As I sat this morning, and realised that in 7 days time it’ll be my last day in employment, I thought the following:
I have been working in employed work since I was 18, I have been in this job role for close to 6 years…it started out as my career – I was going to be successful. Very quickly this job role changed, and it wasn’t what I had expected – and I became increasingly put off by the corporate world. However, this was not so much the job, but the story I had created for myself long ago…
For years I have told myself I don’t have a hobby or passion and whilst I have been employed – I have found myself struggling with every job. I always blamed the job or my boss [they don’t get it] – but the common factor here is ME. I wasn’t the “problem” or a bad employee – but I was always dissatisfied – I wanted more from my job.
Many years ago I remember thinking that working for myself would be awesome – but what the heck would I do? I couldn’t see how what I was good at could translate into something I love. I am great at problem solving – taking something [or someone] from A – B and so forth. I have been brought up in a family who worked in mental health – so it’s no surprise mindset interests me so very much.
My mum was a University lecturer and I always, always felt frustrated when she would critique my work, I’d get annoyed with her and she’d wonder what was going on – but I always repeated this cycle. This morning I realised my story of ‘not enough’ did not come from her. Instead it came from repeatedly hearing my father say “I left school with only one O-Level in German…”
I realised that whilst he was incredibly confident, he could command the attention of a room just by walking in, I don’t think he felt smart enough…and I think he wanted more for me. He would read my school work, and act like it was the very best, my mum would read it and ask me questions and give me pointers on how to improve it – leading to my cycle of frustration.
Over the years my mum and I have discussed the story I wrote for myself, the one of not being smart enough. She always seems so confused by this, and I now realise it’s because she didn’t know where it came from. I now realise it didn’t come from her, it came from my dad.
He didn’t tell me I wasn’t smart, instead he told me how he wasn’t smart enough, and I notice now that he played the role of being the ‘naughty brother’ and the son who was different. After he retired from the Fire Brigade in the 80’s he became a ‘stay at home dad’ and then he moved through various jobs [hello – sounds familiar?]. I watched as my father found some satisfaction in each job, but they were just jobs.
I recently found my dad’s high school records, as I read them I found myself confused, because the comments were not of someone who wasn’t smart enough. In fact they were glowing remarks of his hard work, his involvement with activities and his teachers thought he was enough. He was always enough to the people who loved him, but he had already written his story…
What I have learnt is this; we get to write our own story. The ending is not written, we have the choice to make a change, we have the opportunity to change. This isn’t for everyone, I get that some people are completely content with their life – that’s cool, keep doing you.
For those of you reading this and thinking ‘yep I wrote this story for myself’ I urge you to consider rewriting the next chapter…I encourage you to take a deep breath and swim against the current.
You hold the pen and you can write next chapter.