Pursuing happiness in your mid 30's while having ADHD
ADHD, Life, Mental Health, Personal Liberation

The Pursuit of Happyness


Pursuing happiness in your mid 30's while having ADHD

Pursuing happiness in your mid 30’s while having ADHD. Photo by Filipe de Rodrigues, modified by me

(Yeah, I know, there’s no “Y” in Happiness.)

But there is a “Why.”

Like, “Why am I here?” Sometimes I feel so sure, and clear, about my life’s purpose, and other times, I just feel…lost.

Wrote a song about it, one that no one’s heard.

That seems to be a recurrent theme: Writing, creating, blogging, vlogging, all these amazing ideas that no one’s seen or heard.

I’m trying though, I promise, I really am. I’ve studied every marketing course, it seems. I mean the idea of applying it all, even trying to keep up with the constant stream of ideas I have, is overwhelming. It’s a common trait of ADHD. I’ve got about 49 folders to keep track of it all. I’m constantly taking notes. It just…doesn’t seem to be adding up to anything right now.

I’m usually the most positive person I know.

I mean as a Capricorn, I have enjoyed long periods of time of being mean, cynical, sarcastic, and just a straight-up bitch. (Being a Capricorn means it was fun for me).

But I’ve been working on myself in recent years. (I want to be happy). I’ve really applied the principals of The Law of Attraction, adding value, and just overall thinking positively.

But…I’ve let fear defeat me several times. Even today. Still crying about it. Here’s why…

I’ve been needing some steady streams of income for a while. To be fully transparent, I’m 35, have been living with my parents for a total of about 3-4 years, (with stints in Charlotte and New York in between) and my period is currently 15 days late.

Probably due to stress.

I learned from my previous therapist to go ahead and plan for the year. So I made getting full-time employment that I love, with good pay, my first-quarter goal. Today is March 31st. I haven’t had much luck with the job search – ok, I applied to a few jobs and my resume didn’t feel like it was working, and I’ve had a few interviews for one role with a nonprofit. I didn’t want to feel like a fool come April. Plus, I’d rewritten my own resume so many times…

So, I hired someone. I hired a career coach with the money that I made from a client, and she wrote me two SEO friendly resumes that really spoke to my skills, and a new LinkedIn profile.  I’m currently keeping a spreadsheet of the 60 or so jobs she recommends applying for each week. (I’m hitting like 2 or 3 applications a day, the goal is 10). But I overthink the details of the cover letter (it’s what makes me a good copywriter) and sometimes get distracted by other things, so it can take me an hour, even two to get through one application.

And for these applications to simply disappear into the abyss, with no response, just feels…disconcerting at best, defeating to say the least. I had escaped that for a while by starting my business. But it wasn’t as successful as I initially envisioned.

The professionally-written resume should help with that feeling, but for now, it’s 11:36PM, and I’m writing a blog post about how bad I feel.

Now, my personal belief system tells me not to dwell on what makes me feel bad. And as I write this I feel better. But from around 11:00PM, I just needed to dwell…

…On all the work it took for me to work job after job after job where I was unappreciated, underutilized as a creative mind, just simply, discarded…

And let’s not forget underpaid…

Since I was 15 years old.

15!

So I don’t feel bad about not taking a job I hate now. I paid my dues. (A term I despise and would never make anyone else do just because I thought I had to.) But…

…35.

You know I still have people asking me “What do you want to do with your life?”

I DON’T KNOW! MAYBE ALL THE THINGS I TRIED TO DO BUT FAILED AT! Maybe all the things I’m naturally good at, but there just doesn’t seem to be a place, for me at least, to get paid a living wage? There’s no blueprint for being a creative. There’s no blueprint for this shit.

And even when I did have jobs, I found myself wanting to be free from them. I’ve always had a really interesting relationship with work. I think I’ve always undersold my abilities and the impact I can make on people.

I know my priorities haven’t always been in the right place.

I have virtually no income, no savings, no 401k. No emergency plan, and no back stash of toilet paper. I know many Millenials can relate. I have probably wasted money on stupid things, but I have nothing to show for it (except pictures). I just know that many people have relied on me when they’re feeling just as down as I’m feeling right now. And right now, this blog is my soundboard. I hope you feel me.

I’m usually hopeful for the future. I still am. I just needed this. I needed this good cry. I needed this moment to ask “Why?” Why does my pursuit of happiness, and the self-actualization that lies therein, seem to be so elusive for me right now? How long will this struggle last?

I’m signing out. I wanna get this out before midnight, so I can say that I did something productive today.

If you’ve ever felt lost, disenfranchised, or wondered how long it will take before you start being appreciated for what you bring to the world..and getting PAID for it…(or if you simply just want a place of your own…) This is for you. Things’ll look up.

