At the time of writing, I am preparing to close down my business and declare bankruptcy. This has been on the cards for some time, now. While I have been open about the state of affairs, I have been very guarded about the effect it was having on me. I have been very busy presenting a brave face and looking as if everything is just fine.
It has meant that I have had to pull out of all the conferences I was scheduled to attend and/or speak at. It has meant that I have had to turn down invitations to all manner of interesting sounding events. This, in turn, has left me feeling largely excluded and marginalised.
Deep down, I have been feeling like an abject failure, and burning with shame that my ineptitude looks set to change the life circumstances of my husband and sons. My husband works unbelievably hard, and commutes two hours each way, every day. The thought that - through no fault of his own - he might lose his home, has been almost more than I can bear.
Finally, I confessed this in an email to a friend/colleague, and her response has overwhelmed me:
No Karyn, please do not feel shame, stand proud, you have never robbed anyone nor done anything underhanded, you have worked honestly and with sincerity, and you have done your best...and you are such an inspiration in yourself! i always felt lifted when talking to you and seeing your spirit.Yes, dammit! I have never robbed anyone (although a few have robbed me). I have never been underhanded (although - again - a few have been underhanded with me). I am sincere and honest. And I have done my best. I am able to say with certainty that I have inspired some people along the way. Many have been kind enough to tell me so. And yes, I am by nature an encourager.
I know. I am naive. I have admitted it before. But I will not apologise for that. Nor can I see it as a fault. I would rather be naive, than be conniving, grasping, and looking-out-for-number-one-at-the-cost-of-everyone-else. I don't see how anyone could be in this business if that was how they rolled.
So, yes. Learning Anorak looks set to close its doors at the end of this month. And, no, I'm not handling it at all well. But as of today, I can add defiance the things I feel.
I'll let you know if that turns out to be a Good Thing ;o)