It's been a great month for burnout and change. WTF is next?

It's been a great month for burnout and change. WTF is next?
Anyone else exhausted right now? Photo by Kinga Howard on Unsplash

We're only halfway through July and I'm already suffering from emotional whiplash.

At the end of June, I was feeling good. I'd attended a fabulous professional conference (ASJA 2023), got some great ideas about the future of my business, and connected with some amazing people. I'd recently celebrated 100 subscribers to my baby LinkedIn newsletter and was about to head out on a short trip to NYC with my sister.

Then, out of nowhere:

  • I was locked out of my LinkedIn account, told I was permanently banned via email with zero explanation, and had to watch my account disappear without a trace.
  • My partner and I had a rough talk about our finances and whether we could afford to continue to be nomadic right now.
  • Several projects I'd been counting on for income got delayed.
  • We found ourselves facing some big potential expenses, like buying a car and paying for additional medical tests.

I had just begun coming to terms with my chronic illnesses and trying to find ways to work and live better. Now instead of July being a month of reflection and planning, I would be spending it chasing LinkedIn customer service, pouring over car ads, and worrying about money (though nothing new there).

Why am I telling you all this?

To be honest, part of this is good, old-fashioned venting. Writing is also how I process change, so lucky you!

We all know that being self-employed, disabled, and nomadic are difficult both individually and together. But no one really warned me that I could deal with mid-career burnout, financial frustration, and health slumps all at the same time.

I guess it's that same old attitude coming back to haunt me.

"I thought I'd be better by now."

"I thought my career would be more successful, profitable, or easier by now."

"I thought...I planned...I wished...etc."

My Bettermental co-host and I just wrapped up Season 2 by talking about how we often create this narrative of success and use it as a measuring stick, regardless of how unrealistic it may be. Which is great stuff, but sometimes I hate having my own words thrown back in my face, you know?

Obviously, there's a lot going on in my life right now. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If anything, all the shit that's come up recently has helped put some things in perspective.

For example, I know I want to keep writing about my own experiences, the future of work, and disability. I want to take care of my health, continue building my current business —and hopefully several new ones—, and travel. I want to support my partner as he works on developing his own career.

Everything else, stressful as it is, is details (though I'm a detail-oriented person, so yay?). I'm on the right path, it just looks a bit rocky at the moment.

Now I've complained enough for one post, so let's end on a positive note.

Here are a few things I'm proud of and grateful for that have happened recently:

  • I was invited to attend a prestigious conference (HealtheVoices) as a mental health advocate.
  • We bought a car! It's a monster SUV and we can easily sleep in it if necessary, so that's the homelessness part taken care of. Kidding. Sort of.
  • That NYC trip reminded me how much I love travelling alone and that I need to do it more often.
  • I can keep seeing my therapist in person while my partner and I figure out where to live.

As for what's next? Your guess is as good as mine.