I feel like I probably shouldn’t write any more blog posts about being lost and confused, for fear of a) sounding like a broken record, and b) getting any more concerned pats on the shoulder from people who know me in real life and read my blog. I do really appreciate the concern and the support (some people have been so kind), it’s just that in some areas people have made assumptions about how I am, and tried to diagnose me with various things, and honestly… I really am okay. It’s just kind of a weird time – a time of growth, and reflection, and decision-making, and sometimes it’s felt a little wearing, and tiring. But the only way out is through, right?
I am trying really hard to bring my blogging back to the realm of catchup posts, reviews, photos of days out, but the truth is, I’m just so exhausted at the moment that I feel like I’ve been doing little else than commuting to and from work, cooking dinner and then collapsing into bed. My commute is one of the things I feel like I really have to change in order to improve my overall wellbeing and happiness. I’m actually boring myself how much I whinge about it now! If I had no commute I’d have an average of an extra three hours to myself a day. Can you imagine that? Three hours! I’ve been working on the workbook section of The Desire Map and I’ve just completed a section on ‘things that aren’t working’, and it’s surprising how much ‘time’ comes up (or perhaps it’s not). I’ve noted that I don’t have enough time for hobbies, for creativity, for running, for yoga – all that good stuff that makes me feel content, and relaxed, and fulfilled, and happy. So just from a practical perspective, not losing so much time per day to sitting in my car would be a win. (Of course I also need to prioritise making time for things that make me feel good).
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I think I’m quite a selfish person sometimes – it’s an accusation that’s been levelled at me on many occasions. I’m quite strong-willed, impulsive and stubborn and I don’t like anyone telling me I can’t do things. Of course, when you’re married and settled in a particular location, you can’t just uproot your life and move because you want to shorten your commute. I feel wedded to my job because I love the organisation I work for (Tom and I both work for the same organisation), and the location I work in is where the majority of my friends live; but we live 26 miles away. I feel lonely where we live – we don’t have any friends within ten minutes of our house, and though we have a handful of friends a little further out, I long to have friends and family to close enough to pop round for a cup of tea and a natter with. But where we live is perfect for Tom – he can surf, kitesurf, walk the dog (which he loves), he has friends here, and it’s a good location for his work. So it’s a tricky situation for us as a couple as obviously we want to find a way to make decisions that make us both happy.
In many ways we are so lucky – if my desires were to live (almost) in the middle of nowhere, have a fluffy little dog, a garden, a nice house, and places close by for walking the dog and going for the odd pub lunch, I would have it nailed. But as much as I like the quiet of living somewhere quite rural; seeing deer in the forest when I get the train home, being late for work because there’s cows in the road (ha) … I also long to be able to walk to restaurants in the evening, to go to the cinema without having a half-an-hour drive, to be able to easily go to shops or for a drink now and then. I miss being able to walk to friends’ houses, or being able to visit my parents without a two-hour round trip (much less than some people, I know) I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal values recently and I also discussed them with my life coach a couple of weeks ago. Some of the things that are important to me are connection, friendship, and creativity. These things are really lacking from my life at the moment – so many of the people I feel closest to (Sarah and Katy for example) live several hours away, and even those friends who live ‘in the area’ who I love spending time with (like Emma, and Olivia) are still a minimum 25 minutes away. I am envious of people who have a ‘best friend’ who knows everyone about them, who they speak to almost daily, and see regularly enough that you don’t have to have a lengthy ‘when did I last see you’ catchup every time you see each other. It would mean so much to have someone like that to talk to right now.
Creativity is another thing my life coach quickly identified as being important to me. She thinks that creating things, and writing, is the antidote for my stress and feelings of unrest, and that I should pursue it wherever possible. I’ve been trying to write more personal ‘stream of consciousness’ type blog posts on here lately (like this one!) and I’ve been writing more poetry, and it definitely makes me feel better. (I hope they’re not dull to read!) I just can’t help feeling like having more time to write (not least just not being tired all of the time) would just be amazing.
There’s a lot of decisions to be made at the moment – where we might live (which unfortunately means us both significantly compromising – which I’m learning is the foundation of a successful marriage!), whether I ought to change jobs and which hobbies and goals I should prioritise (I just don’t have enough time unfortunately to blog, run, do yoga, take on a new qualification, read the books on my ‘to-read’ pile, watch all the box sets I want to watch, write poetry, put things in my project life scrapbook, read all of the various magazines I subscribe to, travel, go away for long weekends, see friends and family, go on photography trips, go to boxing class, and so on).
It feels like a strange time. Your early-30s really are when you make decisions that will affect the next 5 or 10 years of your life (or the whole rest of your life if you decide to have children – not something I want right now, or maybe at all). What makes it tougher is, as I’ve explained in lots of other posts, I just don’t have any of the answers at the moment. Do I want to live ‘the good life’ – grow my own vegetables, bake at the weekends, live in Dorset, go on long walks with the dog, visit country houses at weekends… or do I want ‘the city life’ – drinks after work, shopping trips, cocktails with friends, weekends away in different European cities, a big, spacious flat (with a garden for Bodhi!). A mix of both, I think – who says you have to be ‘all one column’ anyway? But it’s tricky to know sometimes what you do really like, and what you just ‘think’ you like, because social media, films, friends, etc, make you feel like you should. (I both love and hate watching Made In Chelsea because I always end up feeling depressed that I’m not jetsetting around the world, going to pool parties and blowing money on designer clothes).
There’s no resolution to this post, of course – just a lot of decisions that need to be made, a lot of ideas and thoughts, and a lot of confusion. If only I had a time machine – I quite fancy being 17 again right now, being 31 is complicated.