I stopped holding my breath for everything this year, even food.

It was a crap year. It started out solid, though. I’m disappointed in myself for giving in to fears, and even trying new things, but I won’t talk about that here.

While writing the previous blog post, I asked myself, “who has the authority to give advice on mental health?” It reminded me how much I hesitated for months before starting this blog. For a moment, I thought I’d catch imposter syndrome again. Two years ago, it seemed like uplifting others was only reserved for folks with abbreviations beside their name or even life coaches. Whether they were good at their job or not, they were qualified, and I was not. But at the time I often heard, “you don’t need to go to school to help people,” and “your experiences are enough to help people,” in the videos I watched on YouTube. I also admired Michael Pollan’s career as a journalist who wrote several books on nutrition. With all that in mind, I created an account on WordPress and confessed the reality of my situation. Started giving tips. People flocked. Two posts gained a lot of merits. I had the passion for this project… until this year when it burned out.

The passion burned out because I found out that many, if not most, people don’t want to be helped. Everybody wants to feel good, though. It feels cruel to say that, but it’s true. I don’t think I’m better than anyone or superior in any way, however, I do a lot of inner work– enough to realize this. Despite that, I still have the same sense of purpose to help people heal. I would really love to find a way to say important things and help who I can in an entertaining way because everybody likes to have fun. I mean, Michael Jackson did it. Not sure why I can’t, you know, because actually, I can. Although I explored the possibility to revamp the blog into something that looked more sophisticated, with contributors, it’s been quite challenging without the right tools (and money). There was a contributor page in the first 2 years, but no one submitted anything.

Recently, I took a massage therapy workshop to see if bodywork could be the way to help because everyone holds tension in the body. That tension is linked to emotions/trauma we store. I could get into a massage therapy program I may like, but it wouldn’t be a long-term career for me. Ultimately though, I believe my answer is in fiction stories, poetry, and art. Just the stuff I’ve always been doing, but this time the world will see it. It’s a lot more fun for me, too. There’s no other way I’d rather help people when I think about it, although I’m finding it extremely challenging to establish a business and to get out of my own way. Somehow, I’m still beating myself up every day for not having a traditional career path. I’ve tried, trust me, but I either get fired or quit. And folks really dig my poetry, man! So, the business is launching in 2019 and I’ll find an additional outlet to showcase my work– either video or podcast. Probably video.

My original intention was to create an online magazine. Previous entries reflect that in the titles and style of writing. I’ve always wanted a magazine of my own, but lately, I’ve been wanting to make the site more personal. Maybe sharing my world with others won’t be the nightmare my anxiety makes it seem. My confidence diminishes when I stumble on an old acquaintance on Instagram, in my suggested connections, and look at their winning photos. The pics make me want to switch back to a personal account to hide my content. So, sometimes I do privatize my account and remove my blog link, only to switch back to “Joséphine, Writer” with my selfies and prose exposed again in a few minutes. Other times, I force myself not to keep the account public. I don’t think I need to hide in my shell anymore, but it can be hard not to. That’s a goal for 2019. Here are some more:


8 thoughts on “I stopped holding my breath for everything this year, even food.

  1. Uplifting others is th duty of everyone, whether professional or non-professional. But while we non-professionals are no fully aware of what will really help people, professionals are,n so don’t feel bad. I’m interested in psychology and want to be psychiatrist

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Because i see the world and people suffering around me and i really want to help them. But u learn in life that people will be helped if they want to be helped. We can’t hold their hand and help them cross the street all the time. They need to experience and learn in order to do it on their own. In the end its their life, and no matter how much it hurts, its their choice how they wish to live it even if they r hurting themselves in the process. So don’t feel bad; our purpose is to guide, not help

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I like that you made a difference between guiding and helping. Maybe guiding involves directing someone’s attention to something that may help them, but having no attachment to whether they go after that thing or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful goals and post, Joséphine. Your reflection reminds me that it doesn’t take an ‘expert’ to help and heal, and that our greatest gifts to others can lie in the things that bring us the greatest joy. As a person with a mental health diagnosis, trying to find my own path this year, too, I fully support your following your own unique career journey in 2019. Go for it, Joséphine! ~Shirley


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