Let’s face it, being a creative in Lagos and not being able to deliver sucks! Over the last couple of months, I have been chatting with friends who have recently been affected by company changes, including being out of work involuntarily. This situation is all too familiar to a lot of people, and it’s, in no way, their fault.
A couple of years ago, while my sister was interning, she found out her role would be coming to an end. It wasn’t completely unexpected, and she was actually relieved. However, as a fresh graduate with so much hope for the future, I could see how overwhelmed she was. Would I find new opportunities? Would I find a place good enough for me? This, and so much more, spun around her head. Life looked like it was on the right path and suddenly, back to ground zero. After a few weeks of binge-watching Rick and Morty, she picked herself up and started moving forward.
The economic downturn has reminded me of some valuable lessons I learned while watching her get together. Let me share them with you:
Feel The Feels
Just like Snoh Aalegra‘s album title Ugh, Those Feels Again, you will likely experience a range of feelings. Allow yourself to sit in it. You may find yourself grieving. This is natural. After all, the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Recognising these stages can help with the coping process.
Breathe. Do yoga. Meditate. Write in a journal. Create a vision board. Do anything and everything that can help ground and centre your feelings. Know that soon enough, you will start having clarity about how to move forward.
Your Tribe Will Always Be Your Tribe
Aye! Nothing like connecting with your inner circle. Let people know what’s going on. Your tribe will rally and embrace you no matter where in the world they are – or you are. They will love you, encourage you, help you, and still think you’re great even when you don’t think so. They will drag you out of the house, allow you to eat junks while helping you feel better over the phone, ginger you to workout and make sure you don’t mop around for too long. As tough as it is, talking about it helps.
If you don’t have a tribe, hit me up!
Ask! Ask! Ask!
My fellow independent people, sometimes it’s okay to be dependent. I know independent people find asking for help uncomfortable, but see ehn, a closed mouth is a closed destiny. My sister got out of her situation by asking. You need that valuable connect and sometimes asking is the only way to get it. So, my people, ask! People want to help, you just need to ask.
I would like to read stories if you have experienced this as an independent person . Send me an email – [email protected]
Create a Personal Board of Directors
This is basically having a group of people you trust, people who you can turn to for advice, who will share helpful resources and offer different viewpoints.
My sister introduced me to a writer, Lisa Barrington, who explains in one of her articles, “Your PBOD exists to act as a sounding board, to advise you and to provide you with feedback on your life decisions, opportunities, and challenges. They provide you with unfiltered feedback that you can’t necessarily get from colleagues or friends.”
You don’t have to see them regularly. Particularly now that everyone is staying safe. Speak to at least one person weekly. It could be your accountability partner, mentor, cheerleaders, plug (someone with valuable connections).
You see this aspect of life, I love it. Let me start with my favourite quote: “Try dey enjoy, the problem no dey finish” – Twitter 2020. Have fun however you can. Laugh as loud as you can. Enjoy every moment.
On this note, I’m glad everyone has accepted bouncing castle is not just for kids. So if you see any bouncing castle, jump in!
Yup. This might sound off but celebrate yourself. Celebrate even if you’re unsure. Celebrate your little win.
It’s not every day you get to put life on pause and think differently or change direction. Be grateful for the downturn. Think of this time as a gift. Be thankful for the experiences the job gave you. Celebrate success and struggles. Embrace the lessons—you will take these with you as you move forward. Be thankful for the relationships you formed and the people who helped you and will help you.
While this period in life may sting, remember that it’s temporary. Take this opportunity to hit the pause button, reflect on what’s important, renew and build your network, and set new goals.
Trust the process – this journey will add a richness to your life, give you empathy, and will build your resilience. The turbulence may shake you, but space is being created for new opportunities, and chances are it will work out better than you thought. Keep moving forward and enjoy all that this time will bring.