I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but wasn't sure the best way to go about it. These past few weeks have been some of the most stressful and emotionally draining of my life. And it felt weird to talk about—amidst posts about strawberry cookies and lavender bubble baths—but it felt even worse not to say anything at all.
There are certain things that come with a forward-facing life that are challenging, particularly for someone as introverted as me. And it's something I struggle with because my career is so phenomenally rewarding, and yet it's counterintuitive to who I am as a person. It's a hard balance to strike - making sure we continue to put out inspiring content while not dismissing some of the difficult situations that take place behind the scenes.
It all started a few weeks back when I received a call that will haunt me forever. It was our nanny and she told me that one of Sloan's best friends, a little boy with whom she'd played daily since she was a few months old, had passed away in his sleep. I was overcome with grief for those who loved him, including my daughter who, unaware that he's gone, still sings about him each morning after she wakes up. It's also brought with it a tremendous amount of anxiety, something with which I've struggled openly over the years and has only intensified as of late. Anxiety is insidious and unrelenting, showing up at the most inopportune of times, making it hard to focus on little else. And the timing couldn't have been worse, with the amount of work and the countless sleepless nights that have been leading up to our biggest project yet (which we'll be announcing on Thursday).
To compound matters even more, we had to let Alina go once we returned from Japan. It was not a decision we took lightly and the fact that we considered her to be family made it even more difficult. It was disheartening and stressful and addressing such a private business matter publicly felt both necessary and inappropriate at the same time.
I left that next Sunday for a work trip to New York and shortly after I arrived found out that our cat, Rocco, was gravely ill. The vet wasn't sure if he'd make it through the night, so despite having back-to-back meetings scheduled the following day, I got on the last flight leaving from JFK. After five days in the hospital, he was released and is now recovering at home. They still aren't sure what happened, but the trauma of the experience is only now starting to subside.
Needless to say, I haven't been myself lately. And these series of events have affected a lot of things, business-related and otherwise, and I've been struggling to figure out the best way to handle them. I've found myself feeling more withdrawn because the vulnerability that comes with putting myself out there can be challenging. I make mistakes like everyone else and am simply trying to do my best at finding that elusive balance in life (a particular misnomer for working moms). I make the wrong judgement calls, lose my patience with Sloan, come down on myself, snap at G, and do a poor job at prioritizing. And that's just in one morning. I love the community we've built together over the last 9 years and the idea that I've let anyone down or disappointed someone based on improperly handling a situation makes me feel terrible. Just know that your opinion matters, I care more deeply than you'll ever know, and that I'll always strive to do the right thing.
Someone recently shared a quote with me that I've been replaying in my mind ever since. "Get comfortable being uncomfortable." It makes a lot of sense and I assume provides solace to certain people. But not me. No matter how tough things get, I always want to pursue the little things that bring me joy, from strawberry cookies and lavender bubble baths, to the other moments that make each day a bit brighter.