Most folks were doing “year in review” posts in mid-December, but my blog was on my hiatus, so I decided to make up for it and post a review now. Warning: you may need a nap after reading this.
Twenty-Sixteen was one of the most difficult years of my life, up to and including the year I was homeless. My brother nearly died. I nearly died. I’ve had more pain and swelling in my lower body than I can remember. The US has elected a fascist, and as a woman with a disability, I feel vulnerable and voiceless (though I know that I am not, in fact, voiceless.)
This year has also been one of the most rewarding.
I launched a website for trauma survivors that I’ve been planning since my teens. Starting Hardcore Hope was terrifying. The content made me feel exposed, and I was afraid of retaliation but equally afraid that I would be questioned and not believed when I shared the details of my abuse history.
I spent most of February and March fighting panic attacks. I was afraid that no one would pay attention or take the site seriously. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep the site going long term. Even though I knew that there are never any guarantees with blogging, I was pretty close to being paralyzed with fear.
That never happened to me before. I’ve always been the person to grab hold of the reins and worked straight through my fears, but this one brought up a ton of unresolved issues and became the springboard for the business I created. I know that so many women with powerful creative gifts get stuck in their fears and can’t find a way forward, especially when dealing with technology. I wanted to help, and was inspired to start a consulting service.
Evil Genius Consulting serves women authors and creative entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their audience and impact the world in life-changing ways.
Women from all over the blogging world stepped up to help create weekly content for Hardcore Hope, and EGC led me to meet tons more people who are passionate about serving and empowering women to do the things that truly matter to them.
Right after I bought my new domains and set up Hardcore Hope, my landlords started being massive assholes. So, I fought with them about that off and on all year, but as of this writing, no actual progress has been made
http://www.rosebfischer.com/1000speak-why-im-not-russell-crowe-anymore/ I had to make a difficult choice between advocating for better living conditions and being able to dedicate the time I wanted to new websites and a business.
Then, in March, I found out that my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s disease was progressing into this stage is where he is able to take care of himself or remember anyone. There’s not much I can do from here.
I was still working through that in April when my brother was involved in a fire and got second and third degree burns all over his body. One of his hands was severely damaged and we were worried that he wouldn’t be able to use it to work again. I just couldn’t get my head around that well enough to blog consistently. I didn’t want to think about blogging or much of anything related to online life.
I stuck it out and kept publishing on Hardcore Hope and promoting my guest bloggers, but otherwise I branched out and found some other ways to grow my new business.
The Brock Turner rape case and other events throughout the summer brought up unwelcome memories of my past.
Then a woman I thought was my friend started harassing and talking crap about me behind my back.
By July, I felt like a pinball getting smacked around inside a garish maze of bumpers, flippers, lights, and bells.
My usual coping method would have been to disengage from the net until things blew over, but that wasn’t possible because I had commitments to my clients and a business to run. I’m pretty proud of myself for finding healthy ways to cope, and I’ll be sharing more about that on the EGC blog this year.
While all that was going on, I met some amazing clients (consulting and graphic design) opened a Creative Market Store and ran a couple of Facebook challenges that earned me enough to meet my financial goals for ALL of 2016
I took a bad fall in September, and my health kept deteriorating, so by the end of October I knew I was going to need to step away for a while. Despite everything that had happened, I hated taking a hiatus from my business. I was frustrated, disappointed and sad. I make a point to show up, to honor my commitments, and to be reliable, so I felt like I was failing.
Of course that wasn’t true. I fullfilled all my obligations to my clients and paid all of my bills. My intention had been to keep expanding, and I wish I had been able to, but I still did all the things I set out to do.
I share all this because I want you to know that, even in the most difficult years, there will be high points. By recognizing them, you can bolster yourself through the shitty moments and regain perspective.
Twenty-sixteen came close to killing me, but it didn’t. I took everything this brutal bastard of a year could dish out and I’m still here. Along the way, I made new friends, learned as much as I could, and lived to tell the tale.