Time equals money equals stress

My life as a fulltime freelancer took a bad turn after a shoot last week. I had a stressful day and a half, and while I was chilling on the couch later that night, my husband pointed out that I was scratching my face. This isn’t new, I often scratch my skin when I’m stressed out, but when he pointed it out I realised that it actually itches. So I went into the bathroom and discovered that not only is my face itching, my arms are itching as well. I pull up my shirt and find that the rash I had before the wedding is back. And it’s everywhere.

Somehow I think I’ve always handled my time carefully. I always show up early for meetings, get up extra early so that I have time to take it easy in the mornings, plan my work so that it doesn’t pile up and almost never wait until the last minute… and yet here I am, covered in rashes with a brain not operating fully due to long-term stress. I’ve blamed myself for this. “It must be me, everyone else seems to be able to handle life”. But in the last few months I’ve watched people around me break down, one by one, and I’ve realised that it’s not just me. It’s not up to us as individuals to try to cope, something needs to change.

Looking back at past jobs and job interviews where they ask you how well you operate under stress, makes me want to go back in time and give a lecture about the negative effects of long-term stress and how it isn’t a positive thing for the company to hire people on the premise that their job is stressful. If the job is stressful – change something! No one will thank you a few years down the road when you crash and can’t function like a normal human being.

Stress-related illness is a rising problem in society, and we cope by changing our mindset, trying out a new diet or becoming more “spiritual”. Sure, we can try to learn mindfulness, do yoga on the weekends and “not get ourselves worked up”, but how is that going to change anything? How is mindfulness going to help you when your boss emails you late at night, telling you he needs your project, that you haven’t even started, to be done by lunch tomorrow? How is mindfulness, or yoga, or excersise going to fix the core problem? The core problem being that time equals money.

I blame consumerism and our outdated views on work. We need to realise that yes, time is precious, but time isn’t money. Money requires time. Quick results might seem tempting, but letting things take their time is more beneficial in the long run. Innovation, inspiration and new ideas can’t grow in stressful environments. And think about how much money society loses on sick leave due to stress. We’re talking billions.

We need to talk more about these issues, especially with employers, and not apply for jobs where the word “stress” is in the job description. Health comes first.

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The struggle of realising you’ve chosen the wrong path – again

Today I finally did it. I opened up Gmail and started writing that dreaded email to my professor, telling her that I’ve decided to drop out. I had to make several pauses and look at the words I was typing down. I’ve managed to take the wrong path in life – again. How did this happen? Just a few months ago I was overly excited about this programme. I sat in front of this very same professor during the admission interview and went on and on about how I really wanted to become an archivist. I was leaving the room so excited that she had to pull me back down to Earth and remind me that not everyone will be accepted, no matter how much they want it. But I had no doubt I would be accepted. I aced the interview, like I almost always do. A few weeks later I got accepted and I was so incredibly proud of myself. I told everyone about it. Finally I had found my thing and I was gonna become something! An archivist! “What’s that?” people asked. “Well I’m gonna sit in an office or an archive and sort documents, kind of…”. It sounds so strange to me now. Archiving? What the hell was I thinking?

I was thinking that what I need is a somewhat easy job that pays me enough to not have to worry about money, and where I wouldn’t have to rely on my creativity too much. I would lie if I told you that the decision to drop out was easy, despite the fact that underneath I knew all along. Just scrolling down this blog and reading about how I came up with the idea of applying to this University programme makes it pretty obvious that I had doubts long before I even applied, but I chose to ignore them. The first few weeks of school I had panic attacks on my way there, every single day, but I chose to supress them. I told myself that it was because I had just stopped taking my medication, that it was a lot of new things to take in and a new environment. But as the weeks went by I realised that it’s not about that. I like the atmosphere at school. I like my professors. I like my classmates. I loved the conversations we had outside of the classroom about stress, purpose and life in general, but I had no interest in the subjects taught in class, except for the political and philosophical aspects of it.

“[…] one day you wake up and realise that you are angry and sad and frustrated over a job you didn’t even want in the first place.”

An archive is a cultural institution alongside museums and libraries that have been the same for a very long time. The idea that I could make a change and develop this cultural institution into something more interesting and sustainable is what kept me going. But after some time I realised that the idea that I alone could be a breath of fresh air in this institution and somehow manage to change things up is extremely far-fetched. Especially since it’s an administrative job where every decision goes through someone higher up the ladder that most of the time has no real understanding of the work you’re doing, which leads to frustration and ultimately resentment. Then one day you wake up and realise that you are angry and sad and frustrated over a job you didn’t even want in the first place. And it’s not that I don’t think I could do it, it’s the realisation that I don’t want to.

I feel extremely priviledged and self-centered when I tell people about my decision. Like I think I’m better than everyone else for wanting to pursuit something bigger. Well I’m here to tell you that I’m not. I do think that I’m capable of more than sorting and handling documents, but in no way do I think I’m better than my classmates or people who do other kinds of honest work. We’re all good at different things, and we’re all interested in different things. But the bottom line is that if we want to help people, which I believe should be the core of every profession, we need to pick a profession we are excited about. I am certain that my classmates will become great at what they do because they enjoy the history, the books and the aspect of helping people find the information they need.

“Nobody remembers the teachers that were, at most, okay at teaching.”

