“Who cyaah hear muss feel”.
I’ve always thought of myself as a good listener. When it comes to needing a good ole’ rant, a bit of advice or a voice of reason, I tend to often be my friends and families first point of call.
However, I have a confession. I have not been listening or better yet, ignoring the universe for the past year.
I’ve picked and chosen what parts I thought relevant to listen to but ignored a constant message that it’s been sending me through my friends, family and experiences. Why? Simply put, I didn’t feel ready; I was scared.
I have been freelancing for over a year now and I have absolutely fallen in love with it and all the pros and cons that follow. The freedom of picking and choosing the work I wish to do, the greater involvement and responsibility, spending more time being creative and creating, not having to live by set times and routines.
And yes, the having to work when feeling ill because “what’s sick pay?” has been difficult at times but worth it. Chasing invoices, under charging my skills, making mistakes, finding the confidence to approach new clients, it’s all be such a challenge but I have learnt and experienced so much that I truly believe no 9-5 could have given me.
So what’s the problem? As always, money.
As much as I’ve enjoyed this new lifestyle, it’s been the hardest for me financially because as a newly found freelancer as well as aspiring photographer and content creator, the cash just isn’t flowing in like it used to. Oh, how I complained about my full time job a few years ago, but when that monthly wage hit my account that also came with the security of knowing religiously where my income was coming from, it didn’t seem so bad anymore.
So I made a plan.
Go back into full time work for a year or two, build on my skills, my contacts, and my experience whilst continuing to work on my photography and then give being a freelancer another go. Simple.
Except for the slight problem that no one would hire me.
I cannot count the amount of jobs I have applied for this year both below and above my work experience, but the outcome has always been the same.
“Unfortunately on, this occasion you have been unsuccessful”.
Those words cut me deep. Every. Single. Time.
What made it worse, was that when I would go and ask for feedback to figure out what I could do differently next time, the majority of employers told me I was great. Let me give you a better idea of what I mean.
“You were one of our favourites – really creative. We wonder if the job would be interesting enough for you”.
“Loved your CV, you are a perfect applicant. However we began interviewing before we contacted you and found someone else already”
“We loved your ideas and energy. However have decided to go with someone else”.
Every ‘no’ stung and burned because it wasn’t just about the job, it was about my independence. It was no, you can’t buy that new lens for your camera. No, you can’t buy a ring light. No, you can’t move out with your partner of 6 years. No, you can’t book that holiday to see your cousin.
I felt so out of control of my own life and as if I would never be able to get an opportunity simply, to do more for myself.
The last ‘no’ I received triggered something in me. I refused to accept it and I even emailed back the employer to tell them I wouldn’t accept a no. They then kindly explained to me that they had paused the whole department and weren’t recruiting for the role at all anymore.
I began arguing with the universe.
“What do you want from me? I am trying but you’re not even giving me a chance. I can’t do this anymore”.
I remember shouting this out my window towards the sky, apologies to my neighbours.
But then I got a reply.
I realised that the message was the same. From the first, sorry you were unsuccessful, to the last, good luck with your search. I am not supposed to go back into full time employment.
My reasoning for thinking to do so was because I was worried about money.
However, the journey and path that I am on is bigger than money. I am building something here, for myself that comes from me that I want to share with the world that no one will be able to say ‘no’ to.
I was ready to put an end to that because of fear, fear of not having enough.
The universe couldn’t let that happen so it kept blocking the path I thought I should be taking until I stopped and saw the path it was trying to lead me to.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, we become scared about the journeys that we are on. We are told and made to feel as if we aren’t doing the right thing. We get confused because we compare ourselves to others, we feel we are not doing as well as we should be because we don’t have the material possessions to validate ourselves and we get lost in ideals of how things ought to be.
I was lucky. The universe was patient enough with me to keep blocking what I thought would be a blessing.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to be, but I am more prepared now to explore and take a risk in finding out what she might look like rather than accepting a role that someone else has picked for me.
Thank you universe and if you made it to the end of this, thank you for listening to me and I pray you also manage to silence the noise from the world long enough to truly hear the universe speak to you to.
Coco Shaw x