As One Door Closes

I’m not quite sure where my heads at with all of this at the moment. I’m hoping that by getting it out of my noggin and onto a page it will start to make sense to me. By ‘this’ I mean the fact that on 9th February I finish work for a year to go on MAT leave.

Now, on the face of it, that’s a big all round thumbs up, and I’d say 99% of me agrees, but I cant ignore that quiet voice that’s a bit scared of all of this.

I’ve worked for 19 years now, very nearly half my life. Its what I have filled most of my time with in that period, and its about to end.

Those that know me, know how I feel about my working life… views on it are not that favourable to say the least.

I don’t really have any passion or drive for what I do, I’ve done it for so long that there are no challenges in it, and the gone off slightly dodgy looking icing on that cake is my hideous commute.

All I need to say is, I travel on Southern. You can then massively sympathise with me and all will be well.

So with all that negativity, what’s with the 1% whisper that’s unsure about all of this? Its the unknown, pure and simple. It happens to all of us. In 2009 a relationship of mine ended, we’d been together 7 years and quite frankly I don’t think we should have made it to 7 months if we were really honest with ourselves. I knew for a long time that the end was coming, it had to, I’d have gone out of my mind otherwise. However, from the day that I realised “you know you are with the wrong person and you cant ignore it anymore” it took another 9 months for the relationship to end. Why? Because so much of my identity was wrapped up in that couple. I’d lost myself in it, and the thought of being out there alone was fucking scary.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong in admitting that at all. I stayed because I was afraid, and that wasn’t the only time that had happened in my life, but that’s a path I’m not going down.

What the hell would I do without being in that relationship? Where would I go? How would I spend my time? Even things like how to do the food shopping as a singleton had me holding off the inevitable.  Needless to say within a few weeks of the spilt, I found my feet, and it was an awesome experience. Yes I had the unnerving feeling of ‘starting all over again’ but whats wrong with that? Everything in my life had stagnated, and this was a push that I greatly needed.

So, back to the present, I guess my feelings about MAT leave are similar to my past experience. Obviously I know this is a ‘no choice’ situation, but in terms of getting my head around it, the process I am going through is the same. All that time spent at a desk, reconciling, analysing, formatting etc….and moaning. Yes, a lot of my time has been spent moaning. You see for all its faults, my current situation serves me, it gives me an income, and something to be pissed off about.

Same with that old relationship, it wasn’t right for me at all, but it gave me a place in the world, one where I could hide away from actually ‘living’ instead of existing.

As I came into London this morning and saw the city skyline, I felt a twinge of sadness. The realisation that the door on this particular chapter is coming to a close hit me hard, because its not just this role, its all the roles I have had since I decided not to go to University and instead get a job as an office junior all those years ago.

So now I have to detangle myself from this ‘identity’ of Finance bod, for its not who I am anymore, its not who I am going to be ever again. There is a new role coming, one that I am hopelessly unprepared for, that throws me straight in at the deep end without guidance, and one that I am hugely excited about. I’ll be the ultimate newbie. With a complete new skills set to develop. My proficiency in Excel isn’t going to help me when I am up to my ears in baby poo.

I’ve come a long way since I was 19, both professionally and personally, I don’t think the younger me would ever have seen herself at this point in her future. She couldn’t see any further than  the next payday. Funny how we all change over time.

12 working days, that’s all that stands between me as Finance Professional and me as ‘Mum’, 12 days until the corporate wardrobe is discarded and the maternity jeans step in to take their place – for the next few weeks anyway. 12 days until I no longer have to deal with (unnamed) people in the office and their last minute demands, 12 days until my soul destroying commute becomes a thing of the past and I get back to the point of finding a train journey enjoyable (maybe).

Almost two decades, and we’re down to the last 12 days………..bring it the fuck on



Perfectly Imperfect 

There aren’t many people on the planet that won’t have heard of Tony Robbins. I’m not entirely sure of all of his official credentials, but he’s seen as some “King of Coaches”legend.

The man is known worldwide and I am sure that thousands (at least) of people would tout him as someone who has had a positive impact on their lives. So for that I salute him, because hey, I’d love to be known for having a positive impact on people too.

However, this morning on FB someone had shared a post of his. The title of which was “New Year = A New Life”….I’m sorry, but what complete and utter bullshit.

Just how exactly is that possible? Suddenly waking up on January the 1st means the shitty slate has been wiped clean? To me, that title, that headline if you will, is totally unrealistic and a tad irresponsible.

In general, my theory is that most people want a quick fix, they are looking for the magic pill, potion or formula to transform their lives….spoiler alert – IT DOESNT EXIST!

I’m sorry but this world we live in of instant fixes and metaphorical band aids pisses me off. So for someone with as much clout as TR to trot out that huge gem of hope to the masses is infuriating to me.

Now I am 100% for people wanting to change their lives, I would happily be head of the cheerleading team for anyone that wants to move forward, to break free from something, to become unstuck. I would love to be the person that could help to facilitate that. But, that change is not as simple as waking up on the first day of the year hoping for the best.

If we really REALLY want those things, then we have to work to get them. That work isn’t always pleasant. It can be draining, emotional and fraught. Digging about under the surface will always uproot something. Whilst that notion is uncomfortable and scary for many, it’s exactly what is needed to get that person on the road to where they need or want to be.

I saw a program not so long ago about our reliance as a nation on painkillers and antibiotics. Go to the Doctors, get a prescription and all is well again. However those pills we all shovel down are very often just covering something up, something bigger that really needs looking at. The pills will make it better for a while, but sooner or later you’ll be making another appointment for that ultimate cover up.

It takes guts, grit and honesty to find your cure, your genuine way forward, it also takes time. There is no perfect day, or perfect start. So why not just start anyway? However, rather than starting with that flashing beacon of “A New Life” dazzling your retinas, start where you are, with what you have available.

It might not be glamorous, elegant, seamless. It definitely won’t be a smooth newly tarmaced pavement, there will be spots where you could trip or stumble, a hole where you might fall down and scrape your knee, and it’ll probably happen when someone else is around to see it so your pride will be hurt as well as your body. It will however be you. The real you, with all your fucked up beautiful imperfections.

It is the start of a new year, but every new day is that blank page you’re waiting for. It doesn’t need to be a certain day on a calendar, and if that’s what you’re waiting on, then you’ll never do anything. You will end up in ‘Groundhog Hell’ year after year of promising yourself so much, and actually doing fuck all.

This is your life racing by, your one precious life, and it’s disappearing in a fog of missed opportunities and failed expectations, because circumstances weren’t perfect enough for you to actually make that change.

So if you are already thinking that on Jan 2nd the sparkle is fading then listen up. You will not get infinite New Years to change things, that illusion needs to be shattered and swept up like shards of glass. If you are ready, and I mean really ready then you will make a change, and keep your own promises. You will get off the sofa and work out, you will quit your shit job that destroys your soul, you’ll pack in the cancer sticks, stop getting smashed every weekend, stop shagging the wrong people…the list of ‘things we want to change’ is endless. The change will always ALWAYS start with you. Not with the chiming of Big Ben, not with the turning of a page in a calendar, and not from any guru.