How 2021 Changed My Life

Published on 27 December 2021 at 19:00

This year is almost over. I promise I won't bombard you with end-of-the-year sappiness, but I did want to come on here to say something about my journey this year. Because if I look back at how I started 2021 and how I'm ending it, I can't help feeling proud. It's a story I want to share with you, so sit back and enjoy reading my story of how 2021 became the year I never could have dreamed would come.

I started 2021 still working as a midwife. By then we were working through a pandemic for almost a year and the job (which was already stressful even before the pandemic) became unbearable. Institutional problems and unresolved work-related issues kept taking jabs at my mental health. I had joyous moments in my work, of course. That's what kept me from making a decision. Every time I heard a newborn take their first breath, every time I wiped their parents' tears of joy, I thought to myself: "This is what makes it worthwhile, I can work through all the other stuff as long as this stays a part of my work life." And so I plowed through. 

Fast forward to Spring 2021. I published Virago in March and I was happy to take my mind off my midwifery-related issues and just enjoy this new book baby that came from under my hands. A month later, I lost my job. It might sound strange, but I didn't feel much. If anything, I felt relief. Sure, I had financial worries, but overall I felt lighter. However, I didn't take that as a sign at all. I justified that to myself by believing that meant that I needed a new place to work at, nothing more.

A few months went by in which I applied to several midwifery-related jobs in the area. A little voice inside of me told me that I wasn't doing the right thing. I didn't listen. I was making specific appointments about when I would start working in another midwifery practice, right after I was busy talking to someone about my books. I remember that moment vividly, because it was then that it hit me: this isn't what I want to do. All I thought about when I was checking my (empty) calendar to see when I was able to start working was: I want to stay with my books.

And so I said "no". I didn't start working in that midwifery practice. I was terrified, did I really just turn a job down? What was I thinking?! This time, I didn't let fear rule my life. That in itself was terrifying! But I decided that if I had the guts to decline a well-paying job to pursue writing, I had to give everything I have to do exactly that.

On August 1 I started my coaching and editing business. I wasn't "just" a writer who sold her own books anymore, I was now a professional writer, editor and writing coach. At first I started getting gigs from people I knew personally, but that quickly expanded to people I never heard of and even people who live in the other end of the world!

The last two months, I've been busy growing my community on here and on Instagram. It makes me so happy to share this journey with you and I can't wait what 2022 has in store for us! I know it will be as good, or even better than 2021. And I'm here for it! 

- Pia Sophia

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