Mental Health & Being a Small Business Owner

Finding Harmony in Chaos my Mental Health Story

A story of Mental Health as a Small Business Owner! Back in 2010, when I took the plunge into my career, it was like hopping on a rollercoaster that knew no bounds—thrilling highs peppered with moments of unexpected solitude. Success, strangely enough, didn’t bring the company I had yearned for. It carried echoes of silence that grew louder as I climbed.

Flash forward to our big move to Madison. An earnest leap of faith to weave ourselves into a vibrant tapestry of like-minded souls. With gusto, we embarked on a marathon of marketing events. Elbowing our way through the crowds, hoping to find our tribe. Yet, each handshake and half-smile somehow echoed the same refrain: “Welcome, but not quite.”

We craved those real, unvarnished connections—the kind where laughs flow and facades fall. The kind you can’t force or fake. Desperation for a spot at the cool kids’ table turned into late nights, overthinking conversations had and opportunities missed.

Inspiration Hit!

In a spark of inspiration (or maybe desperation), the Rad Photographers Retreat was born. It was my heart crafted into something tangible—a beacon for those who, like me, felt adrift. And it worked! Sort of. Magic happened, bonds formed, but there I was. Still pressing my nose against the glass, watching friendships bloom from the sidelines.

I could spin this as a “just me” problem. A quirk in my wiring that screams a little too loud for love and validation. But I reckon it’s a tune many of us know all too well. We are all navigating our unique paths through the wilds of connection and belonging.

By sharing this glimpse into my world. I hope to light up the path for someone else in their own quest. To stir up a little hope in the heart of someone who recognizes this dance—because sometimes the bravest thing you can do is say, “Yeah, that’s my story too.”

And hey, if you’re out there feeling a bit like an outsider looking in, could it be that maybe. Just maybe—we’re all part of a bigger, more rad circle waiting to be drawn? Here’s to finding out, one genuine conversation at a time. 🌟

To those riding their own rollercoasters, just know, your ticket to this wild ride—twists, turns, dips, and all. It is just as golden. Keep the faith, fellow adventurers—the view at the top is worth it, and you’re not alone.

When life threw me a curveball named Covid, little did I know the world of virtual hangouts would leave me yearning for real-world connections. But when the doors flung open again, I hesitated at the threshold; the thought of networking sent jitters down my spine.

Mental Health is a Long Game

Through that season, my mind buzzed with worries. From wondering where the next paycheck would come from, to if my calendar would buzz again with joyful gigs. Yet, in that sea of uncertainty, some rays of hope broke through—the infamous COVID-19 Engagement Gap—a silver lining for photographers everywhere.

Life wasn’t without its roller coaster moments, including the roller coaster of health that our furry babies faced. Mylo’s fight with Diabetes was one we never saw coming, and returning from a short getaway to find him clinging to life… it was a punch to the gut. Then, in a heartbreaking twist of fate, we said our tearful goodbyes to both our kitties on the very same day.

Caught in life’s whirlwind, my partner and I dove headfirst into the house-hunting adventure. To start anew, away from the echoes of paws that once padded our home. Oh, and believe me, if stress had a scoreboard, buying a house would smash records!

Then, just as the storm seemed to pass, my body waved the white flag. January came with fevers, fatigue, and zero appetite. I dodged Covid, but couldn’t dodge the aftershocks of chronic stress.

It was a wake-up call.

And now? I’m tuning in to life’s rhythm with fresh ears. Shutting down electronics, savoring quiet dinners at the table with Justin. No buzzing phones or blaring TVs to distract from the simple joy of us. And with Justin’s new job, we’re not just spending time together—we’re investing in it.

For those threading through similar trials, may this tale be a beacon of hope. A reminder that even amidst loss and uncertainty, life offers lessons dressed as challenges. There’s resilience in every breath, beauty in the mundane, and strength in the slow dance of recovery.

Cherish the now, listen intently to your well-being, and most importantly, remember this—you are not alone in the odyssey.

Resilience, love, and the extraordinary strength found in the ordinary moments—these are the gifts of tough times.