YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER…

3rd February 2022

I wanted to share with you some of the good things that are happening, but mostly because of where my head was a month ago…

December and January had seen most of my work cancelled due to the newest variant. Then, I actually caught COVID-19, which meant I was unable to complete the big project I was managing.

I’m a one-man band at Make it MATTer and was too unwell to fix everything on my own. I lost a lot of money, but perhaps even worse was a strange knock on my confidence and self-esteem.

I started the year with no prospective work in the pipeline and zero income coming in – you can understand why one would be anxious.

I thought about getting a normal job – I spent each day filling out application forms (unnecessarily long in most cases) to secure something. I was getting one or two interviews but nothing really worked out and I’ve got to say it was pretty soul-destroying.

I was also weirdly nervous about ‘getting’ an offer of a job that I wouldn’t be as passionate about. Worrying I might get stuck.

I pretty happy with my freelance life and the people I get to collaborate with and the opportunities I’m lucky to have (when it’s going well).

Things got worse:

1) An important relationship ended abruptly with no explanation.

2) Then a few days later, a friend of mine took his own life.

In fact, he was the second close male friend to do so within a year.

Now, you should know something about me at this point…

I’ve always wanted to go to Tuscany. It is one of two places in the world that I have longed to visit most of my adult life. It gave me my love of the sunflower, which was one of the main themes of my wedding, and is also the setting of ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’ – a film I enjoyed watching repeatedly in my early twenties about a woman going through a divorce and beginning a new chapter.

Well, I am going through the same thing as her right now.

Divorce is enough to make anyone feel a bit shit (Sorry for swearing Dad) and with the added financial and now personal losses upon me I felt close to rock bottom.

Mentally and emotionally – I felt like I was back at square one of my break-up two years ago – I’d already come so far!

I needed to act fast before I lost the plot. I had to do a lot of soul searching, a few private tears and lots of prayer.

What was I going to do to get out of this funk? 

I focused on doing everything in my power to not worry and basically put action into the areas that I CAN do something about. By choosing that way, I instantly felt calmer and more in control.

Whether that be protecting my health with exercise, playing the piano, reading the psalms, long dog walks (with a good podcast in my ears) such as Dr Chatterjee‘s ‘Feel Better Live More’ Series whose podcast incidentally introduced me to some amazing speakers.

A big high five to Mel Robbins, whose new book ‘The High 5 Habit’ I completed last week on Audible which was a total game-changer.

I HIGHly recommend it.

I’ve also just picked up where I left off with another book called ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Dr. Russ Harris in the nick of time too.

Grateful for all their talents and gift to articulate what we feel and how to get through those obstacles.

I also had a social media detox. Nice to be back though now. Things were beginning to look up, but I still didn’t have a job!

All this has led me to do some extra work on myself with a wonderful new connection of mine, Devya Athwa. We hit it off straight away during a recent networking event ‘Circle Networks’ organised by our mutual friend, Dan Skermer.

I was really excited to be joining this event – but in truth, I almost didn’t log on for it. I’d not had a good night sleep in four nights straight and woke up late for it. I was mortified, as anyone will tell you – Mr Punctual, Matt Elson is never late!

My brain was telling me not to bother logging on. “You’re too late”, “Don’t embarrass yourself” etc. So, I just hoped and prayed that if it wasn’t meant to be then God would cause a power surge that would cut off my WiFi and THEN I would know it wasn’t for me!!

Safe to say, I logged on and all was fine, entered the room and blamed my dog for the lateness and that was that. (Sorry Alfie).

I’m so glad I did.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t have crossed paths with Devya who kickstarted the next bit for me confident wise. Dan Skermer, if you’re reading this – now you know the truth too!

I had two further serious setbacks on the job front in week 2 and I felt like giving up.

I closed my laptop – got out of the house, met a mate, and we talked it all over.

We decided to concentrate on the ‘work’ stuff “Let’s get Matt a new job!”.

Within 24 hours, I had an interview on Zoom with her friend who had messaged that day on WhatsApp looking for a freelancer with my exact skill set to start immediately.

I began a two-day trial leading a new project the following day, which has actually extended across three weeks so far and I am absolutely loving it. Oh and guess what – my first pay cheque came in yesterday!

So, this week, I have had my second session with the brilliant Devya, and at the end even we discussed some work that we could potentially do together which was a bit unexpected.

Then, what followed was not one, but two separate enquiries to the office for which I’m now booked.

One of those opportunities is going to take me to a place that I’ve been manifesting for (wait for it) almost twenty years…

Since the most recent death of a friend I’ve reconnected with some people I had lost touch with and have been better at checking in on friends and family – and they have done the same for me.

I’m on one call with someone after my session and I share my good news and hear about his, and then at the end of the call, he books me on a weeks filming job in September…

Me: Where?

Him: IN TUSCANY. 🌻

I am going to be under the Tuscan sun; with all the sunflowers, and I can’t quite believe it. Thank you UNIVERSE.

What is most wonderful is that despite the hard times. I got through them and we’re here now in February with all this great stuff happening.

It doesn’t mean it is all going to be easy and I am still going to have to dodge any curveballs that could potentially set me back.

Nothing in life is ever guaranteed, but the weight that has been lifted off my shoulders after a difficult time of mostly temporary setbacks that seemed much bigger at the time is nothing short of a miracle.

I’m actually a lot stronger today too and if anyone asks I am now firmly in a ‘serious relationship’ with myself, for now.

Totally grateful that the universe seems to have positioned this door to me, when just a month ago I thought all doors were closed.

So, if you’re out there now, feeling at a low point in your life, for whatever reason, I hope you see this as a sign that good things are coming to you – but DO talk, know your own worth, reach out, find your people, they are out there somewhere. Maybe I’m one of them.

AND FINALLY…

Someone close to me often talks about ‘aces in places’ and I’m so glad he once informed me that I am an ace in place to him. It’s recently made me look for my own. One by one, they’re showing face.

Thank you, LinkedIn for allowing me to share how I am reclaiming a bit of sun again today.

At the top of this article is an image showing the sky, part of a building, trees and rolling hills. Now, look at the bottom image. We can’t always see the full picture but it doesn’t mean isn’t going to become clear. When the time is right. Keep the faith.

Oh, and check in on that friend you were just thinking about! Do it now.

See you around.

Matt :o)

🌻🌻

This article is dedicated to the memory of Owen Long and Aaron Kurtis.

 

“Life offers you a thousand chances, all you’ve got to do is take one”

 

Originally published on LinkedIn by Matt Elson