Experiences of 2020

Anon - No Income, But Choosing Hope

In November last year my life changed.

I moved away from all that was familiar to look for new adventures in a part of the country I had only visited before. I was full of hope and excitement for what was to come.

I took some time off. I needed it. I had been too busy for too long. I needed time to breathe. I thought that in early 2020 I would start building a new business in a new city, while exploring new places and experiencing all that urban life has to offer, a world away from living in the back of beyond.

Lockdown changed all of that.

I’m not yet sure if I moved at just the right time or just the wrong time. Financially, it has been a disastrous decision. Not allowed to work for months on end, and missing out on grants that I would have been entitled to, had I stayed where I was. I would have felt safe knowing I had business to go back to. But I would have had no time off from worrying about how my business would look at the end of it all.

Instead, I’ve had time to sleep and walk and breathe and write and just be. There have been unexpected benefits. Health symptoms related to stress have all but disappeared. I’ve eaten better than I have in a long time and I may be one of the few that have actually lost weight in lockdown. I have been more active and more creative. Maybe it is the right thing. Even though I have no income and my life here is not the life I was envisaging. I hope that will come, in time.

The absolute truth is I go from a place of hope and positivity about the future, with an innate certainty that I can make it work, to worrying about what might happen. Applying for jobs I don’t want in an oversaturated job market where I am at a distinct disadvantage. I’m too old and I’ve been self-employed for too long.

Sometimes I wallow in a vision of future homelessness, where everything I have ever worked for is lost. Where I lose touch with the people that are important to me, and I lose my identity in a vortex of despair and negativity. It would be easy to get to that point. All I need to do is the easiest thing in the world. Nothing.

Mostly though, I choose hope. Hope gives me the belief that I can build a better business here. It gives me the belief that future me has a place to stay and is doing all the things I dreamed about when I moved here. I can imagine future me happily working away making future client’s lives a little better. Hope means I made progress today, another step taken in the right direction. A step towards the life I want.

Sometimes, when there is nothing else, hope, a vision and a way forward is enough.