Life Events

Exploring New Intentions

observant nomad | new intentions

Almost a year ago I made a pretty clear declaration of where I saw my future leading. When I read back through that post, it reminds me so vividly of how I felt and what I was going through. At the time I had absolute clarity on what I wanted, and it set me on a path that I have been dedicated to for the longest time.

I started saving money, planning dates, strategizing, and telling all my closest friends and family my intentions. After that moment, as the year dragged on, I built up more and more of a client base. Working long into the nights and weekends to make work that I could be proud of. It was all moving into place and things were going well. That is until the end of spring.

At the time, I was nearing the end of major projects at my 9-5. The kind of projects that always seemed to suck out all my energy and make me a pretty terrible person to be around. I’d come home every night absolutely exhausted and then force myself to work late into the night on freelance clients, dangling the proverbial carrot in front of myself; “It’s all worth it, because all of this is only temporary. One day it will give and I’ll start the next chapter on my journey.”

Well fast forward about 8 months later, and nothing had really changed. I was in full-blown burn-out mode. I had just almost spent the last whole year working my fingers to the bone to achieve the goal I had set out to accomplish. I kept telling myself that at the end of those projects, I would be done.

Well as always, life throws curve-balls your way.

At the same time that these projects started wrapping up, I was told that an opportunity on another team had opened up, and they wanted to offer it to me. The position would allow me to move beyond my digital expertise and into a larger responsibility for a notable national client.

Appealing opportunities like tv spots, print ads, photoshoots, national campaigns and more, were suddenly on the table. Honestly, I was a little surprised at first! They wanted me? The team was well known within the agency for all the amazing work they were doing. So my first feelings were of a little bit of shock.

“Are you sure they want me?”

“Yes, its already been put into motion.”

It was about the worst time and the best time, for an offer like this to come my way.

After the shock wore off, I started to feel lighter, happier, inspired. I realized I was really excited! This team had a lot more opportunities for the kinds of creative executions that I just wasn’t getting on my old team. So while I was super sad to move on from my tight-knit team, I was equally optimistic and excited to throw myself into a new learning experience.

Once the transition begun, I knew that while this would expose me to new creative experiences, it also meant a lot more hours at the agency. So for about a month or so (the month I was ghosting out over here) I was attempting to balance wrapping up my old projects and starting new ones. Plus trying to finish up some freelance projects, it was getting a little crazy! I was feeling a lot of my energy shifting.

Now that I’m full time on the new team, a lot of it feels, well… new! I’m learning all about different processes, personalities, clients, and the expectations of the team and the work. It’s been such a 180° from my last position’s responsibilities, and I’ve more than welcomed it. But with this change an interesting side affect has started to reveal itself.

I’ve found it more difficult to nurture and invest in my freelance business. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few clients right now and love working with them! It’s still exciting to start a new project and get to know my client’s businesses so well. But with the more demanding hours of my new position and the energy I need to invest there, it’s been more than hard to balance both worlds. Sometimes something’s gotta give.

So after a lot of reflection, discussion, and considering my intentions for the future, I’ve decided to take a break from freelance design work.

Now it doesn’t mean that I will take a break forever. It just means for now. To be totally honest, I am kind of terrified (ok a lot) telling you this. It feels so scary to be this transparent, but I really want to be authentic to who I am, where I’m going, and why. This has been one of the hardest personal decisions I’ve made, especially when I’ve been spending so much energy towards a goal where my freelance business was so integral.

But I realized that I had to be true to myself, and freelance just wasn’t what feels right for me in this moment. I think after going so hard for so long, I just need some time to reset. To take a pause and really see what I can absorb from this new experience, and at the same time give myself some permission to create for just the sake of creating again.

After some reflection, I’ve decided to really take advantage of not working in my downtime to refocus on my original intentions from the start of this year… exploration. I want to use this time to experiment with new passions, interests, and curiosities.

I’m thinking of this as a time to broaden the horizons of my own creative fulfillment.

What does that mean exactly? It means testing out new photography styles, concepting photoshoots, exploring other areas of my life that I’m interested in. Like home goods, wellness, cooking, style, and art. I want to spend more time creating with my hands, instead of a computer. That will all still express itself here, on Observant Nomad.

I want to grow with you, and share what I learn. I want to experiment with new ways of creating content and creative evolve. It’s so freeing to open your limitations beyond your usual mediums, and I’ve already come up with all kinds of content I want to start exploring. In the end I just want to tell you that I hope you’re as excited as I am to share this new direction with me, and see what I can create.

What do you think?

Leave A Comment

This sounds so exciting for you, and I can understand the choice to stop freelancing for awhile, we need the space to explore things that interest us, that is for us only. I really look forward to seeing where your explorations take you :)
Experimenting with new mediums and new ideas is such a great learning experience.

Erin | cd

Brianna

Thanks Erin, honestly it felt a little strange at first to admit I needed to start making things that were just for me again. Silly right? Can’t wait to learn more.

I’m so encouraged by your post! It will be lovely seeing the explorations that happen in this new season of stepping back. I too, have been having similar thoughts. I started a new job this summer and it has been taking a lot of my brain power, so when I get home I want to focus on self-care and creativity instead of more problem solving and strategy. Your post nudged be to continue evaluating decisions I make–to make my decisions for myself, instead of for what might please others.

This is my favorite part, “I was equally optimistic and excited to throw myself into a new learning experience.” Love it. Good luck and enjoy this new season!!!

Brianna

You hit the nail right on the head. That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling for the last several months. So I said enough is enough, and even though it’s a big risk in certain ways, it’s also the right step for me in so many others. Thanks for your kind words!

Wow, Brianna! A big congrats on your new role at the agency! Gosh I had no idea how burnt out you were getting – it’s a very brave decision to just say ‘no more’ and a breather sounds like the best idea ever for you. All I can say is that I am SO glad that I caught you at the time that I did and I feel so, so lucky to have had you work on my project. You are IMMENSELY talented and it’s no wonder that you’ve been given the creative opportunity that you have at your agency. The new site is coming along beautifully and I’m SO excited to share your stunning work soon. Thank you Brianna!

Brianna

Aww thanks Anushe! You’re so sweet, and your compliments made my day! Can’t wait to see the site up and running. Seriously you’re awesome :)

Good for you!! Very happy for you and I can’t wait to see where your explorations lead you!

Congratulations on this opportunity! We really do try to make plans for our lives but life totally throws us curve balls. Last year, I was prepared to travel and really ramp up things for my business and after the first conference of the year, I found out I was pregnant. XD While I’m enjoying life as a working mother, we really have to embrace what our lives are and enjoy being in the moment. <3

Brianna

Wow! Talk about a curve-ball – congrats! It’s so true. All month I’ve been repeating “This is where I’m at right now.” It really helps ground me and forces me to look at where I’m at with more gratitude and awe. Thanks for following along with me on this one.

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