A couple of months ago I was feeling like absolute shit.
I didn’t realise it at the time but I was putting so much pressure on myself to do what everyone else is doing.
I was feeling inadequate by comparing myself to others.
I then worked myself up into a really negative thinking space. Everything looked black.
We don’t have a house, we haven’t decided if children are for us.
We don’t know what we are doing in the next two years. WE MUST HAVE A PLAN!
I felt like not knowing what to do was very wrong.
I felt guilty and that something MUST be wrong with me. Uncertainty irks me.
I want to get that shit (whatever it is) sorted!
I thought at my age ‘I should’ be at a stage where I have a house and I am ready to have kids.
I was putting so much pressure on myself to get to the ‘next stage’ and I didn’t even sit and question if it is something that both my husband and I really wanted. I think the crux of the issues were caused by me starting to compare myself to others. It started with people asking me all the time when I was having a baby. I saw houses and babies all over Facebook and started thinking that this is where I should be headed.
We all know we shouldn’t do this anyway because Facebook is not a way to compare your life to others. It is a show reel of fabulous news. No one ACTUALLY posts that they feel like a lonely mum stuck at home and their kids are driving them nuts. Or that they fought with their boss. Or that their business is turning to shit.
If I updated everything today would read ‘today I cleaned up cat vomit and unblocked the toilet.’ (Sad but true.)
Watch this video if you have not seen it…
Anyway, I have digressed slightly.
After months of stressing that I was not somewhere where I thought I “should be” the darkness compounded. I got myself into a shitty shitty place. Where I stayed put for a few months. EVERYTHING seemed bad. The house. The Job. Our plans. Us. No Money. It all looked like it had gone to shit.
This negative space is something I have to keep an eye on as depression runs in my family.
I got some help. I talked things through with The Husband and a third party.
We sat and chatted for the first time in what felt like forever about what we WANT to be doing over the next few years not what we feel we SHOULD be doing. Sometimes a life trajectory and your surroundings pushes you in a certain way without you questioning it or stopping and thinking is that what you both really want?
And we both breathed in a huge sigh of relief. Now that I have come out the other end of the darkness, things just don’t seem to be that bad or overwhelming anymore.
I have realised I don’t have to decide everything (or anything at all) right this minute.
I am learning to live more in an unplanned state for the first time in forever, by working towards doing what I enjoy each day instead of always worrying about what might happen next.
And what is that? Doing the things that make my soul smile – blogging, reading, writing, running, work, building up my portfolio for the dream job as a travel writer. Planning to volunteer in Cambodia with my Dad next year. Spending time with The Husband and The Cat. Dreaming of longer term travel.
I don’t have to have the rest of eternity figured out right now. I am hoping to be around for another sixty years. A huge weight has been lifted of my shoulders and the horrible feeling has gone from the pit of my stomach.
I feel excited about the future again and full of plans. Like when we first met.
We realised we were arguing about the life that we think we should be living, not about stuff that gives us warm fuzzy excited feelings.
Ambivalence and thinking that you ‘should’ do something or be someone is not a reason to do something, particularly when it comes to bringing a life into this world. Parenting should be reserved for those who really want to do it and are up for the task for the next 20 years.
At the moment, we do not feel up for the task.
And as a woman, I should not feel guilty about saying that out loud.
Some people race Ironmans, some run and some swim. Some people write, some people own businesses or manage people. Some people have children, some people travel and some manage to do both. Some people have cats, some people have dogs and some people have birds (although I don’t quite understand having a pet you can’t snuggle).
In my week of face stalking my fabulous friends have: landed a publishing deal, given birth to a beautiful girl, danced at Glastonbury, climbed a mountain in Italy, traveled around the world with a family of four, and raced in the Gold Coast Marathon.
Fulfillment comes in many forms.
I will not get into a state again where I am comparing other paths to the way I am paving my own.
Happy Sunday Folks 🙂