For the past 6 months I’ve barely written a word…
My fingers have stayed away from the keyboard…
My brain deeply lost in wallowing over my pain…
Now don’t start to think that something tragic happened in my life, it didn’t, in fact personally I’ve never been happier…well almost.
Now it’s been no secret on this blog that I love to write. No, it’s more than a love, it’s more than a passion, it’s a necessity for my sanity!
Over the past 3 years (especially in China) I never had trouble writing. Sure the occasional writers block struck, but for 6 consecutive months, never!
But what stopped me writing is so much more than writers block…
It first started back in September 2012 when I first moved to Laos. Never had I been so caught up in another culture that I couldn’t even put my amazement or my experience into words. And quite frankly even if I could have I didn’t want to for two reasons, 1. I didn’t want to inspire you to go to Laos, I selfishly wanted to keep it all to myself and 2. I didn’t want to sacrifice my time of soaking up the culture to write about it.
And I was content with not writing about it, but I new once the honeymoon faze had passed, just like when it had in China and the struggle with culture shock set in I wouldn’t be able to help myself.
Then life went in an unexpected direction, well not so unexpected if I hadn’t been so unrealistic and optimistic. After months of working hard to get my struggling business off the ground between soaking up the culture of Laos, my small pool of money saved from working in China and the few design jobs I had done, (not to mention the clients that never paid up!) dried up.
And I had to make a tough decision…That decision was to leave my life in Asia behind and head back to my home country Australia to live where I hadn’t planned to live at any time within next 10 years.
The decision gutted me. I’d always been miserable in Australia, I always felt uninspired and I never met as amazing and fantastic people to call friends as I had in China and Asia. I dreaded going back, I dreaded being miserable again, I dreaded being uninspired again and I dreaded going back to a country with (Compared to Asia) a crap, inefficient public transport system!
My only saving grace was that along with my backpack, I would be taking back to Australia a wonderful, endearing, humble, passionate, hilarious guy who keeps me out of the grey. (But that’s a whole other story!)
With my business developing far too slowly and very minimal $$$ coming in from my freelance work I had to make an equally tough decision upon returning to Australia; put my own business, my own passion on hiatus to pursue a “real” full-time job.
And I was lucky, it turns out being a good student has its payoff because down the line your teachers just might remember you and want to hire you! And that’s what happened. Before I even left Laos I already had a job lined up back in Australia essentially doing the same thing I was for my own business. When I got back to Australia I had 2 weeks to get over the reverse culture shock before getting back into the grind of the 9-5.
And that’s where the pain begun…
First it was just the physical pain. My back constantly ached from sitting at a computer desk all day without the opportunity to go for my usual 3 hour midday walk to stretch myself out and reinvigorate and inspire myself to be productive.
Then it was my wrists, then arms, then fingers. It got to the point where I was in so much pain by the time I got to the weekends I had so little strength in my hands I couldn’t open bottles or even pull off the lid of a bottle of a can of whipped cream!
Despite constantly doing stretches and drinking loads of green tea to force me up out of my chair to go for a tinckle, and even with my office cubical being checked and set up ergonomically, the pain just wouldn’t go away.
(And here’s the kicker about and ergonomic office set up, even doing everything correctly, the human body is just not made to sit for 7.5 hours a day!)
Every type stroke was pain, but unfortunately for my job I couldn’t avoid it. And by the evenings, by the weekends, the time when I would get most of my own personal writing done I couldn’t stand the pain to even do the thing I needed most to keep me sane.
And here’s the other side of the pain, the mental pain. I didn’t even want to write because I knew if I wrote what would come out would make me have to admit that I felt like a failure, I felt defeated because I gave up what made me most happy (besides my fabulous guy), I gave up working with what I was passionate about to work for someone else’s passion, a passion that didn’t quite align with my passion or my ideals.
It makes me feel like the biggest failure on the planet.
And although rational people like my Mum continue to tell me “You’re not a failure, your just simply now living the same, normal, everyday life that most people do.”
Deep inside I know I will not be satisfied, nor happy working in a job that I’m not passionate about, a job where I don’t make a real contribution to helping people who need the most help and marketing the right massages and causes. But most of all a job that causes so much physical pain it prevents me from doing the things I love and are passionate about.
But maybe this is a turning point, after all I am actually WRITING!
So while I take some time to figure out how I can achieve work life balance and be able to get back to doing what I love along with letting my body recover from office trauma I urge you to really think about your own job and does it easily slot into the lifestyle YOU WANT!? And if it doesn’t what decisions do you have to make to have a happy, fulfilling, mostly pain free life.