Truth is, I wanted to write a post for January 1st – mark 2016 right at the second it started. Every year though, I tend to forget how hectic – but tremendously fun – holidays can get. Gifts to wrap, way too much food to eat (damn you cheese sticks, why are you so good?!), A LOT of parties to attend and dance moves to pull… Bottom line, I took some time off for myself which explains why my New Year’s post is happening on January 2nd. And you know what? I feel okay about this little delay. A “worry less” attitude that is brand new to me.
As you know, I started Very Joëlle about 6 months ago. In just a couple of weeks, it reached and exceeded my expectations. Since then, the following has been growing steadily, numerous encounters with inspiring creators have occured and many great collaborations are on their way for 2016. These results, which make me so proud, didn’t happen by watching Netflix. I’ve worked my ass off and still am today. The thing is: who is not working their ass off these days? Nobody. Everyone I bump into seems to be way above the 40-hour week average. Surprisingly though, I don’t believe it’s necessarily a bad thing.
Time for a little history crash course.
The 8-hour day was an idealistic and abstract concept during the 18th and 19th century, which only found its way to the workforce in 1914, when Ford made it a standard amongst its workers. The new model slowly spread out as employers realized that shorter working periods meant more efficiency. However, a job during those days didn’t have the same symbolic as it has today. Back then, most people didn’t pick a job because they were passionate about it, they chose it as a mean to survive.
Okay, back to now.
That notion still stands today, but now, we have the freedom to earn money out of something we love; out of our passion. Passion cannot fit an 8-hour mold. It cannot fit any mold actually. Passion is meant to be lived and experienced outside of a restraining time-frame box. That’s one of the reasons why the 9-to-5 model almost seems outdated nowadays. Work, for many of us, is much more than plain labor; it’s a journey that we specifically picked.
I consider myself lucky. My gigs as a freelance writer, blogger and stylist help me pay for my rent, buy food, purchase 20$ indie magazines, attend shows, try new restaurants and sip on fancy almond milk lattes. My passion gives me the opportunity to enjoy life. It’s preeeetty precious, which is exactly why I’ve started the “worry less” approach: to preserve my passion. Sounds counterproductive? Let me explain.
I always worry about not doing enough, especially when it comes to work. I think of all the things I should have done yesterday and all the ones that I’ll have to do tomorrow. The fast pace is not the problem, I love it. The problem is the danger of overworking myself. When you’re freelancing, you can technically ALWAYS do more. Your home is your office. It’s such a dangerous trap on which I’ve tripped over more than once.
Just like eating too much of the same thing can develop an allergy, working too much can lead you to another kind of self -mechanism… Passion denial. During the first month of Very Joelle, I worked 24/7. That’s all I did: posting every day, writing, sharing, taking pictures, monitoring my stats obsessively. On some mornings, I would see the sun rise and, in the blink of an eye, night was creeping in. I was like a zombie blogger, if there’s such a thing. Obviously, I couldn’t keep up for long. The following month, I posted twice as less. I was exhausted and I had lost my initial drive. I started with expectations that were way too high, so by not attaining them, it felt like I was failing.
I’m still learning how to be at peace with not doing as much as I wish I could be doing. However, I’m doing my best which is all I can really do, right? That is the root of my “worry less” plan. Overtime, I realized that nobody noticed if I posted on Wednesday instead of Tuesday or if my article was initially supposed to be twice as long or if I wasn’t posting on Instagram two days in a row.
At that moment, I consciously decided to slow things down, for my own sanity but also because I hold my passion to close to my heart to let it sabotage itself. Slowly but surely, my true self was back: eager, energized and inspired.
For 2016, I say: stop worrying about what you haven’t done or what’s left to be done. Focus on doing what you love and hopefully earn a living out of it, but most importantly, learn to part ways with your passion. You’ll find it brighter and stronger in the morning.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY XX
Do you have any resolutions? Let me know in the comment section ;)