Not everyone can love their job, but I never want to become so unhappy with what I do that it affects other people negatively. For example I’ve had teachers in the past that so clearly weren’t happy with their job that it affected the students, making us less motivated. Sure, you can pick a profession you’re not particularly passionated about and be mediocre at it, but how is that helping anyone? Nobody remembers the teachers that were, at most, okay at teaching. We remember the good ones, the ones that inspired us to become better, the ones who saw our needs and had them met. We notice the bus drivers who greets every single passenger with a smile and a hello. We remember the doctors who make us feel taken care of. We smile at the enthusiastic tour guide, the barista who made a smiley face in your coffee and the shop owner who was so passionate about what they were selling that it rubbed off on you.

I haven’t quite figured out what it is I’m passionate about yet, but now I know it’s not archiving. At least that’s something.

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The times are changing…

Once again times have changed. Summer is over, fall is slowly fading away and winter is creeping in on us, reminding us that it’s all darkness from here. At least here in Sweden we have about 4-5 months of darkness ahead of us.

Fall was brief as I spent it mostly in school. How is that going you might ask? Well I decided to drop out. Most of my family and friends are against my decision as they are afraid I’ll never get my shit together, but I just can’t deny my gut feeling that this isn’t where I’m supposed to be. Don’t ask me where I’m supposed to be though, I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. But I have a strong feeling that things will work out just fine. Now you might say that it’s better to stay in school while I figure out what to do next, but during the two months I’ve been there, I haven’t had the time or energy to think about anything else. A master’s degree is definitely not a piece of cake. Just the sheer amount of literature we have to read is crazy. It’s pretty much the same amount of books we read during ALL of high school combined. And when you realised you have no interest in the subject, getting through that literature is hell.

In other news; I am now a married woman. The month leading up to the wedding was apparently so stressful that I developed a rash all over my body and face. I had to be heavily medicated the week of the wedding and for about a week after. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but despite this and despite the rain on the wedding day itself, we couldn’t have been happier. We had a quick wedding in city hall and then a small gathering afterwards in our backyard.

The next day we flew to Italy to spend our honeymoon there. We started in Verona and then travelled to Garda lake to spend the last few days there. It was all wonderful and so much better than we could have hoped for. Verona is such a romantic city, I highly recommend going there for a honeymoon!

I can’t really come up with a great segway from here so I’ll just jump right into the present again. Yesterday I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and it was the most amazing movie I’ve seen all year I think. The music, the story, the editing… I loved it. It somehow made me miss filmmaking, particularly script writing and editing. I left the theathre teary-eyed and inspired, even more sure of my decision to drop out of school. Even though this decision is really hard on me, I know that what I’m doing is right. I know that there is a greater purpose for me out there, as bold as it may sound.

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Update

Sooo… yeah. I haven’t been blogging or posting photos on Instagram for a couple of months now. I’ve been pretty exhausted and lost I guess. I still am. But so much has been happening, so I thought I’d give you guys and update.

In May, on my birthday, my boyfriend proposed to me. He had planned this sort of treasure hunt with clues handed to me by friends, and at the end of the hunt he went down on one knee. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so nervous, it was adorable!

We quickly decided that we’d get married this fall and have a small party, but because of some issues with the planning we decided to elope instead. So that’s happening pretty soon…

I also recently recieved the news that I got in to that University programme I wrote about a couple of months ago. School starts in September, so I’m having a bit of time off right now.

I had a job interview a while ago and actually got offered to come in on a trial run, but my anxiety levels were so high that I panicked and called it off. I had a similar thing happen a few months ago. So now I’m basically unemployed by choice. It’s not an ideal situation, I’m very aware of that, but this year I’ve really been putting my health first. I know that I’m capable, hard-working, loyal and smart, but my mental health is just not where it should be. On top of that I decided to lower my medication, against my doctor’s recommendation, and now I feel worse. So yeah, that wasn’t very smart I guess… just the usual stubbornness I suffer from. But I’ve reached out and hope to find a good psychologist soon so I can start working on my issues.

I hope to blog more and to post some pictures, but I can’t really make any promises. Thanks to those of you who pop in here from time to time, and thanks for leaving comments! <3

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To new beginnings

copyright: wanderfall.se

I’ve thought about how to start this blog for a long time. Should I write a long introduction? A short welcome? Or perhaps just get straight to the point and skip the whole “Hello, my name is blank, cheers to new beginnings!”?

I am a wandering and constantly lost soul. Writing is something I’ve always turned to whenever I was feeling down or had some sort of struggle in my life. I used to write pages and pages of desperation, heartache, and unrational anxiety. It helped me through tough times and it made me see clearly. Later on I set goals for myself. I wrote down the things I wanted to do, the destinations I wanted to go to and how I wanted my life to be in order for me to be happy. And it worked. Somehow I managed to do most of the things I dreamt about. But then life happened. And I stopped writing.

I’m turning 30 this year. When I was younger I used to think that those 30-year-olds had it all figured out. They drank coffee, went to work, drove cars, started families… They were real grown-ups. Sorry to make you disappointed, younger self, but I have nothing figured out. Honestly I’m surprised that I’m still standing up and breathing. Not to be overly dramatic or anything.

The idea of this blog is to find a context in which I feel like my true self. To give birth to new ideas and dreams, and to share what I’ve learned along the way in hopes of helping someone else. But don’t get discouraged by what may seem like a depressing starting point. I’m going to do my best to make this place filled with inspiration, photos and the ocassional thought-provoking text.

So hey, my name is Linda. Welcome!

Make sure to follow my blog with Bloglovin so you never miss a post!

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