My husband left me

…6weeks ago to live in the Philippines, and it’s taken this long to write about it.

In fact, it’s been a long time since I wrote at all! Yes, I’ve been crazy busy with all the things that happen and need to be done before and after your partner relocates overseas (and leaves you behind with two kids, 6 animals and a big ole property to sort out!), but in truth I’ve also just been resisting it.

And I’m only just beginning to understand why.

I checked out a few months back…drastically reduced my social media interaction, stopped marketing myself, stopped networking, stopped creating, and just did the small jobs for existing clients that trickled in. Then it dawned on me that I was ‘taking a break from my business’. January is always an intentional break, but this year, the break simply continued… almost without noticing it. You’d have thought that after last year I’d be chomping at the bit to get back in a room with people and talk shop and create and do, but in fact, my reaction was just the opposite. It wasn’t until recently when I started getting concerned messages as to my whereabouts online did it dawn on me that people come to rely on you to show up in a certain way and to be a certain presence in their life. I don’t say this to big note myself, or suggest that people ‘need’ me in their life, but it’s curious how many gorgeous souls checked in on me to see if I was alive!

As a fiercely independent gal, who likes to rely on noone, it really made me sit up and think: “why on earth are people worried?”  And yet, as someone who teaches everyday storytelling and online presence it should have been bloody obvious! I help people build and lead communities through the power of words, and insist that they then have a duty to do the right thing by those communities to maintain trust, add value and strengthen relationships, BUT I didn’t do that for my own. I let my own community down. I just disappeared. Said nothing. Added nothing.

At the time I honestly didn’t think much about it. I did what I needed to simply get through the days and weeks, with huge To-Do lists and deadlines. In reality…

I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t want to admit that life was overwhelming.
I’m pretty sure it’s because I felt responsible for the huge reactions and big emotions going on around me.
I’m pretty sure it’s because I always feel obliged to find the perfect words, and this time I had none.

As the weeks have passed, I’ve had to let go of what’s expected of me and, importantly, what I expect of myself. I had to take a breather from being the The Content Coach and be simply (and complexly) Daughter, Wife, Sister and Mum. Then I had to look at what I was creating, what was important, what mattered to me and anyone else; what I was doing simply because I could or because it made money, and what I was doing that was exciting or dullsville. I had to decide, with my new and impending lifestyle (did I tell you I’m moving to Manila too? Yep, in July), what I really want to be when I grow up. I know for sure it’s not a homeschooling Mum (!), so please pray that’s not my reality come August when the kids start at the International School in Manila! But I also know for sure that I love helping people tell better stories about themselves and to themselves.

A long time ago I knew the internet would be a ‘thing’. I made very strategic and bold moves to position myself professionally to take advantage of the early online business space so that I could capitalise on what I knew would be the way of the world moving forward. I was determined, though not a techo, to be part of the digital revolution. To anyone who’d listen I’d say “I’m going to be able to work from a mountain top or a beach, anywhere in the world”. That personal prophecy has come true. And in so many ways over the past decade since I opened my own business I’ve been ‘safe’ from negative outside influences because I stuck to this position.  Now, once again, this dogged determination means I can continue to work and do what I love whilst our family embraces this new adventure.

What the details of my work looks like from July onwards however, I don’t 100% know just yet. I’m excited to do more of what I love,  but also keen to explore new tricks. New places and new people offer so much promise and excitement and I’m keen to take full advantage of that.

I tell you all this to be honest with where I’m at because so many of you have asked. I also want to reassure you that I’m not going anywhere…well I am…but my business isn’t….you know what I mean! My content marketing and book coaching services are all still on offer but will no doubt morph as I grow and continue to learn.  I’m blessed to be part of an awesome community of business owners all doing their own great things in the world and I want to continue to swirl in that space.

Sometimes we have our moment in the sun and sometimes we need the comfort of the shadows.  What I know is that there is no shadow without light.

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