Today is January 10, and I've been Client Work Free for over two months. No need to panic. It's not a failure; it's by design.
Make time for reflection
At a recent dinner, my friends and I talked about how easy it is to rush through life, constantly staying busy, doing, and executing until you are forced to stop. Maybe a loved one gets a severe illness. Or a marriage ends. Or maybe, you wake up one day, realizing you have gone through half your life and have no idea whose life you are actually living. That's when you start an affair with your coworker who was born when you got your driving license or put on a complete outfit in lycra and start to bike 50 km per day or any other clichés we joke about when it comes to midlife crises.
This is not what everyone does, of course. Some of us like to divide our existential anxiety into bite-sized packages instead. Chew on them like bitter-flavored Snickers bars as we road trip through life.
Like turning 26 and reaching the modest life goals I had set up for myself and was now facing a lifetime of ... this daily life? I'll take two of those panic snack bars while I cry in the shower and try to figure out what to do with it all.
Or maybe the ongoing stress of a global pandemic combined with taking on too much responsibility at work, and without really noticing, you start losing perspective on what matters in life. (Obviously in no way talking about myself here.)
And here is an opportunity. Do you:
a) Continue on your current trajectory, lock away the anxiety snack bars and shove the little alarm bells going off in your head far down into your subconscious. There is success and validation if you just continue!*
b) Push the brakes, acknowledge that the view along this route is not quite what you wanted, get a room in a dingy motel and, again, have some bars and cry in the shower. Maybe throw in a piece covered with low-key depression while at it.
I know B doesn't exactly sound appetizing, but option A has a fine print:
If you keep your emotions locked away, they will inevitably catch up with you at some point. And they will do so with a vengeance. Whatever challenging thing you're avoiding at this moment will expand in your subconscious until it one day explodes, and it will most likely not be at a "convenient time" for you to have a meltdown. Or bike to work in lycra.**
Where it brings me
This is a long-winded way of giving some background to why I decided to leave the company I have been working with for the past two years and take two months off.
Being with Relatable, a brand that is no more, has involved significant growth, particularly regarding leadership and acting in line with your values. I'll write more about it at some point. I've managed our products with the small (but mighty) product team, been part of the management team, and for an interim period, I also led the larger team of Project Managers. What I'll remember most, besides the lessons learned, is the privilege of working with such intelligent and dedicated people on a daily basis. I've been in this industry for 12+ years and it's not something you experience often.
Today is Tuesday, January 2023, and I'm now done with eating existential anxiety bars and reflecting on life for this time. If you're looking for a Product Lead/Project Manager in any capacity, let me know!
* For a while.
* * I don't think there's ever a good time for that tbh.
Sanna says Newsletter
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