Saturday, May 23, 2009

When will I know what I want to be? Who am I now

I have often pondered just what I would be when I grew up. When I was very young I was convinced I would become the Prime Minister and do away with taxes. I didn't understand how someone could just take part of people's incomes and get away with it. As I got a little older I decided I would be a vet. Small problem, I'm scared of most animals. So then I moved on to wanting to be a writer, and by the time I finished High School I had settled on Nursing. After completing year one of the Nursing degree I realised I was much too emotionally involved to continue in that career.

I felt I was back at square one. I was eighteen and felt like I was failing because I didn't know what to do with my life. Now, at this point in my life I think what a ridiculous amount of pressure I put on myself. I began hunting out job options, and study options at University. I decided to do a general degree so as not to be trapped on one career path. I managed to achieve a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Criminology.

But I still wasn't sure what I was going to be. I felt I should be doing something amazing, changing the world or at least making some kind of difference on a large scale. As it turned out, we started our family at this time so all my thoughts of jobs or study faded away as I became a full-time Mum. And then a chronically ill Mum.

I still find myself from time to time beating myself up for not financially contributing to our family. For not being clear on where I'm going. For having a non existent career path. Then yesterday, as I found myself once again feeling panicked by thoughts of never being able to hold down a full time job, or even what kind of job I would ever be able to do, I stopped. I thought about the article in this post. I thought of all my friends and family. People who love me and just want me to be happy. I then realised when I have these negative thoughts I am putting down who I am now. I am badgering myself for things that haven't happened yet and that I have no control over.

I don't want to be missing my right now, to focus on a fuzzy future. Right now I am a Mum. I contribute to our family in so many ways in this role. I am an Auntie, one of the best roles ever. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend. A wife. Sometimes a chronically ill person, but most of the time a Survivor. All of these things are so much more important than figuring out and berating myself over a future role which may or may not become possible to fulfill. This is taking away from my right now.

Of course as my lovely good friend Michelle says, it is good and important to have goals. Something to strive for and look forward to. The thing i struggle with is setting myself impossible goals and pinning my happiness and sense of achievement on achieving them. I knock myself about my illness induced weight gain, feeling I should have complete control over what size my body is. In my situation I actually need to get better before this weight is going to shift, something I have no control over. I can eat well, and exercise and that's the best I can do.

So I'm taking my focus away from future career moves. I'm going to stop asking "What will I be when I grow up?". I'm going to stop using the scales as a judgement of how well I am looking after myself. I am going to focus on Right Now.

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