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  • Writer's pictureM.A. Hayes

It's Okay to Catch your Breath

You don't always have to be superwoman

M.A. Hayes self portrait circa 2019
M.A. Hayes self portrait circa 2019

So...over the past couple of months a lot of has happened. First, we all know I have a new job, which is amazing! I love my job, and I love what I do. Between helping produce podcasts, constant photoshoots, and graphic design clients along with working a full time job, and being in grad school-yes I said grad school, I had to prioritize what I was willing to spend my time doing. Everything I was doing led to burnout.

For a time I stopped filming, doing photography, doing art, and anything outside of work. Once I did this I realized two things: one, I was burntout and was in denial about it, and two, I didn't want to go back to being busy like I was before. There was little benefit to being constantly busy. Sure, I got to hone in on my skills and made extra money, but at what cost. I gained extra weight from stress, I took on projects that I knew I shouldn't have but did so so I could feel productive, I lost all motivation to do any art, and I lost the reason as to why I was an artist in the first place. Major imposter syndrome and regret began to set it. One thing I can't stand is regret. I regretted not spending time doing and producing art that I could actually stand by and love. I regretted not giving myself time to heal and relax. I regretted doing work that was I knew was mediocre and could be better.

I did what I do best, which is plan. Planning always got me out of a funk, and helped me to center my thoughts and motivations. The biggest thing that I realized is that my priorities were off. Before I planned I asked myself a barrage of questions. Did I enjoy photoshoots? Sure, sometimes, but not every weekend. Did I enjoy doing design work after work? Yes, actually. I didn't and I don't mind that, it's a second job for me so of course. Was I okay with no longer having a free weekend? No absolutely not. Was I okay with traveling throughout the week day for paint parties, and getting home late? No- even though it was one of my favorite things that I did-because my sleep was suffering. Was I okay doing free work for family and friends even though it caused me stress? Not anymore. This was the biggest problem I had to come to terms with. Though I loved doing work for them, I tended to place them above paying customers, and that in the long run had hurt me. So I decided so temporarily shut down Morgo Art.

I took two weeks to make my plan for the next year. I had 2 grad school programs to take into account now. In fact, I have 2 degrees (fingers crossed) that I will working on so school and portfolio building will be taking up the majority of my time. Morgo Art will be reopening, but will only serve select customers so I won't be overwhelmed with work, and so that I will take on projects that I actually enjoy doing. I'll keep doing a great job at my 9 to 5pm, and make time to relax throughout the week day so that I won't have to feel like I have to wait until the weekend to chill. I'll stay dedicated and disciplined to my graduate studies as well as my business ventures. This is just a breif summary of what I am aiming for, and I've started already with a more detailed plan.

I also made a plan for self-care which to my surprise involved art. I've never used art as a way of therapy, but as of late it has helped me tremendously. Reflecting and speaking about what I gone through so far during year with friends and family has made me realize about myself, both good and bad. But ultimately I do feel as though I am becoming more self-aware, and becoming the woman that I know that I can be proud of. That being said, I am still a work in progress. People don't change over night. But everyday I get a little bit better.

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