The Art of Losing (and Finding) Yourself

Oct
16th

Blink. Blink. Blink.

I sat at my desk, staring at my laptop, the cursor on my screen flickering in the same spot over and over, taunting me. Blink. Blink. Blink. I had been sitting there for 40 minutes, attempting to write a freelance piece that was already overdue, willing any ounce of creativity to trickle out of my body. But my fingers were frozen, my mind unfocused, my body tired and my imagination depleted. Blink. Blink. Blink.

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I had been in this state for a few months. In addition to the usual juggling act of balancing a healthy personal life with running a business, I was planning my wedding, something I never realized required SO MUCH attention. I’ll admit that I always scoffed at brides who let weddings take over their lives (soooo lame), but when it came my time to tie the knot, I found wedding planning to be a total ball ache… a fucking full-time job. For something that was meant to be the happiest time of my life (planning the day I’d marry my best friend!), it became a burden, something that I dreaded talking or even thinking about. And because it seemed like it was all Damien and I ever discussed (or all anyone EVER asked me about), I never had a break from the intensity of it all – that escape at the end of the day where we would normally chill and laugh was replaced by frustrating conversations about budgets, last-minute changes and seating charts.

But it was when my unavoidably busy personal life started to interfere with my already busy work life in the past few months, that it all really began to take a toll on my mental health.

Because my life was being pulled in a million different directions, I had no drive, no motivation and no interest in creating for my brand. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. That creative spark that always drove me forward, that drove this blog forward, had been completely wiped from within me, and I didn’t know how to deal with the void. I was emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted, but at the same time, didn’t want to talk about it because my problems seemed so stupid and insignificant in the grand scheme of things – like, other people had real fucking problems, so what right did I have to complain? I retreated from my social life, shut out Damien, and told my family that everything was okay. But in reality, a huge part of me was lost and I had no idea how to find my way back.

I had built an entire brand around inspiring others to be badass renegades, to own their lives and surround themselves with positive thoughts. And yet there I was, sitting at a computer, unable to even type a sentence, emails piling up and pushing deeper down into my inbox, tears streaming down my face for no fucking reason. I hadn’t blogged in over a month and hadn’t even opened my notebook to scribble down ideas. I was only giving 20% in each facet of my life, instead of the 100% I’m used to giving.

And with every day that passed, I felt less like a renegade and more and more like a fraud.

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As our wedding came and went just over a week ago (the most perfect day, might I add), I felt a giant weight lifted off of my shoulders. There were no more emails with vendors, no more visitor flights to be tracked or trips to the airport, no more ticking boxes (all whilst trying to run a freelance business at the same time). Damien and I went to Palm Beach for a few days after the wedding, where we immediately collapsed on the hotel bed from total and utter exhaustion. A few days in the sun, a few nights of cocktails and letting it all go, and I started to feel like myself again. I started to laugh again and get inspired by the people and places around me. I came back to Toronto on Saturday night and by Sunday, after a good night’s sleep, felt okay to open my laptop again. And when I did, slowly but surely, the words started to come.

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Whenever I write blog posts, I like to make sure they always have a take-away; something my readers can learn from or apply to their own lives. But this post doesn’t follow that formula, friends – sorry. I needed to write this post for me. Because I know I’ll encounter more of these feelings of displacement and unavoidably busy months, and that I’ll need to remind myself that life happens in waves and I will get through it. Because I need to remember it’s only temporary. And even though I don’t have the answer of how to make it all better when it does happen, that it’s okay to have moments of uncertainty and it doesn’t make me any less ambitious or qualified.

So if you got to the end of this brain dump, thanks for reading. Thanks for understanding. And thanks for hanging in there as I found my way back to me.

xo,
Lauren


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  • We learn from the experience of others. So, yep, there was a take-away (even if you didn’t think so). Can’t wait to see what posts you have coming up πŸ™‚

  • I love this post Lauren, it’s so real, not that you’re not real but I feel like everyone has felt this way at one point or another. I’m so happy you’re feeling like yourself again and you are reinspired. I do think there’s something to take away from this post. I think that it’s important to allow yourself to step away or take a break every now to recharge and get reinspired bc we are not machines, we are only human and we can’t do everything. Hope you have a good day!!!!
    X
    Sabrina

  • Abbey says:

    Can I get an Ayyyyy-men?! I think at some point, we all go through stages of doubt, uncertainty, feeling like a fraud or an imposter. Thank you for your acknowledgment and the notion that it’s normal. And that this too will pass. ✌?

  • Paige says:

    Girl, I know exactly how you feel having gone through the exact same experience planning our wedding barely two months before you. And as always, your honesty and openness to talk about it is incredibly refreshing and oh-so valuable. I’ve been right there with you, overwhelmed and burnt out and thus severely lacking in creativity, and it is such a frustrating feeling when you rely on your creativity and drive to do what you do. Couple that with the pressure to keep up appearances and continue with the constant flow of content, and there you are, feeling totally lost. So thank you for the post, and I am so glad you’ve found yourself again. And congrats on the big day!

  • Diane says:

    Hey Lauren, first off, congrats on getting married! Thanks for sharing what’s been going on. Completely understand and respect you for sharing this personal post. Hoping you start feeling like yourself again soon. You’ll always have my support. πŸ˜‰

    • Lauren | This Renegade Love says:

      Cheers Diane! Now that a fews weeks have passed, I’m getting back into the groove of things. I’ve really learned how important it is to realize that your life happens in seasons, and to embrace all of them πŸ™‚

  • Glad to have you back, Lauren. πŸ™‚
    I would argue that there IS a take-away from this post – at least, for me there is. I’ve been feeling the same way, albeit for different reasons, and have had real difficulty writing lately. Your reminder that it’s okay to have moments of uncertainty is resonating with me. So, thank you for sharing this post. πŸ™‚