I often wondered how other people managed to have a social life and navigate all of that and still have the energy left for a career. For a long time just getting by has taken up all my energy, particularly on the social side of things as having friends and fitting in was my main preoccupation at school, university and beyond – I’m quite ashamed of myself to admit that. But it left me too tired and worn out to then actively pursue a career and put in all the work that requires too.
Much of my energy is used up trying to please people and chasing constant validation for everything I say and do because I’m never sure of myself, I burn up so much energy trying to get it right all the time and second guess everyone’s likes and dislikes, feeling gutted whenever I feel left out of groups I don’t even want to be part of, wondering what I did wrong, where I’m going wrong, how did I screw up this time? How can I get it right next time? In disproportionate reactions to perceived snubs or rejections.
There are surely better things to spend energy on!
But I think perhaps the time has come to be less concerned with people and social things and be more concerned with the bigger things in life.
My worry is that I’ll never find my purpose in life, never find “what I want to be when I grow up” and actually do it. At the rate I’m going I’ll never amount to anything or achieve anything noteworthy. I’ve lost myself in the little things, people pleasing, or my other bad trick: trying to make myself invisible so no one will pick on me – so trying to keep a tidy house, clean kids so they slip under the bully radar too, be a good wife, mum and worker to avoid any criticism or contempt.
But in all this I’m scared I’ll never work out what I’m really meant to achieve, never fulfil my potential or use my gifts.
I think this is a perfectly normal thing to go through in mid-life, when you start to realise that there isn’t an infinite amount of time to fulfil your dreams and carry on doing things as you’ve always done them, and you might never. You realise now is the time to embrace who you are and live life on your terms. I feel like I’m making no impact on the world and my life is kind of worthless. I’m so busy worrying about everything I have no energy left for doing SOMETHING IMPORTANT.
But I need to rise above all of these things now and focus on something bigger. I also need to work out what that is.