I feel the weight of fear pressing in all around me when the kids are visiting their dad, and the house is eerily silent. The thoughts creep in:
Fear of not knowing what to say.
Fear of being irrelevant.
Fear of not being heard.
Fear of failing.
Fear of being misunderstood.
Fear of new relationships.
Fear of success.
Fear of losing relationships.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of being like everyone else.
Fear of not making enough money.
Fear of not being good enough.
As a business owner, I am accustomed to battling the voices in my head with empowered thoughts. Sometimes, the fears are motivating and positive. I forge ahead so that all the unknowns will become known.
But months ago, when my ex-husband moved out, everything stopped.
I fear eating at the dining room table because a member of our family is missing. Becoming a single mom was not in my life plan. I had full faith that even though our marriage was difficult, our challenges were temporary.
We could stand up again stronger together with skinned knees after falling over the uneven sidewalk.
I am afraid of not making enough money to contribute my half of the expenses. I’m scared of not finding love again — or, what happens if I do? I’m afraid of not being enough for my little muses. I’m afraid they won’t grow up with the example of how a husband loves his wife. Or how a wife loves her husband. I’m scared stiff that the cycle of my life, as a child of divorce, will be perpetuated with theirs.
I write this essay so you know that I am with you — this is a season to band together. I write this so that we can share our fears, no matter what they are, when life ahead is uncertain. I invite you to talk about it. Fellow MotherHustle momma Kathy recently asked me, “What’s the worst that can happen? Will you survive it?”
I will make enough money with my business designing rebrands that open doors and unlock opportunities. If business fails, I will find employment. And I will love it, because design is my life. I know I am loved because of the community that embraces me throughout this difficult season of life. YES my girls will be healthy and happy, and they will thrive no matter the adversity they face. I am committed to rise above every time so my girls see that their father loves them, no matter the cost.
So while life ahead is still uncertain, and my fears are still very real, I choose to rebuild one brick at a time. One day, we will look back at this time with a firm answer to Kathy’s question: We are thriving.
Illiah Manger is the creative mind and chief designer behind C&V, where she collaborates with daring business owners with heart. She is known for creating clarity and focus while allowing her clients to co-pilot the design process. Illiah wholeheartedly believes in brands that are intimate and designed to tell a story. She is also the co-founder of Elevate & Cultivate, an online community for design professionals to strengthen their skills, get feedback on their work and make friendships stronger than Gotham Ultra.
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