I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed lately. Everything feels like ground-hog day. Work, home, life, kids, blah, blah, blah. Have you ever felt like you just keep treading the same path over and over with no end in sight? Every now and then something will make me take stock of my life. Having a baby, moving house, moving continents, getting married. All those big life milestones that make us look up and take stock. I consider where I’ve come from, where I am and where I’m heading. Mostly, I am happy.
Considering where I started and where I am today, I do give myself a pat on the back and say good job. As the 18 year old who left her childhood home in South Africa, having never been on an aeroplane before, having never experienced the real world, with real world jobs and bills and people. I found myself living in the UK, fending for myself. I found a job and shared a house with my oldest friend. I made mistakes, bounced a few cheques, made a few enemies and had to move a few times as a result. Overall, I pulled it together and managed to make a life for myself. I met my husband and we bought our first home with nothing but sheer determination. We achieved our dream of moving to Australia, again with a lot of hard work and tears on my part. There have been achievements along the way and I have at times felt successful.
But I am a chronic underachiever. I am afraid of failing and this fear, has me by scruff of my neck. There are so many things I want to do or try but because of my sense of responsibility and commitment to all things adult and grown up, I cannot seem to get off the starting blocks. Too many “what if’s” and “but’s” sitting in the way. I’ve got bills to pay so I cannot possibly stray from the straight and narrow, everything will implode if I do. I have made choices, that with hindsight, I can see now were foolish. I should have gone to university as the 18 year old who had the opportunity to. I should have travelled more and been more carefree and fun in my twenties. I should have waited to have children. They’re not regrets per se, because I know I don’t have a bad life. I suppose they are my “grass is always greener” ghosts. The ‘if only’s’ that I consider in my darkest hour that would mean my life would be perfect.
I know realistically that no life is perfect and that if I got the chance to go back and make changes there are no guarantees that I’d be happy even then. I made the choices I did because I wanted to. They suited me at the time. Looking back now is pointless because there is no way of knowing how things would have turned out. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t have met Nick or had my beautiful children. I may or may not be living in Australia, something I always wanted to do.
That doesn’t stop me from second guessing myself or my direction in life. I want it all. A successful career that allows me the flexibility to do the things I want to do such as teach my classes, coffee and lunch when I want to, be there for the kids when they need me to be but at the same time have the financial yield to upgrade my home and my car and fund my lifestyle. I want a job that I live for and keeps me on my toes. Something that allows me to work from home and be my own boss. I want to visit my family in the UK and visit exotic places. I want to have my cake AND eat it. Don’t we all? I want to go back to university but that is a conundrum in itself. Firstly there’s the huge question of what to study, then there’s the juggling of kids and school and daycare and the cost of daycare, keeping the classes I teach while I study. It all seems like an impossible feat and too hard to even try. So I don’t. I sit here and think about it often. Pondering every scenario which always ends up in me underachieving AGAIN. Something I do so well without even trying. It becomes easy to do nothing because in my little bubble, everything is safe and predictable. No risk of failing. The opposite of that is true as well, no chance of reaching the stars either.
I cannot teach group fitness forever. There is a limit to the number of classes I can teach in a week. I’ve never had strong pull in any one direction unlike those kids who say they’re going to become doctors and actually do! Trying to decide what to do next is not easy. There’s Ms Practical with a very loud voice tutting away over in the corner about responsibilities and expectations. She makes it very hard to decide. Perhaps I’d like Engineering? Will Interior Design pay enough? Is there enough work in this field? What about Architecture? In my head the idea of these things are great, but practicalities always come into it. So the conundrum still exists. I continue to tread, no further forward to where I was last week or the week before or the week before.
I inevitably get over my little blip and life carries on until a further 2, 3, 4 or 5 years have passed and I look up again and I am still not where I want to be. The re-evaluation starts all over again but the funniest thing is I haven’t actually done anything to change the outcome. I don’t have the answers and I definitely don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years. For now, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have to believe I am where I am meant to be doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
Have you ever felt this way? How did you deal with your feelings?
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