The Rust Diaries: Part 1
Welcome to The Rust Diaries. Like the Barbie Diaries, but with less cute outfits and more biz talk. This sporadic series is intended to document my business journey in its raw form. No filters, no smiles, no sales. Just me, Viv, bearing my all on the page. Enjoy xo
When you work alone, from home, it’s not easy.
Over the past two months, I have grown increasingly mad from a lack of human contact.
The paradox being, when I worked around people in office jobs, I was rarely as productive as I am now.
I have sacrificed banter for productivity. For getting all the things done. Sometimes.
It’s been a tricky transition.
I went full time in August and it’s now November. That’s nearly three months of navigating this solitary confinement thing.
Which again, doesn’t make sense, because I have the power to leave the house. I am not handicapped. I am not living in the desert. I have a working body, a working car. I can leave the damn house whenever I please. Technically.
And yet I feel trapped, obliged to be working at my desk in my beautiful desk because THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. I wanted to work from home, to work in peace, without phones ringing and interruptions every seven minutes.
So why can’t I be happy?
I know that my stress, the suffocation, runs deeper than just being lonely during the week (because on weekends I THRIVE at being alone. I religiously take myself out for breakfast every Saturday and it’s one of the highlights of my week).
It goes beyond craving someone to bounce ideas off or to show random things you found on Instagram.
It’s gone so far as to impact my mental health. ‘It’ being the pressure of running a business with no one else to turn to.
But again, that could be me, isolating so as to not bother others.
Because I hate being the complaining friend. I don’t want to bring bad news, I want to celebrate the wins.
And from an egotistical point of view, I want to be seen as an inspiration, not a failure. I want to be spoken about or remembered as the twenty-something woman who took control of her life and succeeded.
That sounds a helluva lot cuter than “the girl who took a giant leap and is still trying to work things out.”
I often wonder if it’s just me spiraling over these things. I’m positive it’s not, and yet I have no idea where to turn. Who to burden.
Because we’re all fucking busy. We have businesses, jobs, families, partners, friends, home drama, work drama, television drama.
So sometimes, when you’re the one with the “problem” (and I use that term lightly, because I am still a healthy, breathing woman with a lovely roof over her head) it can feel excessive to project it onto someone else.
Maybe that’s the Capricorn/Virgo in me being stubborn and proud and working myself to the bone (even when I’m not technically working).
I, like many women, berate and pressure myself unconsciously, constantly.
I often fall into dazes, staring off into the distant and having imaginary work-related conversations that need to happen IRL. And then I snap back into the present, having realised that I’ve been driving next to my boyfriend for 10 minutes and haven’t said a word. Yuck.
I should point out at this point that he, James, is incredibly supportive. He is the nicest person you’ll ever meet (just ask his eldery fan club at the Big W photo counter) and he’s always happy to be the sounding board while I work through my problems out loud.
But I don’t want to load everything onto him. That’s not fair. He doesn’t need to come home from his job to hear about my job all evening. He wants to unwind, have fun, relax. Something that I absolutely need to do more of.
Enter: paradox number two. The conundrum of desperately needing a break, but working for myself, and not being about to *afford* to take a break at this present moment. But I also can’t afford to not take a break. I’m creatively wiped.
I’ve been coming up with some brilliant ideas lately, don’t get me wrong, but am simply too fucking exhausted to execute them in a timely fashion.
Which is arguably the worst part of P2: In order to make more money, I need to launch more things (bring those ideas to life) or sign more clients. But I need energy to launch said things and build connections with potential clients, and I’m currently running on empty in that department. But the only way I can truly recharge is to take time off. But again, money.
God, it’s a head fuck.
And whilst I am taking two weeks off at Christmas (hallelujah), I’ve been pinballing between feeling like it’s a decade away and panicking that it’s approaching too damn fast and I don’t have my finances in order.
Maybe I should write a bible of all the things to expect to feel in your first year or two of biz. At least that way there’d be a positive to my (current) suffering.
Note: I’m not writing this for pity. This blog started out as a brain dump after an hour of crying on my kitchen bench this afternoon. I had *finally* expressed the above thoughts to James, who was lovely, but they’re still there, swirling, taunting, waiting to see what I do next.
The only person who can pull me out of this, is me. A blessing and a curse.
So I’ll leave it at that, as I’ve got a cup of tea to drink and a The 1975 song to listen to for the 15th time today.
Please know that I am okay. Mostly. I’m not stuck in bed, I’m not crying in supermarkets. I’m still functioning, still working, still technically achieving, I’m just not where I thought I’d be at this current place and time.
And that’s gonna take a minute to work through.
Sending you love and strength and *energy*,
GIF by Ignacio Torres.
Rust Creative helps women in their twenties fast-track finding their purpose. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs and specialised resources, we offer women clarity and direction so that they can ENJOY the most exciting decade of their lives. And tea, always tea.
The Rust Woman
AKA Our Ideal Client.
She's a savvy twenty-something looking for a safe space to he heard and supported. She's confident that she can achieve her goals, but she doesn't know how she'll get there – yet. She KNOWS she has a purpose but needs a helping hand to uncover it.