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How I Came Through the Rapids

Updated: Jun 22

As we all know, life is not a narrow calm river forever. Eventually, you’re going to hit the rapids. You can try your very hardest to never experience the cold, chaotic waters of change, but it will find you.

Owning your own business, especially working freelance in the art/entertainment industry, comes with so many amazing opportunities. However, there is one setback that I'm still learning how to cope with and that is the uncertainty of it all.


Being the Manager of Everything

Working independently means that you're the media manager, bookkeeper, consultant, creator, distributor and more. If you've followed the independent work path like me, than you probably thrive on being busy and love the variety to your job. But what happens when you suddenly hit the rapids and change surrounds you.

When being the manager of everything feels like too much.


Into the Rapids


It's scary to feel like you're losing your work ethic and momentum as a creator. If your business is ran by just you, than of course when something happens to you, it's going to effect your work … and that sucks. I've found myself in the rapids several times in my career. It could be conflict in your personal life, getting sick, big projects falling through (whispers saying), or a pandemic.

It's the uncertainty.

The unwanted change.

The pivot.

The totally off the path, unexpected outcome that brings us into the rapids.


Eventually You're Going to Get to The Other Side


I used to go down the rapids kicking and screaming with my hands over my eyes. Now, when I find myself in unknown waters, I let the current take me. Because eventually, you're going to get to the other side. The calm side where you feel in control again. When in chaotic waters, it's strange to expect ourselves to be working at the same capacity and effectiveness as we did when we were merrily floating down the stream.


Self-Awareness


Try giving yourself short moments to feel the wild around you. Even if you just sit on the floor and breathe, it’s enough. Take your time and be gentle, kind and forgiving with yourself. I believe that the most powerful tool we have in times of uncertainty, is self-awareness. If you are aware of your desire to control and being honest with yourself about the rapids you have found yourself in, than you will have the perspective to safely find your way out.


Some Last Words


Don't get me wrong, it's still terrifying to feel like you're losing work and that you can't see the path anymore. Sometimes I still instinctively jump to over-thinking and forced productivity. On my good days though, I remember that whatever is happening in the present doesn't have to discredit the success of the past. What is lost may not be found ever again but it can be redefined and found in new exciting ways that you never expected. Do what you have to do to get through the rapids, but remain curious and hopeful about what could be on the other side.



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