Dear Self, I need you.
Well the time finally came. You know, that time you never really think will come, but you maybe would talk about all the time? The dreaded and overworked breakdown! Warning.... I am getting real on this post. It's a long one!
Being a single mother of 4 beautiful children, owning my own company, and taking a risk by going to work for a start up company with some smart business mentors is a good sum up for my life for the past 7 years. I knew adding one more thing on my plate and joining a start up company was a lot, but I knew they would teach me to become very skilled in knowing how to start and run successful businesses for my future. Taking risks is my nature, and it's something that intrigues my daily, but also puts a lot of pressure on me daily. I knew this pressure was going to get to me at some point, but I thought, "I am strong, I am fearless, I can do this." Fast forward 7 years later, Well....it finally caught up to me! This year has been one of the roughest and toughest I have ever known. My traveling life along with being single mom were starting to make me feel like I was juggling so much that I couldn't stop dropping balls more and more often in my life. I couldn't keep that fast paced perfect rhythm I thought I had created and mastered so well in the past. My kids were getting older now, my oldest is 19 years old. My youngest just started Jr. high, and well....I literally had thought "what is happening, they are getting so old, I don't want to miss a beat in their lives." But I was, I was missing it. I realized most of these things are self afflicted because I am such a idea person and I also can't say "no" to anyone, because I don't want to let them down. I love everything I get to do daily, but watching the clock tick so fast this year and how old my kids were getting, I thought....what happens next in my life when they are all gone and moved out? Cue panic mode..ummm I don't know?
I run a start up company night and day. I travel a lot to meet Artisans all over the world who I design and help develop stories with to help them build their own businesses where they currently live so they too can have opportunities to feel important, and make impact daily in their own lives. So as you can imagine I have been running at a super fast pace. I am so grateful and I don't want to lose any of it, but I want to make everything a bit more impactful in every part of my life home and professionally, and the question still remained in my mind, "How can I do it all, and be healthy enough for me all at the same time?" I don't want to let my kids down, nor do I want to let these beautiful Artisans down and the daily "mom struggles" were getting more apparent. I am a mom who deals with a broken washer and dryer because my 13 year old son suffers from severe OCD and has to wash his clothes nightly, the same outfit over and over again. I have a daughter who wants to take dance but I can't afford it nor can I get her to and from dance with my work schedule and the carpooling option with other moms couldn't work out this year. I am a mom who wants to cook nightly for my 17 year old football player and other children who come home starving after a long day at school and sports, but can't always make that perfect healthy, hearty meal I believe they deserve. The list goes on and each day, I push to make all these needs and wants happen....and then they don't....then I feel guilty.....and then....boom...melt down time today, I pushed too far. Why? Because I have passion for what I do. As a mother, Creative Director, and Entrepreneur. I love design, style, fashion, and people. I love to think about how products we buy daily, like jewelry, can make an impact for someone else's tomorrow in this world. I love companies that are building around their own personality of who they really are and what message they want to live by...not just driven by numbers but by purpose. Even after all this passion and love I wanted to build for myself and my business...I needed to make a change in my own life and strive for balance. I knew I wouldn't have been good for either of my passions in life if I was broken down, and I thought how is that going to impact my children's lives if I was too tired to check on their homework, or tuck them in at night? I wasn't! That's why I landed here today.
Dear Self, (self check-in time)
I love being a mother, I love business, I love learning and listening to podcasts, Ted Talks, reading books, my favorite book Rising Strong is by the author Brene Brown, it's about getting my butt back up and pushing forward. It is a life changer. Still is. Even with all the things I do daily I still was stubborn enough to keep fighting for success in all these areas at once without drawing many boundaries for me, Jen Clyde. I was failing myself. A dear friend of mine, Michelle Money sat down with me one night on her patio and had a "get real talk" with me. She was one of many people who had one with me, but I think it was the way she said it that affected my heart so much and got me thinking. Michelle said about a month ago, "Jen, you have to stop running so fast, you have to feel strong enough to keep life going for your kids, your business, and I know you can do this, but you have to let go of the garbage and noise that causes you to not be able to believe in yourself, and you need to slow down!" She said "I believe in you!" I knew at that point I needed to take a step back, but how could I when I have to feed the kids, fix that broken washer and dryer in the house? Take care of a company that is doing good daily at empowering women? Plus I need to grow more business to help more people, so how can I slow down? How does this work?
I am writing this post today because for the first time in many years, I worked from home, I took a breathe, and slowed down to reflect on what works and what doesn't work in my life currently. I really had to step back, and write down everything I truly really care about in my life, and where did I want to see my impact in this world? Today was a day that I woke up, said to myself "Jen, You Are Worth It!" Now I just need to believe it no matter what! As single parents we forget about ourselves because we have double duty all the time. No one there to talk too about our daily problems with work or kid issues. It's just you and the kids trying to figure it all out you know?
Today is the day, the day I actually say, "help yourself, so you can be well enough to help them." What will happen in my life next? A journey I would love for you to follow. Give advice, share stories, and everything that comes to your heart, well, share it! I need your help because at the end of the day the energy we give off, we will get back. I need to trust the vibes I am feeling and learn to say no, without guilt or shame. I need to get ready to be stronger for myself well being and confident that I will always remember " I am doing my best" and that is enough. I am starting a whole new chapter in my life, and I want you to come along to share and inspire me with your stories. Please feel free to comment below, if you have any advice on my new chapter of self love and care below. I want to hear from you. I learned that if we can train our minds to think a bit different by saying to ourselves, "it's ok to not be ok." Well then most of us women can get through anything! Share your story with me about how you got back up. Thanks for joining my raw post today, and my journey on starting to put my self-care first.