All kinds of things can get stuck. A bag of chips in the vending machine. Tires in snow. When something is physical however, there can often be a clear solution. Put another few quarters in to push the chips forward (or perhaps give the machine a slight nudge). For tires in snow, theres either chains or kitty litter. But, what if your mind gets stuck? How do you fix that?
2020: The Longest Layover
Even if we’re physically “stuck” somewhere due to delays, cancellations or a missed connection, there’s often a clear next step. But, when it’s come to being mentally stuck, for the life of me, I hadn’t been able to find such a thing. If I had to describe it, it’s been as if mentally I’m at SFO on a layover and the fog descended – and never left. No top tier status or travel hack able to help me out.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic travel bloggers were blasted for continuing to produce content. Then, just as travel restrictions began to be lifted, the US entered a period of civil unrest that just made me feel so small and shallow for posting anything as trivial as travel and coworking. Especially when so many others have been using their voices online to bring light to racial injustice.
Losing the travel alone wasn’t necessarily a problem. I openly admitted that it was starting to wear and tear. Losing access to coworking spaces? That’s when the fog moved in. Working from home full time is not for me. It’s not for a lot of people. Isolation, lack of proper work space, kids at home and the list goes on.
Spinning My Wheels
Even though I couldn’t travel, March through May was tolerable since at least I had a job to distract me and an awesome home office. But, when your job is 100% focused on coworking and people aren’t going to coworking spaces, what happens? You’re let go.
The first time I’d ever been laid off and it sent me spiraling. The fog has been locked in since then. I’m interviewing for jobs, but just like most companies they are moving slower than normal. It’s as if I’m on standby for three or four other flights, but none of them are taking off.
Having always had a job (sometimes two at a time) ever since I was 15, at first I found relief in taking a little sabbatical. But much like a trip to even the nicest Polaris lounge, after a while, you’re ready to get going. But how? Post travel content when not traveling? Go on social media when you fear you have nothing important to say?
The book How The World Sees You was an immense help to me the last time I felt mentally stuck. In fact the takeaways and lessons I learned about myself helped me land some of the biggest projects and put me on the path to creating this very blog.
I follow the author, Sally Hogshead, on social media. I hadn’t noticed but she too had been a bit quiet online. Well, it was just the other day I saw her post this:
Our content has always been about travel, remote work, coworking and the like. It always will be. I’m all ears to hear what I can share to help folks adjusting to a WFH or remote work lifestyle.
So, as I work through this and figure out what all this travel/coworking blogger can write about, I too thank you for being part of my getting unstuck. Being able to hit publish on this blog post mentally feels as if the sun is starting to poke through that fog. Here’s hoping I hear that boarding call sooner rather than later.
The post Getting Stuck: When a Travel Blogger Can’t Travel was first published on Coworkaholic.