Pull up a seat, my friend. Grab a coffee with me because I've got to lay my heart out with you.
My dear friend Ashley runs an amazing campaign called #TheImperfectBoss. You can see my interview with her here. Her movement is about freeing businesswomen from the pressure of perfect. And I love it! I mean, don't get me wrong - who doesn't enjoy a beautifully curated Instagram feed? Sometimes, though, we just need a reminder that we're not alone in this life. Ya know? I know you do! During this year's campaign, Ashley also introduced a few limited-edition products, including this Messy + Alive mug.
If you keep up with my Instagram stories, you already know that I have more coffee mugs than any one person could possibly need. So I typically avoid buying them these days because, well, a happy marriage is more important than more cute mugs! (Though I might have a small secret stash that he doesn't know about. Shhh! 😉 ) But this one, I had to buy. And let me tell you why.
Messy + Alive is one of the most beautiful concepts I have ever seen. Sometimes, we need reminders that we are alive. We are ALIVE! I've mentioned before that 1 in 3 entrepreneurs suffers from depression. I am a part of that statistic and so this is a topic near and dear to my heart. But even more than that, in my role as a business coach to creatives it is something I've seen in my clients. Often in the entrepreneurial world, there is such a focus on positive thinking, personal strength, and individual freedom that it can feel like those are the only things we're allowed to talk about or feel. I want to have a coaching community that is a safe environment for women in business! I want them to be able to say "I'm really depressed these days", and not feel ashamed. Not feel less than, or that they're failing. Not feel like somebody is measuring them against the boss girl who seems to have it all together. So I refuse to shy away from this taboo subject.
I myself am a suicide attempt survivor. And many days, I don't like the idea of being alive. I'm grateful that I can truthfully say it's been a while since I have struggled with suicidal thoughts. But I know how real and heavy, how terrifying and isolating those moments are. And even once you've made it through, those experiences have a weird way of haunting you. As anyone who struggles with depression knows, some days are easier than others. Life is messy. I'm messy. My thoughts, my heart, my emotions, they're all very messy.
But you know what? I am alive. And you are too! I think that, in and of itself, is such a powerful statement. We are here! Excuse me for getting a bit cheesy, but I truly do believe it's for a reason. We may never fully understand the purpose of our existence. Maybe it was to start the businesses that we have. Maybe to meet the people we've met. Maybe our true purpose is somewhere out in the ripple effect of an action we can't even recall. Maybe a million other little things or a combination of them all - I don't know. I will never claim to know the meaning of life. But what I do know is that it's okay to be messy and we need to celebrate that we're alive.
Please understand that I am in no way trying to romanticize a mental illness. It bothers me, and I think it's very damaging, when people act like living with depression is a beautiful perspective on life. There isn't much that's beautiful about the reality of living weeks or months in a thick fog that you just can't quite see through. Feeling numb and empty is not beautiful. But I do believe that surviving it, embracing your story, sharing the mess, honoring life - that is truly beautiful!
We all have our messes! But We. Are. Still. Here.
So treat yourself today! Celebrate YOUR life!
If you're looking for a supportive, understanding community for business owners, check out my Adventurepreneur Tribe here. If you want to learn more about Ashley and her campaign, look here.