What a difference 12 months makes! 12 months ago I was living in Brisbane and bringing up my two children and my sickly 5 month old baby, feeling somewhat lonely, and feeling down about giving up on my long-term dream of becoming an academic one day (read A Bend In The Road for more info) Today, I’m back to living in Sydney again, bringing up my 3 healthy (though anxious due to all the changes) children, not feeling lonely and isolated anymore, and fondly looking back on that dream of becoming an academic as a silly chapter I went through and have absolutely no interest now in pursuing in my future!
You see, I’ve spent many, many years, in fact most of my life to be honest, trying to understand myself and my childhood. During the last year it eventually dawned on me why I was driven to certain people, and do certain things, and to study at uni and get good grades, and was driven to my ex-dream of pursuing a PhD and becoming an academic. It was the last piece of the puzzle in understanding myself – you can read a bit about it in my previous post Childhood Perspective. I realised that my dream to become an academic was not really about me wanting to become an academic and do that type of work but instead it was really about wanting to be noticed and acknowledged (that rarely was until I started my studies at university) as an intelligent and wise person with something to contribute to the world. I suppose I saw academia as the poster-child for wise and intelligent people. Once I started to break down this aspect of my ego I started to realise that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do in the long term. So that dream is dead and buried and I feel no sorrow about it now.
The other thing that changed for me internally was that in being too busy with child-rearing and studies I was growing tired of living a chaotic life. I’ve discovered over the last couple of months just how many mistakes I’ve made because of it, some of them very serious, and some rather costly. My DH has been very understanding and forgiving which has helped me to forgive myself. However I can no longer live the chaotic life that I’ve had over the last 3 years. My baby being frequently sick for the first 11 months of her life and now my children’s anxieties, caused by all the changes that have taken place over the last 2 years and having them witness me not coping with the changes very well, has made me stop and rethink my life. I used to be such as forward thinker, always planning my future, but now I’m only living in the moment and planning things no further than a month or two in advance. I feel so much freer now. I’m not constrained by my plans for the future. I am living by listening to my inner voice and how I feel and trying to create a more peaceful and harmonious life for myself and my family . . . well, trying as best I can!