I often feel like a mixed bag of interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. They don’t fall neatly into one column as I find myself wishing they would, which results in an all too frequent internal ‘tug of war’ when I’m trying to make plans or make decisions, both big and small. I sometimes wonder if I should have been a Gemini, the sign depicted by twins, said to mean a split or dual personality.
I think a certain amount of this is because of an inner conflict between what I want to do, and what I feel I ‘should’ be doing. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do my best; to achieve success at work, to be a great partner and friend, to be fit, slim, liked by others, and so on. It can sometimes be hard to get to the core of the real ‘you’, amongst meeting expectations of yourself and others, and wanting to fit in with what friends and peers do and like.
Even without this though, I’ve always felt like I’ve had a sort of internal swinging pendulum, moving between conflicting goals and aspirations. I have an ambitious streak that draws me towards climbing the career ladder, putting my skills to good use and finding a great job that pushes and challenges me. My plan after university was to move to London, where I dreamed of working in PR and having a busy social life; wine bars, dinners out, early morning spin classes and a well worn Oyster card. I know too, that there is a creative side of me that yearns to be more exposed; I have recently started writing poetry again and I love writing, photography, reading, and learning new things. When I look back over journal entries and reflections in my gratitude journal, days that involve yoga and meditation are often my happiest. I have a real interest in digging deeper into spirituality and living with intention. But too, I am an unrelenting social media addict who finds it hard to switch off. I have always thought of myself as a home bird – I love my comforts and simple pleasures and a night spent in PJs with a good book is hard to beat. But I yearn to travel and have a deep wanderlust and a desire to experience living in another country. I don’t feel 100% settled where we are and I miss being closer to friends and family. There’s a part of me that wants to move close to them, and another part that fancies trying a new life on the other side of the world.
(This will do for now)
It makes it very difficult to make plans, and 30 feels like the sort of age where you should be starting to pin down your five and ten year plans. Most people we know are starting to have children and settle into (or continuing an already established) career. Me? I can’t decide whether I want to have children and stay at home making jam, or go travelling, or invest a few years in building a career. I’m not sure what my 16 year old self would think of the fact that I work in HR – it certainly was never my dream, but then, who does know what they want to do at 16? (For the record, I wanted to be a journalist).
So how do you un-jumble all of those conflicting goals and dreams, and likes and dislikes? Do you have to be ‘all one column’, or can you simply bumble along making things up as you go? In the meantime, I’m putting answering those questions on hold whilst I decide whether to read for a little longer or go for a dip in the pool….