At last Wednesday’s Blog Club, Lloyd, who was hosting the session, encouraged us to pick little sheets of paper with hidden words written on them and then we were asked to write about these words.
I happened to pick the word CHOICE and this is what I came up with:
Leaving an unloved job was my first and most difficult choice
I am thinking of a day in my early 20s when I told my parents I had made the decision to leave my super secure job as a civil servant with the local council in the village I had grown up in. They were very upset about my decision, because my job had been their dream job.
I need to mention that both my parents had a very insecure childhood and for that reason, security is extremely important to them.
My job made them happy, but it was a very different story for me.
I didn’t even really have a choice in this case
I am very glad I realised just in time how bad things actually were. Without telling anyone, I had started psychotherapy because of my depression and my therapist told me, had I come only a little later, I would have ended up in a mental institution — I am not exaggerating.
Although I tried to explain to people why I had to leave this job, until today, some of them still find it hard to understand why I did what I had to do, but it doesn’t really matter, because I have not the slightest doubt that my choice was right.
My severe depression meant I was just about functioning like a human houseplant, always close to the ultimate breakdown.
But in hindsight, I am even glad it was so bad, because not long ago, I learned that 80 % of the population hate their jobs. I find this really shocking and I am happy that I am not one of them anymore.
I think most people are scared of change, let alone drastic change, and therefore they are staying in less than wonderful situation.
I don’t let other people run my live anymore
Although things have never been that extreme anymore for me, there have been other situations when I let other people run my life for far too long, for example an ex-husband and various friends, whose ideas of how I should live my life turned out to be quite different from my own, especially once I had realised I do not always have to put everyone else’s needs first.
Yes, compromise is necessary, but if you cannot be yourself and do not have a lot of shared values, I would nowadays not try as hard as I did in the past to make things work, just to be “a good girl”
Risking failure and rejection will always be a part of life if we choose growth over security
I am not saying my way of doing things has always been easy. It can in fact be scary to offend people while you are doing your own thing or not knowing how you you will manage to earn a living in future.
Having said that, I have never regretted following my own gut feeling and being uncomfortable for a while has been part of feeling alive.
Goodbye “beige life”
Now I am coming back to the writing exercise that I mentioned at the beginning of this article:
We were asked to answer some questions regarding our word, in my case “choice”: What colour do you see in the specific situation related to your word? What season is now? What is the light like, e.g. daylight or artificial light? What do you really feel?
The predominant colour I saw in my parents’ living room after I had told them my choice was beige, which they like a lot, and my mother used to say: “The colour beige will always fit.”
It happened to be spring in this beige living room, the season of new beginnings and it was a bright day with vibrant colours outside, which I could see as I was looking out of the window and I was happy, because it was my own choice to leave the beige life behind…