Once back on Canadian soil, I started a job at lululemon athletica and got working on a new model for ALMG. We would have a team of seven, everyone would write one article a week and we’d hold monthly events to help our readers connect with each other and create change. We’d swap online advertising for membership fees, create member pages instead of ad squares, make a lot more money and have a lot more fun. I formed the new team, we re-launched on Canada Day and spent our first event cleaning up Mt. Seymour with the Surfrider Foundation. July was a massive success. Things started slowing down in August, I turned 24, no one came to our event and everyone was discouraged. September brought huge changes for everyone involved and again, no one came to our event. October brought midterms, family dinners and more changes and our articles started to get sloppy. We cancelled our event and again, lost more momentum.
Desperately, I began working as much as I could to get us back on track. Although completely unprepared, I entered us into a competition to win funding by first winning votes. I replanned and rethought, I even considered another relaunch. And again, slowly but surely, I made my way towards burnout.
I’ve found that every so often, the universe sends me a sign. If I’m spending too much, I lose my credit card. If I’m in need of some help, the right person shows up. Most commonly though, if I’m moving too fast, I get sick. Which is what brings me to this moment right now. I’m in bed, with a large, uncomfortable and frighteningly ugly rash. Add to that my email getting disabled the other day and reading my schedule wrong twice in three weeks, it becomes quite clear to me that the universe is saying, “slow the fuck down”. So that’s what I’m doing.
As Gabby Bernstein (one of my new favourite authors) would say, I’m letting go of the rope. I’m sleeping, eating, exercising and taking time for me. I’m also stepping back and letting the amazing team I put together do the things they are great at. An eternal optimist, I am hoping this will be the last time I ever let myself get this run down. That wise little voice inside is saying “yeah right”, but at least I’ll be able to recognize the signs sooner next time.