Whatever I did never felt like enough.
When I was a teenager, I was always desperate to move onto the next stage, convinced it would be the one that would make me happy. I trained to be a solicitor for 6 years but instead of feeling successful, I felt stuck in something that made me miserable.
I fell in love with teaching and moved to Spain and Qatar to do it, but by 2016 I had fallen out of love with that. I counted the minutes until the end of the workday and lived for the weekends, unsure of how long I could keep doing an “important” job without truly loving it.
On the surface I looked like I had everything, and I could certainly post the beautiful photos to social media to back it up, but I was far more worried about how my life looked to others than committed to living a life that was true to me and I never took the time to really work out what I needed.
I would dream of giving up my work and doing something I loved. Only I had no idea what that was.
In 2017 I was forced into slowing down and connecting deeply with who I was when I had a bad bout of glandular fever (mono) and became at one with my sofa, struggling to even get to the bathroom or make myself a drink. Meditation became my lifeline, podcasts were my constant companions and yet all I could worry about was whether people were angry at me for not working.
As I waded through the shame and guilt of not teaching and letting my class down, not being there for my friends & family and believing that I was an awful wife, I kept returning to the idea that I needed to do more of what was right for me. Yes, I had roles to play, but were they more important than my own physical and mental health? No way.
As I seriously scaled my life back and dedicated time to learning about myself, I trusted my own intuition and realised my identity wasn’t tied to the money I made or the steps I took in a day. It didn’t happen overnight and I still have health niggles that challenge me, but my eyes have been opened to how good I can feel when I strive to create a life that works for me, my husband and baby son without worrying about what I “should” be doing.
Now I’m passionate about finding a way of living that really suits me, even when my health restricts me or life gets tough. I feel fulfilled and excited by my work every day, I’m doing bigger things than I ever imagined and facing my fears along the way, as well as making a change in the world. I don’t have to subscribe to the idea that changing careers and moving to different places is flaky. I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. It’s OK to take risks, to find what lights me up and to change, and guess what? I want that for you too!
I believe that you, like everyone, have a purpose in life and the ability to create whatever you dream of. It’s not always comfortable to challenge ourselves but the results are extraordinary and I know you have it in you to create this kind of life too.
Life is too short to be just fine. It’s time to wake up, get off autopilot and create a life you’re excited to lead.