In the weeks before Christmas, I was a hot mess. And the hot relates to fever, not any heels I might have longed to wear. I was sick in the way people don biohazard suits to be around you. Slumped on the lounge surrounded by empty protein bar and potato chip packets the only food I could stomach, a strong, unyeliding thought kept on permanent rotation: “This needs to change”.
No mystery, about the cause of the illness. I’d worked myself into a frenzy after rescuing major projects that was stalled through a builders bi-polar issues and another’s habit of switching off his mobile at critical times to go AWOL. Or to the golf. On top of these unexpected issues I was handling some 37 other projects that were in various life cycles from concept through to handover. I was trying not to acknowledge the intense workload I was shifting until Lisa, my project manager reminded me on out work in progress calls “You know, you seem to have a lot going ON”
Over Xmas when I was at my fav Hawks Nest retreat, I really did retreat and thought about how I was living my life. And I knew I could not do another year like the previous. Or in fact another month. My health and vibrancy was at stake and if I continued with the workload I would not be producing my best work. Or any work at all.
So with much angst, grinding of teeth and spending what seemed like an age in the downward dog position, I told The Display Builders (DB) whom I had collaborated with for 9 years I was no longer able to work with them.
I have adored working with DB. I loved working the clients some of who are even now friends or frequent refers of the best charades and tap pas to try. And if you need a trade show stand design, built and managed, I reckon you can do no better in the industry. Go here to see their amazing portfolio of work and here’s their contact page in case you want to see how they can be help to you. But with all that weighing on me, I still chose me.
The seeds of change actually sprung from a funeral I attended for one of my dearest friends’ mum. She died suddenly. Shockingly and as I sat through the beautiful and heart breaking funeral listening to stores of Belen’s amazing, brave and love-filled life story I through about my own legacy. By working so hard and trying to grow both Diva Works and The Display Builders, what was I giving up I my life? How was I spending my time and was I really producing my best work? No at all coincidentally I was reading “Die Empty” which argues and prods you to produce your best work every damn day and especially when you don’t feel like it. It’s a clarion call not to put off your passions for “one day”.
With all that churning through me, last week I told DB of my decision to depart their business.
Yes. Excellent. Cue the feeling of ease and surety. But no, I sobbed on the lounge like a girl with a pink frilly dress on, scoffed a box of Lindt chocolates, washed down with gulps of champagne direct form the bottle and then messaged the ladies in my mastermind to wail “What did I just do….WHAT DID I JUST DO?!? I think I have blown up my business!!!”
I’d really love to tell you that’s find making change easy as slipping on a pair of kicky heels. But even change that was so needed was freakin’ so HARD and I avoided it look too long. I was giving up the known and secure of DB to step fully into my own business and the unexplored. The ladies of the mastermind rallied beautifully and sent such heartfelt supportive messages backing my decision. There were directives to become more of a pleasure slut where I looked for ways to bring more joy into my life daily. So currently I’m on a bender of “Orange is the New Black”, dance classes (!!!!), indulgent trips to Adelaide with some best buds to see fashion and spending time with my family even if it’s just eating a Cornetto to in chez Jefferies on the Jason recliner with my 4 and 9 year old nieces.
The following day after parting ways with DB, I crawled out from under the Lindor wrappers and this happens:
I had kinda skimmed over lovely comments from my lady mastermind because I was embarrassed to read them…I just didn’t feel “worthy”. So I printed them out, escaped to the hairdressers. And this time, I read them. Really read them, hearing their collective voices say these things to me and yeah, I was a teary mess in the salon chair.
But hark, what is that…I start listening in the the convo in the chair beside me with nice old lady tell the hairdresser about how this year will be a good year for her, she just knows it. That she is working really hard with her budget as she is on a payment plan as she threw all her life savings at getting her son off the drugs and now he’s doing well and she’s really looking forward to getting the $32 swim cap she is saving up for because she loves swimming in the retirement home pool and does not want to ruin her ‘do.
Nice old lady does not have $32 for a freakin’ swimming cap…are you kidding me?
I mull on this. I read the words of my lady mastermind again. I grab my purse, turn my chair towards her and say –
“My name is Fiona and I could not help but her your story. I’m one of Victoria’s PleasureSluts (if you say if quickly it does not sound at ALL freaky weird) and right now, I am totally scared out of my tiny mind about taking the next step in my business. But. I have a bunch of ladies that barely know me but believe in me so hard, I have to do this. I will do this. And what I know is that as they believe in me, I believe in you and we would like to gift you that swimming cap so you can be a pleasureslut too.”
Cue more tears, grasping of hankies and hands and her looking slightly concerned that she has been labelled a slut.
My Diva mojo was restored with the love and support of family and friends. And a swimming cap.
All in on Diva Works, my 3D marketing business and heartfelt thanks for reading this pretty revealing and honest post of mine. Change is hard but honesty is easy.
Oh and feel free to share in the comments section below how you might have used 2015 as a catalyst for your evolution, I am really digging on other people’s stories of change and saying no….to say yes to life.
Through this turbulent time of change I kept returning to this song as a rally cry. I’m using it to fuel the drive to do my best work.