Own It

sitting on rocks, with NYC view behind, puffy sleeves
dreams as puffy and fluffy as my sleeves

I've actually tried writing this post 3 times. This is the third time, so I'm really hoping third time's the charm. I've been gone from blogging since January so I guess you can say I'm a little rusty. It's been a pretty zigged-zagged rollercoaster on my end. At the very end of January, I was offered a freelance role at a company that later on in July took me on Full Time. It was a long sought full time role for 2 years -  the constant jumping over hurdles and just wanting a hiring manger to believe in me as much as I did in myself and finally catching the wave that was meant for me to ride.

You know in track when hurdler's hit the hurdle instead of jumping over it? Yeah, that is the best way I can describe the two years of searching for a full time role. But the thing is the more you keep trying to jump and keep hitting that hurdle, one day you're going to jump that hurdle, and then the next one that follows, even if while you're hitting that hurdle you're thinking the exact opposite.

About a month into freelancing for the company, Covid-19 entered the chat.

I went remote after about a month into freelancing, and as much as I used to think I was all about that ~office life~ I genuinely don't think I want to go back to the office - the amount of time saved from no commute, not having to wake up extra early to catch the morning bus. I now use that time for my morning runs. Of course, there's the one small tiny thing of not chatting to people, I wouldn't say I'm a complete social butterfly but I do like chatting to people throughout the day. So 50% social butterfly? And the other small thing is not knowing when to turn off from work and actually separate my work self from like my actual life.

And this is where the burning question from your end is: Why did you stop blogging?

I didn't do that intentionally - if there was one thing I was adamant about it was that I didn't want to chip away parts of me until the only thing that had roots in the ground was my profession. But, I guess as I am typing this in September 2020  - a full 8 months since my last post - that is what happened. 

I knew I had to get used to the work environment  - up until this point most of my freelance clients were either 1-3 months or several weeks with no indication of possible full time role. This was the first one where it was freelance and possibility to hire. So I had a lot to learn and catch up on to make sure that I did everything I could from my end to cement that full time role into my future. 

Blogging took a backseat mainly because I wanted to be sure that I was 100% focused - I didn't want to lose an opportunity I sought for so long because I didn't give it my all. So that's what I did - I gave it my all and even stopped running and exercising for a solid couple of months to focus (hi this was singlehandedly the worst decision I could ever make in my entire life) and in July the full time offer came like a Christmas wrapped gift with a sparkly bow in my email inbox.

sitting in small barn entrance
you can't tell but I'm smiling under my mask

It's September now.

And it's been a hectic couple of months. I ended August pretty much up to the brim with work and deadlines met, and in all honesty I missed me. I missed actual me.

The lifestyle, fitness, and history crash course blogger, the crocheter who gets too excited about projects and ends up having 253498 unfinished projects and wants to start a new one anyway, the avid reader who lives through numerous adventures on a page monthly, the duolingo novice trying to learn Danish when in reality I should be attempting to learn to speak Arabic more fluently or maybe dabble into Spanish, the piano player who's trying to reteach herself the notes, and most importantly - the athlete who loved to move.

I started running after taking 2 months off so although when written ~short time off~ it felt like a millennium.  For reference, I've been training 6 days a week for the 2 years of my funemployment. Currently - I've been running consistently back and forth in front of my house to minimize bumping into anyone while running, so that's my new normal in my running life. I did actually take a week and a half off in August due to not getting a lot of sleep and having a bit of discomfort in my shoulder, but I'm back up and running. Literally.

But still I feel in terms of movement I could be doing more.

I sit down all day and stare at a laptop + monitor for more than 8 hours per day (you honestly don't want to know how many hours a day I spend on my laptop) and worry about eyesight. A week ago, I was sitting in my kitchen after a long working day and my eyes were just in one phrase: tired of focusing. The time on a my stove was blurry to me - it was 5 feet away from me. 

That's also one reason why I stopped blogging - I couldn't stand a computer screen in my ~free time~ because I was spending so many hours staring at a screen for work, my eyes couldn't handle screen on both my work time and free time.

sitting in small barn entrance
that moment when you don't know if a random small child will interrupt your photo shoot

Getting back to the sitting down all day - In the beginning of remote work everything hurt.

My hips hurt. My thighs hurt. All from sitting for so long without getting up. That continued for at least 2 months, and then my body adapted to my sedentary lifestyle of sitting in one spot for 10 hours. And this worries me. My body adapted to no movement although I am well and able to move throughout the day - in office life there's the walk for lunch or coffee/tea, but at home there is none of that walking. I sometimes don't even take a break for lunch because I prefer to just keep working instead taking a break to recharge my energy. 

When someone says 'tell me about yourself' I do not want the only thing to leave my lips to be my profession.

I've been here before though. The not blogging and slicing my hobbies away part. If you've been here long enough, you'll remember my internship 2 years ago where I tossed everything about myself away and made my work my life. I swore I'd never do that to myself. And I want to keep that promise to myself even if it is late. 8 months too late. 

There's something a coach says on the Nike app during a speed run I do - when doing a mountain workout where I would be doing mile pace, 5K pace, 10K pace, and then make my way back down the mountain with 5k, mile pace: 

You've been here before, you've just got a little more running in your legs.

And that's true. I have been here before. But now, rather than me turning to an advisor to see what I should do I (and also my family pitching in) am making the decision to not allow my work to continue to consume me like it has been. My runs don't run themselves in the same way my blog posts don't write themselves. 

