Inspiration

What am I for?

This year has been a fuck show. A real fuck show. When I say the word fuck show it makes me feel good, because it validates why I’m feeling so weird today and gives me permission to feel this way for “no reason”. 

There has never been a year like this in my life, or yours, if you’re alive today and reading these words. Fuck show sums it up well and gives credit where credit is due. Say it with me, you’ll feel better too: FUCK SHOW. 

I remember when we went into hard lockdown. I went into such a panic about my business that I was close to one of the first to get cloth masks on the market. Our business sold a ridiculous amount of masks in 5 days through our online shop. People closest to me were like, “What! That’s amazing! What a move Shan, so cool.” I don’t think they realised I was telling them because I was like – “Masks. MASKS. I just sold that many face masks. They are masks that you put on your face. Not for fancy dress.” 

I was angry about that. Angry because I was one of the very few who had a means and way to flip the situation quickly and take advantage of it to keep my business alive and my staff employed. I was angry because hardly anyone else could. Almost everyone was stuck.

When I think back to that first half of the year and what it felt like for me, all I see is a wide-eyed super confused girl who felt the most alone in the world that she’d ever felt in her life. I lost a lot in 2019 and I was just starting to re-build my life when lockdown came. I’ve never felt like I was holding the world on my shoulders more than I did during those first few lockdown weeks. I’m sure you too can relate. I’m sure you felt that way too. We have all held so much, for so many this year.

I’ve struggled with anxiety since my son was born in 2014. The 3 coping mechanisms I have found that help me to stay calm and focused are marijuana, meditation and yoga – in that order in fact. I feel like I am one of the lucky ones this year, because I already had these 3 coping mechanisms under my belt. They were already my religion. I didn’t care about the alcohol ban. If I never sipped another sip of alcohol again, it honestly wouldn’t bother me. I love red wine. I love champagne. But I don’t love hangovers.

So back to the fuck show… the year continued, April, May, June, July… winter… it’s all such a blur. I kept myself busy, what else could we do. I learnt some Italian. What a sexy language. Read a ton of books. My favourite so far being the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. Listened to a ton of podcasts, absolute fave: Tim Ferris interviewing Jim Dethmer. Mind blown. Got really good at the 1 song I know how to play on guitar. Who knew you could make the same song sound so different so many times and still enjoy playing. Fun. 

I smoked so much weed that I started to be able to tell the different strains and how they would affect my focus levels, I started labelling the glass jars “creative, focus, long work sesh” / “afternoon chill” / “spreadsheets”… it got technical. I’m now a weed snob. Don’t give me shit weed. Sis! 

I also got really good at accounting. Something I have never understood before, not on any level. Like I’m not joking I honestly never knew what the difference was between net profit and gross profit. I have no idea how I got this far in life without understanding money properly. Oh wait, I just remembered… credit cards. I learnt how to not rely on them anymore – and guess what it’s actually just understanding a few simple concepts and some maths! Anyone can actually learn it and I’m so excited about it that I’m actually developing an app for it right now.  

So here I am now on my high horse, in November. Living my best life… and really, I am. But man. Sometimes you just have to look back at this year and go, what the actual fuck. Statement, not question. 

Life literally will never return to ‘normal’. The world has gone crazy and we cannot rely on anyone else except ourselves to keep ourselves happy. We need to be our own best friend, day in and day out. We need to be here for ourselves. I realised that tonight as my beautiful son fell asleep next to me in bed, with his warm little hand resting on my shoulder. I just couldn’t sleep, I had too much emotion on board, with absolutely no idea why, which confused me. 

Why were tears coming? Why was I feeling anxious? What was the fucking reason NOW!!!!! So I got up and smoked some of my very delicious “have with a cup of tea if you can’t sleep weed”… look how that turned out… an essay, I must have mixed up the jars. 

What I realised, is that you know what – if you’re feeling weird right now… that’s okay. It’s okay to be feeling angry, sad, lonely… like you want to throw your toys and just cry and scream wwwhhhyyyy??!! I’m so over all this stoic BS. Okay that’s not entirely true, I’m so into stoicism, but I think it can become risky business when people don’t realise the difference between being stoic and suppressing actual feelings that need to come out. We are humans. We need to emote. That is how we grow and evolve. And we need each other for support. And hugs. Dammit when they took away hugs… Don’t you DARE elbow me. Unless you have Corona, then what are you even doing out!

I’m pretty disconnected from the news by choice. But today, it was impossible to not see that half of America ACTUALLY voted for Trump. It blows my freaking mind. And you can’t live in South Africa at the moment and not be told by someone on a daily that “a 2nd lockdown is looming…”. Man oh man people. How do we get free of this constant pending doom feeling of “oh shit, what’s around the corner, what’s coming next, how do we keep safe… where is the end of the road?”

I think it circles back to my earlier point about becoming our own best friend. Finding some stillness with yourself and just getting absolutely honest about everything. Telling yourself the truth about how you really feel and just staying with that and accepting it and letting it be okay. It wouldn’t be normal to be feeling normal right now. Let’s normalize that.

I think that we all need to go back to grass roots and ask ourselves the question: WHAT AM I FOR? (I think I heard this question on that Tim Ferris podcast I linked to above). Why on earth am I on Earth and what can I do to make this place better?

Because if I’m here, with a roof over my head, and a tummy full of food, then I am blessed.

So what am I for?

I’m sharing my answer here so you can see how simple this exercise can be and it could spark an idea for you.

I am good at words. (You’d never say after that sentence…!) But I’m good at helping people communicate their messages, information design, zooming in on their perfect audience to match their offering and then helping them speak their language – with the ultimate goal of making lots of money, but ONLY if what they’re doing is ethical and changing the world for the better. Simple criteria. That is where my passion lies.

–> Just knowing this and remembering that this is what I love doing, makes me feel better about having to get up tomorrow and face the day.

Knowing what I am for means I know I have options, and choices. Always. And it also means I will see opportunities when they present themselves to me. It gives me a purpose to live, to add value and to keep going.

So onwards and upwards we go towards December now… the final push. I think we are all going to be very happy to see the arse end of 2020 and hopefully there will be many good things to come out of 2021. That dude with a sign says it will be our year so I’m hoping he is right!

Much love internet friend. Because that is an actual thing now. Thank you to the person who made the internet. See, always something to be grateful for. 

xx

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