This is the Rhythm of Life Right Now
800 Words | by Liz | Sent March 18, 2018
It’s Sunday, and I’m here to write 800 words. I forgot about it last week, but grace for that. I was in rural Missouri with my mom and Laura Ingalls Wilder and no computer. It was the greatest.
Goodness, I feel like I have so much to write about: the sweetness of last weekend’s road trip, the absolute perfection of yesterday in Dallas, this growing desire to be an author and write consistently, how draining these side-hustles are becoming.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve finally sent in my Columbia application and am taking more deliberate steps toward a new career, but this side-hustle life is draining me. It’s been wonderful and lovely for a season. I needed it to discover that writing & publishing is the industry I want to work in. I’ve gained so many great connections. I’ve learned not only skills that are directly linked to publishing, but skills in time blocking, prioritizing, project management, problem solving, communication. I’ve even gained a better vocabulary. But maybe these side hustles have done what they were meant to do. I'm growing, and they either need to grow with me or I need to leave them behind. (*note from the future - they grew with me*)
On Friday afternoon, I went for a walk and took deep breaths to ward off anxiety triggered by stress. This is becoming more of a frequent thing. I felt drained and overwhelmed and burnt out. I wanted to be done juggling seven different jobs and constantly asserting boundary after boundary after boundary. I’ve acutely felt this way for about 3 weeks, but the lingering, nagging discomfort has been there for a while.
So, in short, the past few weeks have been more stressful than pleasant, and client work can sometimes run me dry. I can sense that I'm outgrowing aspects of my work and something needs to change. I'm ready for change. The freedom of working from wherever and whenever I want to is great, but right now, I crave the structure & stability of a full-time job. I want to go to work and come home from work. I want space and margin to write. I want weekends. I don’t want to be consistently contacted about work after 9pm.
So I’m tired. I’m hanging in there, but I’d love for change to come soon.
But in the midst of this stress and waiting, the past few weeks have also held some of the sweetest, unexpected moments.
This afternoon I took a pair of scissors outside to cut the wildflowers that are sprawling all over the median on the road outside of my apartment. I stuffed two vases full of the fuzzy yellow weeds. They will probably die tomorrow, but for now, my apartment is the most cheerful.
I’m sitting on my second floor patio right now, eating chicken & artichokes & asparagus and drinking really hoppy beer (just a few essentials to a good Sabbath). My neighbor’s kids are playing with sidewalk chalk and practicing their cartwheels. There’s a boy and a girl, and the boy just looked up at his mom and asked if he could eat a worm and the mom said sure. I love apartment life.
Yesterday, I got up early to drive my cousin to the airport in Dallas, and then spent the morning in the Bishop Arts District. I went to Wild Detectives right when it opened and read for fun outside. I’m reading The Transforming Power of the Gospel by Jerry Bridges, and I feel like I’m hearing the Gospel again for the first time. It’s so indescribably beautiful and humbling. Jesus is everything. I walked around the area after that, wandering in and out of stores, talking to the shopkeepers, buying myself beautiful things, browsing small art galleries, and tipping the street musician. I found a cute restaurant and ate a caprese salad with fresh mozzarella at a table all by myself. I sat outside and read my book and ate my salad and felt like the greatest version of myself.
This is the rhythm of my life right now: going hard and having moments where I feel like I’m going to break, and then slowing down to enjoy peaceful moments right in the middle of the chaos.
And this is what I’m learning about life: these ups and downs aren’t going anywhere. Client work or no client work. Full time job or part time jobs. This is life, and I need to buckle up for the ride.
I’m also learning that in the hard moments, whether there’s a project looming over me, or an awkward conversation that needs to happen, or just a general lack of motivation to do anything -- leaning into those moments is better than escaping them.