We are never truly alone, even when we might think we are – I tend to forget that sometimes. There is an image I designed over 12 months ago now, which I really like – I’ve even used the words on one of my shirt designs – I’m doing this without a net.
I created it partly as a homage to the circus stuff I do and the fact that I am now a freelancer with my own business – removing the safety net of being an employee.
It seemed apt – and is a little bit cute, but at the same time, it’s wildly inaccurate. Because I do have a net, even though I can’t see it on a regular basis.
My net is being held out by the amazingly supportive people in my life who help me through my challenges, commiserate my lessons and celebrate my achievements. I think we can sometimes forget that we don’t do any of this alone – particularly if you step into a freelance role which means you are ‘working’ alone.
In reality though…
I have a fantastic support network – possibly the strongest one I’ve ever had. As well as Derek and Lily, I have wonderful friends who check in on me and keep me on track, some supportive family members who make sure I’m okay, and a stronger professional network than I’ve probably ever had. And that doesn’t take into account the online support network of wonderful people I’ve never had the chance to meet in person.
The thing is, if you are someone who has experienced depression, then you’ll know just how important those people are in my life. It’s too easy to isolate yourself when you freelance, to feel like you’re alone and have little day to day connection with people outside the ones you cohabit with. That can lead to feeling like you aren’t connected to others, which feeds into any negative thoughts your brain might create about your lack of worth in the world.
My net holders are not only there to catch me when I stumble – which I do to varying degrees on a fairly regular basis. They are there holding out a net of encouragement and support; cheering when I do well, and catching me when I do fall.
For that, I am very grateful – and I know I don’t tell them often enough. So this post is my reminder to tell them how much I appreciate their net holding – and maybe to nudge you into thinking about who holds your net.
Who are your net holders? When was the last time you thanked them for their support?