I had tried talking to Matt about it but he was quite busy with getting into the groove with his own work schedule and straining from his own stress. Eventually, I gave up trying to talk to anyone about what was going on inside my head and thought I could be strong enough to handle it on my own.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to and I just had to reach out.
I didn't realize how much I was internalizing everything until I finally Skyped with my good friend, Leigh Cambre. Leigh is probably the most positive person I know and he's probably the most positive person I will EVER know. In short, Leigh is awesome! He's also a Life Coach so you can imagine how helpful he is in a situation like I was experiencing.
|Leigh and I sharing better times|
I told Leigh of all my trouble and woes of not finding a full time job in Hong Kong (revert to the previous Hong Kong posts for full details) and how I wasn't feeling like myself anymore. I felt unsettled, I felt lost and most importantly, I felt insignificant. Going in for interviews and being repeatedly turned away also made me feel increasingly useless.
Leigh expressed how shocked and surprised he was. According to him, my posts all over my blog, Facebook and Twitter were painting a much different picture where I was remaining positive and cheerful. Leigh said he had no idea what I was going through until I had sent him a frantic, desperate email in the middle of the night when I was in hysterics.
As Leigh and I delved further into the details of my spiraling depression and overbearing stress, Leigh showed me a little drawing he had done for me. It was a very simple pie chart. It showed a disproportionate amount of my time being allocated to "work and finding work" and a tiny little sliver given to sleep.
|What my life had become|
That's when it hit me. I wasn't spending enough time on MYSELF. I was giving up all of my time to focus on the work aspect of my life (or lack thereof) that I was just wallowing in despair. This was me UNBALANCED.
A few days later, Miss Britt said she was also surprised after I confessed to her of my meltdowns in Hong Kong.
Since my chat with Leigh, I've been making a conscious effort in spending more time on ME and less time focusing on work. I'm taking walks, meeting new people, getting excited about the upcoming Hong Kong International Film Festival, dancing in the living room, watching more Glee and just relaxing.
It's not easy and I find myself wanting to crawl into bed a lot of the time but I just have to remember that the person hiding under the covers is not the real me. The real me is the person who left everything comfortable in her life for the wild, chaotic life of a digital nomad.
Things are starting to look up for me and I'm feeling much better these days. I have half a dozen students taking private English lessons with me, I'm still going out on interviews for a full-time teaching position and I'm feeling more settled in Hong Kong. Things can only get better and there's no point worrying about it anymore.
This is my first real test and I know I'm stronger than this.
Have you ever felt UNBALANCED? What do you do to regain personal equilibrium?
© Connie Hum 2011