I feel so full of questions about my life, battling a sense of being trapped by not just my circumstances but by my own intentions and plans. It’s a feeling I’m very familiar with but it never gets more comfortable, in fact I think the discomfort increases as the years pass because of some idea that by almost 50 I should have who I am and what I want sussed out.
My unintended foray into personal development over the last year has opened my mind wide and helped me understand a little more about the sort of person I am, but it has also filled my head with so many more thoughts and questions that I am almost fearful to delve further for fear of unleashing them.
I long to feel serene and joyful, but while I am a realist and know that these are moments to enjoy as opposed to states of being I resent the feelings of frustration, of being lost and of not reaching any potential I might have.
I have worked diligently through online courses trying to locate my ‘why’, my purpose, my ideal audience; I have joined accountability groups to keep me on track as I endeavour to blog, photograph, plan, think and ‘do’ with regularity; I have taught myself the skills required to communicate in the digital world and I welcome others into my home to ensure I meet interesting people with similar values and ideals to my own.
Yet somehow it just doesn’t all feel right.
I am an introvert by nature, if personality archetypes interest you then an ‘INFP’ (Myers Briggs) or an ‘Enthusiastic Visionary’ (Enneagram) and tend towards the dreaming up of new plans and ideas as opposed to their execution. This is not to say that I cannot complete a project (‘though like everyone I have left a few PHDs in my wake) but more that I find it hard to stay on track, it depletes my energy and I don’t seem to gain the same sense of satisfaction from doing so as others I know. Or could it simply be that I haven’t yet embarked upon the ‘right’ project? The one that will consume me and then fill me up? Can it even exist?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that writing helps me process my feelings and that while I might have grown up with the idea that these feelings are not the sort of thing that others want to hear I’m not so sure now. I think perhaps being honest about them is the biggest favour we can do others.
So here’s my truth. I wouldn’t choose to live my life with my husband away all the time, splitting my time between a house in the city so my daughter can finish school and the barn in the country where I have chickens and a garden awaiting my attention. Our years overseas were full of wonderful experiences and opportunities, but they were never locations of my choosing and the one and only place I would have chosen was torn away from me just as we settled there. I didn’t consciously choose to be a stay at home mum and expat wife, it just sort of happened that way and I’ve been left to try and piece it all together now we’re home. We could be moved again, there’s no telling and in the meantime I am struggling with feeling financially dependent upon M.
But all I can do for now is work on eliminating the things I don’t like from my life, welcoming in more of the things I do enjoy and building some skills in the process. In this last year of my 40’s I am determined to take care of myself, to be a bit kinder and more compassionate to myself; I no longer want to hear the mean voice in my head telling me what I should or shouldn’t do, what I am not capable of and trampling on my dreams before they’re even whole.
So, I’ll be at the barn just as much as I can where I’ll plough on with my plans for beautiful gardens, vegetable plots, shepherds huts and the occasional moment of ‘slow living’ utopia while cooking over a fire. I’ll welcome those who care to join me at workshops and retreats, and I’ll carry on writing and photographing. I don’t know where it’s all heading, I don’t have a 5 year plan, or even one for next year but I just have to stop worrying about that.
What about you though? Is your experience very different to mine or can you identify? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below (old school blogging style!)