Coffee Date #17: Letting Go of Things That Don't Serve You
On what walking away actually looks like
Welcome to Coffee Date issue #17. Here we are in March again… and I don’t know about you, but I’m still processing last March. I try to keep a routine as much as possible these days, and one of the highlights of every other week is setting time aside to sit down and write to you all.
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Letting Go of Things That Don’t Serve You
TW: contains a brief mention of abuse
I feel as though this is one of those woo-woo pieces of advice that is given so often it’s become cliche and virtually meaningless. But I felt compelled to talk about it because I’ve been putting it into practice lately. And I want to talk about how it feels to walk away from a situation that has become toxic.
Last week, I ended a relationship. No, not a romantic one, those are fine! I ended a relationship with a client in the vanilla side of my business. The reasons are lengthy and complex but it ultimately boils down to the fact that they were treating me badly. I was getting fed up for a while, but as recently as two months ago I simply couldn’t imagine just… walking away. After all, what freelancer walks away from work that is paying them? (Even if it’s underpaying them.)
As it turns out, most successful freelancers do exactly that at some point. But this was the first time for me, and it was scary as hell. Up until the point that I officially pulled the plug, I wondered if I was making a big mistake.
But now? Now, I feel as though an extraordinary amount of time and space has opened up - in my brain as well as in my day. After just a few days I am thinking more clearly, I’m more creative, I’m having better ideas. I’ve made more progress on my thesis in a week than in most of the previous year. I’m sleeping better and exercising more frequently. All this from letting go of one toxic dynamic that was eating more of my life and headspace than I was initially willing to acknowledge.
It reminds me of a smaller and ultimately less consequential version of how I felt when I left my abusive partner. Whether it’s a personal or work situation, no longer having to put up with someone’s bullshit is an incredible gift to give yourself.
So this week I invite you to think about what isn’t serving you any more. Is it a relationship, a friendship that has turned toxic, a shitty client or a terrible job? Maybe you can’t walk away immediately, and I recognise that. There are many factors that can keep us trapped in bad situations, and not all of them are within our control - especially in these pandemic times, when money and living situations and health can all be especially precarious.
If you can let that thing go safely, I urge you to do so. Believe me when I say you’ll feel lighter and calmer and more open to new possibilities when you do. If you can’t do that yet, is there one little step you can take this week towards moving away from that situation? Can you decide to give it a little less energy, a little less focus, a little less of you?
If something isn’t essential and isn’t serving you, walking away is the ultimate act of self-care. Because you deserve more space for the things that feel good and matter to you.
This week on the blog
I wrote about noise and crowds and how much I miss them
I published a guest post about transactional sex by the talented Anaene Achinu
Sexy deals of the week
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Reads, watches, listens
Reading… I’ve been reading Followers by Megan Angelo, a quietly creepy tale about social media, internet celebrity culture, and reality TV. It reads like an episode of Black Mirror in novel form to me!
Watching… Mr CK and I have just started watching The Expanse, an Amazon series that opens on the brink of a war between Earth and the colonised Mars. If you like futuristic sci-fi that’s gritty and somewhat dark (but not excessively violent) and features a diverse cast, you might enjoy it!
Listening… I’ve been enjoying Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete, a podcast about work, wellness, and creativity. I particularly enjoyed episode 309 with author Kate Elizabeth Russell, and episode 307 with Laura Mucha talking about love and attachment theory.
Thanks for reading again. Seeing how many of you read these missives and receiving your kind feedback is such a gift.
Remember to breathe and remember to put yourself first.