night I sit here staring at WordPress with either an empty or a half written post. I stare at the screen; open new tabs on my browser; get distracted (which is really just another word for procrastination). I have a half dozen unfinished posts in draft. I write and then delete whole paragraphs. Where is this block coming from? This reluctance to write is something I’ve been trying to figure out. I’ve seen my words used against me recently so maybe I don’t want to invite judgment or misinterpretation when I’ve been in a vulnerable state the last year, but this isn’t necessarily new. It’s par the course when you’re putting your words and ideas out there. So what’s changed?
Maybe it’s just winter. It’s starting to feel like the movie GroundHog Day as far as the weather is concerned, what with all the snow and cold. I feel like we’re just holding our breath until Spring breaks through. How many photos of snowy New York can I post? How many times can we complain about the weather? But damn, that first snowfall is always so pretty – even if we’re deathly sick of it.
But maybe it’s also having a job. When I get home after a hectic rush hour commute – and lately, delays because of the unusually cold weather – I don’t want to do a thing. But of course there’s homework to help with, sometimes a freelance project to work on, and the business to run. After everyone’s gone to bed, I come here and the focus just isn’t there. Could it be that I’ve finally decided that sleeping is better than writing blog posts from 12-2am which is when I used to do the majority of my writing?
Overall life is moving along, but it’s hard keeping it together some days, if only for appearances, when there’s still so much to process and deal with. It’s also an adjustment being around people for 8-10 hours at a time in an office after having worked solo at home for so many years. Because I’ve always been hypersensitive to the moods of people around me, I’m conscious about the energy that I put out there and this isn’t something that I’ve had to think about or control in a long time. Office dynamics can be a delicate balance, but it’s paramount to the success of an early startup (or any company at any stage, for that matter). This will sound like a total tech startup cliche, but I’m also the only woman in a team of guys and 1 of only 2 team members (and the only employee) who is a parent. This doesn’t always have to be an issue – and it’s not for the most part – but it is an inherently different dynamic from the project teams I’ve been a part of in the recent past. Gender and age is suddenly “a thing” in my career now.
All of these adjustments, both big and small in the past year have added up to some big changes. I’ve ruminated enough in the past on feeling stuck (and in some areas of our lives, we are still “stuck”), so these changes are good. But I’m also ready to admit that I’m feeling overwhelmed and I can’t accomplish everything that I want. For anyone who is a lifetime overachiever, this admission can be hard to accept and it’s easy to think of it as failure. However, if any life lesson can be learned from this past year, I’d know that is a dangerous path to go down. I’m working on avoiding that path, every day.