Well well well. I've done it! I've been splodging in the shallows for a little while but this last week I officially jumped into the deep end. Trouvaille Stitch Kits is now a full time endeavour as I finally had the courage to leave my healthcare role!
So what made me decide to finally take the leap?
To be honest, I've not been happy as a physio for a long time. If I'm really honest, I knew back at university it wasn't what I wanted to do. I even applied for a PhD in my final year as a 'way out', but I wasn't successful in that application and didn't know what other options I had, so I just went ahead with being a physio. In my first physio role I tried to get myself involved in anything that didn't involve seeing patients and allowed me to be creative (for reasons you will read later), but eventually there wasn't enough so I decided to get a new role that had the possibility of being more creative and less clinical... however, due to Covid and numerous other reasons, the new job was actually worse. Way worse. I was overworked, I was exhausted, I was stressed to the point of no sleep and regular tears, and I had no energy to give to the activities and people I loved.
In December (typically the day after I broke up for Christmas!) I tested positive for Covid. Despite being cocky and thinking I'd be fine... I wasn't fine. I had a really tough time through Christmas, New Year and all of January, and when I came back to work in February I was still not emotionally well. Then one Wednesday shortly after returning, stress at work had just got too much and I just came home and sobbed in the kitchen, for the second time already that week. It was that night I decided I really needed to put myself first. I finally took a long hard look at me as a person, at my wellbeing, and what I needed to make the most of this one life I have.
So, me as a person...
I touched on this in a recent social media post which I wrote during a time where I was learning to not only identify who I really was, but also embrace it and learn to love it. Firstly, I'm heavily towards the introvert end of the scale, as well as being a highly sensitive person.
For years I hated these things, I thought they were failures in me as a person, because, let's be honest, society is geared to praise those who are 'outgoing' and 'tough'. What that meant was I spent a lot of time trying to force myself to be the opposite of what I was, which was exhausting and would lead to a lot of social anxiety about 'not fitting in'. As a physio, the 'simple' act of socialising all day every day used to completely wipe me out to the point I had no energy for the people that were most important to me which was ultimately causing relationships to suffer. Not to mention I never understood how other physios could just not be emotionally affected by other people's pain. There were days where a few of my patients would cry because they were so fed up... which in turn would make me cry after they had left the room. Even the mere thought of facing people in pain would make me so upset.
Secondly, I'm a very creative person. Ever since I was a kid I loved doing crafty things and these make up some of my earliest and favourite memories. I'm in my happy place when I'm designing, stitching or knitting. However, because I was also a fairly 'academic' person and was particularly good at science and maths in school...it was these traits that were focussed on during career planning as a kid.
What about wellbeing?
As I've touched on above, I've not been in a good way for some years. Primarily because I was forcing myself into a space I just didn't belong! I've cried numerous days a week, I've spent most nights struggling to sleep until my Fiancé helps by putting on rain music. My energy stores are always completely drained by work with no energy left for people or activities that matter. And things like social anxiety and my trichotillomania (hair pulling) went through the roof because I was exhausted and my brain just couldn't cope.
This all needed to change!
So here we go...
I know being self employed isn't going to be easy, particularly financially, but I have not a single doubt about taking TSK full time! Ever since I walked out the doors of work for the last time I've slept, I've been happy, I've been able to respond to texts, enjoy time with friends and family, and there's been not a single tear! I'm looking forward to spending more time doing the activities that make me feel like me, spending quality time with the people that mean the most to me, and very importantly, being part of a community of people who are very similar to me in many respects. I never felt like I fitted into the 'physio' community, but I feel just so at home surrounded by fellow crafters, fellow lovers of their local area, and fellow small business owners. You're all my people and I can't express how happy it makes me to spend my life within your community!
It's taken me so long to figure out whether to share this part of my journey, what to say and how to say it, so I appreciate you giving it a read and all your support! I will also forever appreciate the support from my wonderful Fiancé, family and friends. Let's see where TSK goes from here!