The last blog post I wrote was my 2019 Year in Review, written Jan 12, 2020, almost 2 years ago. As we all know, that was right before the pandemic shit hit the fan. I wrote some pretty ambitious New Year's resolutions too, including performing at Immerse, and "being an influencer". For me these meant getting out of the house more to do things I love, like performing music on stage for people, and being more present on social media, not for the likes, but to give back in the form of sharing my experiences, as a CTO, an artist, a human.
Well, things didn't go that way to say the least. By mid March we were all in lock-down. I did try to be on social media more. I thought it should have been easier given that I'm CTO at Statusphere, a social media focused startup. But I was overcome with stress, fear, and shame, and it was difficult for me to be authentic on social media when I was feeling those emotions. I wanted to be a source of positivity. I thought that sharing what I was really dealing with would be too messy and depressing. So, I hid for the most part.
But, I truly believe that sharing the difficult parts of our journeys is important, because life isn't perfect for anyone. I'm afraid that too many people quit when things get tough because it doesn't look the way success is often presented. But just as I hid what I was going through, I think most people hide the difficult parts of their journey out of fear of looking incompetent, insignificant, or unlikeable. I couldn't bring myself to share my experiences while in the pits of last year, but now that I'm in a better place, I feel called to.
2020 was a heavy year for me, beyond the pandemic. In addition to dealing with the anxieties of COVID and police brutality, I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years, and completely uprooted my life to move from Orlando, FL to Indianapolis, IN to be closer to my family. I was living in Orlando for 13 years. I made a lot of friends. I formed a deep bond with the city and the art scene, and the tech community. I felt important in Orlando. Moving to a new city mid-pandemic brought a lot of loneliness since nothing was open and it was difficult to build new social groups. Additionally, Statusphere experienced a lot of growth in the last year, which was exciting, and it changed my role as CTO quite a bit, which made it difficult for me to feel competent and my self-esteem took a hit. A family member who suffers with acute mental illness moved in with me too, which felt good on one hand, but was quite stressful for me as well. To summarize, during the last year and a half, nothing felt normal.
Fortunately, I got a personal therapist, Statusphere started providing professional coaching to the team, and we recently started executive coaching. So, I've got a lot of support at the moment, and it feels good. I'm finally starting to get used to living in Indianapolis. I'm enjoying it very much, even though I love and miss Orlando dearly. I'm in Orlando now, actually, as I write this. I plan to visit at least once a quarter now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be over (fingers crossed!). So far I visit Orlando more than I used to visit Indy to be with family. Friends in Orlando ask if I'll ever move back, and to be honest, I don't think I will. My family is so important to me, and this new arrangement feels really good.
Now, I'm starting to settle into my new life in Indianapolis. All of the stressors I was facing are starting to subside, either on their own, or because I'm now more equipped to cope with them, thanks to therapy and coaching. And since I'm not so drained by stress, I'm finding more energy to put into the things I love, like writing and sharing my experiences here with you. I find that writing in this blog is incredibly thereputic for me and I plan to write as often as I can during this season in my life where things are starting to feel pretty good again, because who knows when life could get turned upside down once more.
I hope that by coming back to write about what caused me to lose touch with my blog I can help normalize taking breaks to deal with life. I hope to normalize that life isn't always stable and that its ok to lower your expectations of yourself and accept that what you might need most in this moment is rest. Life can be an awful lot to deal with, and it can also come back to a place of peacefulness. It can feel scary, and painful, and difficult to be patient with ourselves. I experienced all of that for more than a year, and I kept a lot of it to myself. So, again, I'm sharing my experiences in hopes that it helps anyone who is struggling with life to stay patient, get plenty of rest, find support, ask for help, and try to stay optimistic that the stress will eventually subside, and you will come back to a sense of peace and normalcy.
I'm very much looking forward to sharing more of my experiences as CTO at Statusphere on this blog because its such a unique and wild ride that I get to be on. So stay tuned!
And if you have any specific questions, please reach out! I'm available via email, LinkedIn, Twitter... I love to share and it inspires me to know what others are dealing with too. So don't be shy!