Love,

Star

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7 Things I learned about starting a work from home, virtual assistant business and freelancing
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7 Things I Learned After Starting A Virtual Assistant Biz Last Year (Freelance Life, Anyone?)

7 Things I learned about starting a work from home, virtual assistant business and freelancing

7 Things I learned about starting a work from home, virtual assistant business and freelancing

Over 1 year after starting my company of 1, Lemonseed, LLC, I have FINALLY finished paying for the Virtual Savvy course that was the catalyst of me deciding to become a VA (virtual assistant).
I chose the monthly option payment plan and thought I was doing something, lol. And all the while, since I had a huge self realization crisis last year, it has taken me a while to get my business off the ground. Each month I had to pay that $97 when I wasn’t doing the steps to get fully booked with clients gave me a range of emotions from annoyed to sometimes even disheartened.
Here are the big insights I learned since starting a virtual assistant freelancing business last year:
  1. In August, I learned I have ADHD. This has been a HUGE challenge all my life but even MORE helpful to learn more about what ADHD and how it’s affecting me and how it makes me a super creative, enthusiastic, and details oriented person (when I like the work). I have applied these traits to my work with clients. They especially LOVE the ideas I generate on how to better a process or project they’re having me work on.
  2. I learned SO MUCH about my WORTH. But I learned when it’s OK to work for free if it’s something I CREATE, VOLUNTEER to do because of a cause I believe in, or it’s something I LOVE, vs not accepting jobs that just didn’t feel good in my body. I learned to say NO and to say YES when it’s right for me.
  3. I realized it’s OK to NOT want to freelance full time, to run a business with subcontractors, or even freelance at all sometimes! You are STILL an entrepreneur and still a business owner! One of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned over the past calendar year (I joined the course in January 2019 and was LLC’d by March 2019) is that it’s OK to be wherever you are in the process of building your business. It’s OK to stop and reevaluate what you REALLY want. Like a job! I am currently seeking a full-time role and will still freelance. But I think there’s a lot to be gained from full-time employment at an established company. I want to learn some best practices of larger, more established organizations. (I’m targeting the role of customer success manager if anyone’s interested).
  4. I DO NOT like getting paid by the hour. It’s like I’m allergic to it now! Even though I HAVE accepted some admin clients after saying I ONLY want to do creative work (which takes a lot out of you to be honest, if you’re not inspired at that moment and there’s a deadline looming), I STILL am charging by the project, week, or month. It’s way more flexible, but I still track my time with Toggl for my records.
  5. More than anything I think I have had to really overcome imposter syndrome and demon voices in my head telling me I suck. Seriously! Believing those voices stopped me from going after things I might have been good at.
  6. One major bonus insight: The seeds I have planted by putting in HOURS of work on my marketing materials like my portfolio and thinking about my pricing HAS paid off. I may not even use them with every client, but to have them there to refer to or to send off to a client and only having to make just make a few tweaks, is GOLD.  I have even used some of these materials for employee job applications. My point is, it may feel like you’re wasting time, especially if you can’t afford to outsource some task to someone, but DO THE WORK! These are seeds you’re planting now that WILL pay off in the end! Think: reviews, recommendations, referrals, the RELIEF of knowing you don’t have to start from scratch.
  7. And the final insight: A business runs on systems and lives on SALES. In the freelance world, your pitch is your ask. In the job world, submitting an application is like that initial contact with a prospect for them to eventually buy what you’re selling. If you ain’t askin’, you ain’t sellin. And I allowed so much fear to stop me from doing the very thing that gets you a solid YES, I’ll hire you at the price you want – the ASK.

 

I’m not afraid of asking anymore. Idealist I am, I’m wanting the best of both worlds. Running a business is a lot of work to do full time and to rely on it for your full time salary. I know I’m still not at the point where I want to focus on marketing every day and client acquisition…sales. It’s a numbers game. And I don’t have the team to support reaching the amount of people I would need to get the amount and quality of projects I want.

Plus, I think of a job as my “BIG CLIENT’ in a way. The companies I’m targeting for work offer high salaries, flexible work hours and location, mostly in the tech space.  They have roles that call in several of my gifts and will challenge me to grow my leadership, business, and technical acumen. So it might feel closer to contract work than working as an employee ever has before, because I simply wasn’t aware that jobs like this existed.

I don’t see my standstill in moving forward in my business as a setback and I don’t see going for a job by the end of the quarter as giving up. Rather, I see it all as another step in my journey towards financial stability and mastery, two big goals for the year.

Hit me up on Facebook and IG @starsworldsolutions to talk more about all of this.

Enjoy and stay super positive (And turn off the news!) during COVID.

Love,

Star

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