For the first time this year I’ve managed to miss a Sunday blog, so this is a Sunday blog on a Wednesday. I’m blaming it all on the absolutely crazy weekend I had. However this blog post isn’t really about the weekend, though it is partly about a series of events that led me to be where I was this weekend, which meant that I had the conversation that sparked this blog post.
I always had a set plan for my life growing up. A clear picture of what I wanted to do with my life, where I was going to go, how I was going to get there. It was a fairly simple plan. Go to uni, get a job in a sensible career path that earnt lots of money, meet a nice man, get married, have a few kids, and then retire to a nice house in the country and spend my days doing all the things that I wanted to that would make me happy.
After I started uni the first crack in that carefully thought out plan appeared when I realised that I may not be as straight as I had been trying so hard to be (however that’s a story for another day). I figured though that it wouldn’t change my plan too much. It didn’t matter who I married, I could still work hard, earn lots of money, and then retire and be happy.
Then something came along that completely shattered my plan into smithereens and scattered the pieces to the wind. My Dad died when he was just 46 years old. That changed my whole world view. It took me a very long time to verbalise why this had changed my perspective so dramatically, then this weekend I was able to sum it up nicely in a way that made sense in conversation.
You see, my whole plan revolved around doing a job I didn’t really enjoy in order to earn enough money to be able to retire and be happy. I was making myself unhappy in the moment with the promise of being able to be happy in the future. When my Dad died I realised that the future wasn’t guaranteed. That the “one day” where I’d be able to spend my days doing things that make me happy might never come.
For a while after my Dad died I didn’t want to do anything at all, I was just so lost and empty. Eventually though, things did get better and I got my drive back. I wanted to make something of my life. However, by this point my motivations had completely shifted. I was no longer driven purely by earning money.
I know in this society we will always be driven by earning money to a varying extent simply because there are bills to pay, food to be put on the table, and a roof to be kept over our heads (another argument for another day). But, I decided that whenever possible I wouldn’t compromise my morals and happiness just for a bigger pay check.
This hasn’t been easy though. My whole focus for so long had been on a career where earning more money came before my morals and happiness. Now it’s the other way around and that’s something I’m just not used to. I don’t know what I want to do that will make me happy. I kind of feel like I’m just a plastic bag, floating around in the wind, with no clue of the direction I’m going in, and a strong gust of wind could send me off in a completely different direction.
I feel like I’m stood at a junction, with all these different paths branching off, some of them that I can’t even see yet and I have no clue of where to go but I know I need to make a choice. So I’m trying to build the sign that will show me the way I need to go.
I just hope that the sign I end up building shows me the right way.