I chose the picture for this post because the sea is obviously apt for the post title but now I kinda wanna go back to the warm seas of Mykonos in May (snapped this on my hols last year) instead of being in the snowy depths of Essex in Winter (I say winter, it’s March ffs)…
Anyway, I decided to start blogging again as I said in my first post and it’s because I’m feeling a little bit confused about life and want to blog and write to feel better.
Don’t get me wrong, from the outside looking in, I know my life is pretty sweet and for that I am very grateful. I’m married, have a good job at a great company getting to do all sorts of cool stuff in the West End of London and I go on many a cool adventure but deep down, there’s some niggles there and I need somewhere to write them out and process them. So that’s gonna be here.
The life I’m leading, I’ll be honest, wasn’t the one I planned. I absolutely know that this statement is true for far more people than it’s not, I’m under no illusions that what I’m writing here makes me any different, I’m just writing to get my head around it on a personal level. Anyway, 10 or so years ago as a teenager my life was going to be living on a farm in Devon working outside and living the rural life. I went off to Uni to do a degree in Countryside Management and came out the other side 4 years later with a degree and a great 4 years of memories, but unfortunately thanks to recession etc, very few job prospects. My boyfriend at the time, now husband, had also gone off to Uni and chose an industry that has more tangible job prospects was offered a Grad Scheme. In London. It couldn’t have been further from the rural idyl I was dreaming of working towards.
That makes it sound like I blame my husband, please don’t think I do! But it cannot be denied that it was a big change. As I established in my first post, change is rarely my friend until a few years later when I look back and reflect on all the unexpected good that came from it and now, a few years down the line, I love my London life more than I think 22 year-old me ever though possible.
It wasn’t without it’s trials and tribulations, naturally. A job in the industry I’d studied in was hard to come by, a job in the industry I’d trained in, in London? Haha, good joke! I knew I had to find something else but the question was what. I’d spent 4 years gearing myself up to work in one industry, I had no idea what I wanted to do instead. I thought about blogging as I’ve said before. I thought about copy-writing, setting up my own environmental education business to bring the countryside to London (my dissertation was on something similar and it’s still something I’m interested in, a lack of time takes me away from it), about making things (sewing, knitting etc) to sell and many other things all whilst just trying to get any office job to pay the bills. I still didn’t know what it was I was really looking for.
I also knew from the off that my career aspirations were low, I’ve always preferred the thought of a job I enjoy rather than climbing the career ladder. I’ve never been one to dream of one day being at the top of the ladder, it’s just not me. My over-riding long term goal has always been to be a Mum, more so than any top-level career has ever taken my fancy. Before the feminazis come out in force, I totally appreciate it’s possible to do both but those that do are some kind of super woman species that I just don’t think I’ll ever manage to pull off, I will never be at the top of a career ladder, it’s just not where I want to be. I have tonnes of respect for those that are, you are women of another ilk I can only applaud and respect that, but it’s not for me.
After many long months of London being expensive and living on one income (not easy, I don’t advise trying it) I finally found a job, in an office, in HR. I started off at L’Oreal and although I was only temping I had a great 9 months there and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have got the vital ‘break’ into the full-time working world that I needed. I’m now working for a media company in the West End and I love it, but I’m still not sure it’s my forever job. Again though, I don’t know what is. I enjoy my current job, I really do. My team are great and the work is interesting and varied, but as everyone goes through, change is as good as a rest etc and there will hopefully be an opportunity to try something else within the company as some point. It’s a very wide ranging business with lots of opportunities and I certainly wouldn’t be the first or last to move to a different part of the business if the opportunity was right.
Growing and learning has told me though that I need to take my time, think things through etc and that in time, things will fall into place and hopefully, one day I will find my forever job, hopefully still within the company I’m working for.
What I’ve learnt though is that rushing it would be the biggest mistake. I never go into work dreading what’s to come and just because there’s a chance that in 10 years time I probably won’t be doing the same thing, I will still give my all to what I’m doing now. It’s certainly not a job that I’m desperate to leave, in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
One thing that has changed since starting where I work is the prospect of a career rather than a job. Don’t get me wrong, I know I just said how it’s not my bag but one thing I know is that I’m not dead set on giving my job up when I have children anymore, something I was convinced I’d do a few years ago. I’m still not striving for the top (nor should I have to be) but I enjoy where I am and I don’t want to lose that completely. The company I work for is somewhere that I can see myself being in, in the long term and actually, now I’m in the working world, I’m less inclined to give it up as I always thought I’d be.
I also know that in time, hopefully next year, that things will change with where we’re living. At the moment we’re caught in the seemingly never-ending cycle of paying an extortionate amount of money to live anywhere near where we work. London life and all that but hopefully that will change soon. I’m worried though because I know that moving is stressful and moving to somewhere different is going to take it’s toll. I’m also quite weirdly phobic of moving. I really struggle with the change it brings; I’m actually far worse about leaving than I am about arriving in the new place. I hate having to pack everything up and start again, it unsettles me. When I’m in the new place though, I take solace from the fun of putting all our possessions into new places in a new space and that helps me settle. It’s always the apprehension of it that I can’t deal with rather than the consequence; the apprehension is the bit that really freaks me out to the point it scares me in a similar way that thunder and octopus do…
I’ll be open and honest, I still don’t feel like I’ve found a community to live in since moving to London. It’s actually pretty hard making friends as an adult! Also, with commuting to and from work and having lots of weekend commitments, time to do things at home is limited. I’ve been very lucky to make some very good friends with people I work with but London’s a big place and on a local level, close to where I live for the first two years I had no one and it’s quite an isolating feeling. Thanks to a wonderful slimming world group I joined last year, I do now have some lovely friends I’ve made within the area of my house and a few of my friends from other aspects of life (Uni, battle re-enactment etc) are now living in the South-East meaning that with some good thought and prep, we do meet up down here.
I’m hoping that our next move though will be where we can start to really settle and make roots. I hope that I’ll have friends who live in the immediate area who can pop by for lunch or whatever and that seeing friends won’t feel like having to plan a small military operation due to travelling however far or finding free weekends because travelling for however long means ‘popping round for tea and cake for an hour or so’ isn’t as easy as that.
For now I feel that many, important, aspects of life are kind of ‘bobbing along’ which has equal parts of good and bad. On the bad side, sometimes it makes me feel a little lost and confused, like I don’t know what the plan is (I like not knowing almost as much as I like change, so yeah…). I may not know where I’m going or what the plan is, but the good side of bobbing along is that I’m not feeling like I’m completely sinking, I’ve got things together enough to get by and by and large feel content and happy.
Most of all, I’m learning that it’s ok to feel lost and confused from time to time and as long as that feeling isn’t all-consuming it’s natural and to be expected. If I start to feel more negative than positive, then I’ll have to re-evaluate, but for now I’m going to stay bobbing along.