What do you do when you spend all of your life working towards a goal – one driving force that draws you in, that you work towards endlessly for years and years, until finally you achieve this dream – only to find out that what you thought was your perfect life, isn’t quite what you thought it would be?
How do you create a new order for yourself? Redesign your life and replan your future when you have no idea what it is you want to do?
When I left teaching there was suddenly this huge gaping hole in my life where my career had been. What was I going to do with my life when my two degrees, four years of my life and nearly £40,000 had gone into getting me to where I was?
Should retrain? Go into something new? Should I use the skills that I already had and apply them to a different role?
The questions plagued me for months. Between making the decision to leave teaching and actually doing it I suffered massively from The Quarter Life Crisis. I felt like my life was getting away from me and I had now way to stop it.
It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that it didn’t really matter. I could have retrained, done something new; or I could have simply not worked at all. What I was struggling with was not the choice of what to do, it was with the perception of myself.
I felt like a failure.
I had spent all of this time and money working towards a goal. And in my eyes I had failed.
It took me finally leaving the job, taking some time off and then starting my own business for me to realise that actually, my experiences in teaching were not a waste of time. They had only added to my skills. The money and time I spent on my education have enabled me to start my own business which is going from strength to strength. And the years I spent in the class room have not only helped me to grow as a teacher, but have given me some of my fondest memories (as well as all the sh** ones).
So what am I trying to say with this blog post?
Life gets hard. Especially as a twenty/thirty something woman. By this stage we are under so much pressure; expected to be in a good job, married or seeing someone “serious”, maybe even popping out a couple of kids.
But life doesn’t always go that way. Sometimes we have to find our own way and make our own “happy”. Life is what you make of it. You can worry and agonise over your choices, or you can pick a path and own it, appreciating everything you find along the way.
But whatever you do, try not to beat yourself up.