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Is stress ever a good thing?

Last week I found extremely stressful, and yet I learned so much. Work had commandeered almost all my hours. I was trying audience builds on social media on a scale and level I had never attempted before. They went wrong at one point and I had to build them all again. The fact I got it wrong, the fact that my manager knew I had, terrified me. As the previous victim of severe workplace bullying in two previous roles, the dreaded fear that I won’t be good enough, that I’ll be forced out, is deep-seated.

And yet, performing this task, I grew as a social media editor.

On Saturday, I went with Tom to see his boyfriend Jim sing in a candlelit carol service. It was extremely beautiful, and although I don’t class myself as Christian, I could appreciate the meditative tranquility. The architecture, the music, the sheer pleasure of being there with friends. I guess in one sense it got me into what might be called the Christmas spirit.

At one point, Jim asked me what had been going on in my love life. It was then that I realised the past few weeks I had been too busy with work (both internal and external) that I’d had almost no time to meet men.

It did and didn’t bother me, curiously.

I felt sad because I’d been hoping to try and find someone special. I’d love to try and find someone to have for more than a few months. At the same time, I’m proud with the personal progress I’ve made and the plans I have in place to better myself in life and career.

Yes, it has been stressful. But it’s been stress I’ve put on myself, in many ways, to be the best I can be. I can feel myself moving forward in new and better ways. What makes me proud of myself, too, is that I’ve been doing it just for me. Not for a boss or a boyfriend, just for my own development.

I think it’s true that we can’t be truly happy in an adult relationship until we’re happy in ourselves.

Perhaps that’s the most important relationship at the moment. The one that just begins and ends with me. For someone who has always been their own worst enemy, I think I need to work on being my own friend before I work on finding that boyfriend.

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