I don't know if it's a ~junior~ thing but the feeling like I need to be working all hours of the day in order to prove that I am worthy of a position that I already have is a mindset I have to break. Is it a junior thing to constantly feel like I have something to prove? I love to learn new things, whether that be a new coding environment, or improving on a coding language I already know.  I love that feeling of learning. But I also don't have to be learning/working all hours of the day as much as one half of my brain likes to try to convince me otherwise. That's the quickest way to burnout and I very much want to veer as far away from the path of burnout. 

I do have a lot to learn but that does not discount what I already know. Even if at times I feel it does. I have courses that I want to do and technologies I want to improve on, but that doesn't mean I spend night and day burying myself in knowledge because I've managed to convince myself that every waking moment must be spent working towards something, and anything not meant to further me in my profession must go.

standing in front of small barn entrance

What I am hoping to ingrain in myself in the next few months is that I don't always have to be attached to my computer whether that be for work or for courses/tutorials to be better at what I do at work.

There will always be more to learn, months from now I'll be telling myself the same thing even if I learned XYZ new technologies, there will always be that feeling of I could do more. I just don't want my life to be consumed of I could be doing more rather than appreciating where I am now. 

I guess, the end of my ramble of a post is to say: Your life is yours, not your employer's. Own it.

How has quarantine been for everyone? Going on runs/exercise or learn a new hobby? Working from home? Let's get chatting!

sahara end logo


  1. I totally understand you wanting to keep your focus while securing your role, I'm so happy you got something full time (I saw the tweet went viral). I worry a lot about my eyes and screen time too. Currently looking into blue light glasses you can wear while on your laptop that are supposed to soften it. Maybe you could try them too?
    YOU STOPPED RUNNING? Was not aware of this, I'm glad you're feeling better about your comeback now. It must have been so tough after that long. I feel awful even if it's just a week! x


    1. Thank you!! It unintentionally went viral haha! I've heard a lot about blue light glasses, but my sister looked up on them and said that after her ~research~ that there are two contributing factors for eye strain blue light + the fact that we're not blinking as much as say if we were looking at say a book! And the not blinking part is what causes the most eye strain from us rather than the blue light.

      AND YES - IT WAS BY FAR THE WORST DECISION FOR MY BODY YOU DON'T EVENT WANT TO KNOW. 10/10 WOULD NOT RECOMMEND CUTTING OUT EXERCISE OUT OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE FOR ANYTHING. It was literally like so tough to see like part of my fitness going - and then the build up of endurance again whew! It was like I was racing to find my previous running self again!

  2. Ah it's so lovely to read a post from you again! I've definitely missed seeing you around Twitter and reading your posts. But it's definitely been a BIT of a year for everyone, so it's not surprising that you took a break from blogging. I also don't want to be attached to my computer 24/7. Definitely hard when you work from a computer! x

    1. It's been such a long time, I'm so glad to be back writing and slowly getting back into the swing of things again in the blogging community, I've missed it + being active on twitter, whew my social media/blogging life went through a serious drought for the past few months!

      Most definitely! It's been hard trying to separate myself from my computer to give my eyes some rest, but it's now an ongoing journey of taking time away from it in my free time! :)

  3. I'm so glad I discovered your blog through a comment thread as I love it! It has really been such a crazy year, I didn't think I'd see another pandemic in my lifetime again (apart from SARS) - glad to see you've been well!

    🌿 Marissa Belle × marsybun.com 🌿

    1. YAY - so glad you enjoyed reading!! It really has been such a crazy year, one with unexpected twists and turns for sure!

  4. Definitely sounds like you've been through it, but learned so much! I love the positive mindset you have despite it all. I don't want to be stuck to a screen all the time either, but it's definitely a hard habit to break. Lovely post and photos!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    1. Yesss! Definitely been through a journey but learned a lot from the super long job search and settling into my new work life normal :) Most definitely agree, it's a hard habit to break, so it'll be a journey on my end taking time away from the screen / making sure I'm not staring at a screen 24/7 whether that be on my phone or laptop!

  5. I'm glad you're back to blogging but I understand why you took a bit of a break!

  6. I can relate to you about having to rewrite and reword a blog post several times. It is great that you're back from your break! Sometimes, it is needed and coming back from the hiatus can be hard. I am glad that you did though! Congratulations on landing that freelance role!

    I feel you about not having to commute anymore. That shift was weird but we all somehow adapted to it. I am a social butterfly so that was a bit hard for me. Now I am just chilling LOL. Shifting to a full time job and all can be hard. It is good that you focused on your priorities. I feel you about not working out. It is important to schedule some time to walk around and getting up periodically. People tend to be understanding. I have no issues with my coworkers being on a call while going for a walk, given that they are safe! Welcome back!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    1. It definitely took longer than I thought it would be to write this post - 3 rewrites later and finally liked what I wrote enough to publish :) This would have to be the longest hiatus from blogging I've ever been on from blogging but I'm glad to be back into the swing of things, I've missed the blogging community!

      And thank you!!! It really came at just the right time, a month before Covid so I was able to meet the team in person and interact at the start of my freelance with the company. I'm so glad/happy to have been given the freelance role that later led to my full time role now :)

      Yeah! I was used to waking up near 5:30ish/6AM everyday and then catching a bus by 7:30 for the office - I'm glad I don't have to wake up super early for my commute, or end up in a bus in the evening for a long time due to rush hour. Likewise, I've been chilling! And yep 100%! Switching to a full time role from freelancing for 2 years on my own was a massive switch so I had to prioritize advancing my work life for a little while!

      Glad to be back!