My story. For the past couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve disappeared into a place which is very unfamiliar to me.
It’s a place of anxiety, grief, grit, growth & self-kindness.
Sometimes Life and Business are Messy
Without going into too much detail, (because no body likes a depresso in the online space), the reality is that sometimes life and business are messy. Sometimes life and business are not rosey. Sometimes life and business are downright difficult.
On the life side, my beloved furkid is not well. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with lung cancer but she responded really well to the surgery to remove half of her left lung. She’s been going strong for a number of months, but recently she started struggling with her breathing and began the tell-tale coughing. Many, many, many vet visits later and she is managing fairly comfortably, but I’ve definitely begun the process of realising that one day we’re going to have to take her for her final vet visit.
I’m not going to lie – I’m hurting in a big way. It’s a fact of life, but that doesn’t make the pain any less real.
Onto the business side. As a result of emotions making it difficult to focus, I haven’t been my most productive self. Productivity being something that makes me feel good, makes me feel confident and in control. Thankfully, I’ve been photographing some wonderful clients, but with every shoot comes the massive editing process. So I find myself slightly overwhelmed with the editing workload I have at the moment.
Secondly, I recently made the decision to pursue professional speaking. I’ve been giving some talks and attended a couple of Toastmaster’s meeting to see what it takes. And it SCARES me!! It’s a decision which I know is going to grow me in ways I never thought possible, but will also force me to be vulnerable to my core., as I’ve experienced already.
So the confidence levels are all over the place at the moment.
While I’ve had to learn to be compassionate with myself and allow myself time to deal with the current plate I’ve been served, I’m also aware that the best antidote, for me, to the grief, the overwhelm, the vulnerability, is to take action.
The best antidote to grief, overwhelm, vulnerability is to take action.
I’ve realised that by taking consistent action, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is what’s going to get me through this trying time.
I took action and went to the vet when I realised that Beijing’s cough was back, even though I didn’t want to hear what I knew they were going to tell me. I took action by allowing my productivity to take a step down on the priority list, to allow myself to process the emotions I’m feeling.
I took action by being fully present for my clients during their shoots and I took action by tackling my editing workload methodically, one shoot at a time.
I took action by showing up to the Toastmasters meeting even when what I really felt like doing was staying at home, slipping into my pajamas and vegging in front of the TV.
But why do I tell you this?
I tell you this because there’s something to be learned in every story shared. My experience may not resonate with you at all, but perhaps the way I explained my response to my situation is what trips a switch in you. Perhaps there’s a glimmer of inspiration or perhaps it’s just the reminder you need to be kind to yourself. Perhaps just knowing that others around you are managing their own battles gives you comfort and strength to continue to face your own struggles.
There’s a lesson to be learned and inspiration to be shared in every story.
Her Story Project
I’ve recently embarked on a new project which has evolved from the initial idea and which will, I’m sure, continue to evolve.
The Her Story Project is intended to encourage women to share their stories. Stories of triumph over adversity, triumph over day to day challenges and mostly triumph over self-doubt, self-loathing and low self-worth.
Sharing stories of self-care, self-respect and self-love encourages and inspires more women to be kinder to themselves which in turn then inspires the women around them to do the same.
After my initial call for participants and based on the overwhelming response I received, this project will have 2 parts:
- I am looking for 8-10 women, based in Cape Town, who would be prepared to tell her story, and participate in a shoot, to create an Feminine Fine Art image like the ones below. (Chosen individuals for the shoot will be at my own discretion & will have no rights to the image created.) There is a collaboration with another artist involved in this part of the project. Details coming soon.
2. I am looking for women who are willing to share their stories which will be shared as blog posts on www.abigailk.co.za as well as a part of a collection of stories in a future book on the topic of Women’s Confidence.
Please share this post and encourage women to share their stories. You never know who it might help.