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So in a short 16 days, I will have lived in Canada for exactly a year. It’s really making me think about the past year of my life, what I have (and have not) accomplished, and where I want to go from here.

It has not been an easy transition.

I spent the first few months desperately clinging on to my previous life. I was miserable about missing important events, and all my friends and family moving on with their lives- minus me.

The next stage was wallowing in sheer grief, inconveniently occurring over my first Canadian Winter. Being hit by a sledgehammer would feel like being brushed by a feather compared with how hard my depression hit me. Every day my internal monologue went something along the lines of, “I’m useless and pathetic. My greatest days and accomplishments are behind me. I have been forgotten about, brushed under a rug, left alone in a place where I have no friends, no purpose, and no light at the end of the tunnel”. Weeks passed by without me leaving the house or even getting dressed for the day. I went without showering for far longer than I’d like to admit.

As Spring rolled around, I was comforted by a few new friendships (Shout out Alex and Filipa!) and a rediscovery of my love for art. I spent my days working on small projects and paintings here and there, and I became excited about building a portfolio to show what I was capable of in anticipation of receiving my work permit and launching Petalsuite as a business.

Now I’m three months into business operations and as much as I adore what I do, my insecurities, anxiety, and depression have been relentless in bringing me down a peg or five every time I start to feel reassured that what I’m doing is the right thing for me at this juncture of my life. Being both a creative person and an incredibly sensitive person is a lethal cocktail, capable of inducing fear of failure, lack of productivity, and withholding me from the success that I have set as my goal. I seem to have done nothing but second-guess myself since I started, and while I love what I do, I didn’t plan enough on the business operations side of things before getting started.

For my own peace of mind and mental sanity, I’m going to dial back. I’m going to make a 6-month plan and a 12-month plan for where I want to be with Petalsuite and life. I’m going to get all my nitty-gritty business stuff in order, such as contracts and accounting processes. I’ll still be accepting commissions, but based on selection criteria such as the scope of work needed, how much time has been allotted, what I have or have not got in my inventory already, and truthfully, as another designer friend suggested, how EXCITED I am for the project.

One big goal for myself is to get into a habit with this blog. I always enjoy writing them and how I feel afterwards, nevermind how much they actually get read by people. It’s nice to have somewhere to be honest about my struggles with my personal blend of depression, sensitivity, anxiety, over-analysis, introversion, creativity, highest highs, and lowest lows. Somewhere I can just be me.

-JM-

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