When I grow up

What would I do if money was no object?

I don’t know. That’s the problem. Part of my problem is that I’ve not wanted to fail, so I failed in the most miserable way: by not moving myself – not doing the scary things. My twenties were spent in a state of fear: of not being good enough, of not changing job because I didn’t want to risk un/underemployment, of not challenging myself, of not spending time in the company of people I admired because I wasn’t interesting enough.

I’m over that now. Becoming a parent blew all that apart. My world was re-centred. I had to do stuff I had no clue about, go to new places, I met loads of new (wonderful) people, I realised that no-one else really knew what they were doing either.

So I’m coming to a new understanding with failure. I see it as the best way to learn about myself and the world (this is something my children seem to know instinctively and I want them to keep this wisdom for as long as possible).

But focussing on what it is I want to do, there’s the rub. I was a classic ‘good all rounder’ at school, and got so focussed on chasing the top grades that I lost the ability to work out what really made me light up. And then I treated work as an extension of school, trying to work out what the right thing to do was according to my teacher (boss).

And I’ve now worked out that life doesn’t have to be, shouldn’t be, like that. That it’s far better to make your own way doing the you-stuff rather than the what-other-people-say-stuff. I’m still struggling with that.

Writing helps. Writing’s always been there – the times I’ve been most proud of at work were either when I’d written something powerful (or when I’d spent time listening to someone and they’d felt supported). Writing’s what I turn to when I’m trying to work things out (hello there, current blogpost!). And writing’s something other people say I’m good at. To the point where I’m being asked to do it for money. But now what?

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