Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Repost from April 2010....

I think this post is an interesting read, given that I wrote it in April 2010, when times were tough. Its amazing to see how far I have come in such a short while, and how sometimes, while making life decisions are hard, they can make a world of difference to your well being.


Dear all,

(My family say I share too much personal stuff on this blog, but sorry guys, this is important)

Over the last four weeks, I have had to embark on the scariest of journeys. I don't know whether any of my readers can relate to this, but I reached a point where I found myself both physically and mentally realising that I simply could not go on like I had been.

It was completely and utterly normal for everyone to look at my life from the outside and see that I had just about everything my heart desired. An incredibly prestigious job, one that probably should have been performed by someone well beyond my years. I had a good looking boyfriend who I travelled the world with. I had a luxury apartment in an exotic foreign country. My bank account was being piled with money. On weekends I would stay at the most luxurious hotels in tropical locations. I had my photography and blog and I was able to communicate across the world to anyone remotely interested in my life just how wonderful life was.

The truth is that, over the last 12 months, I have never felt so empty, confused, robotic and disconnected from my life. I could not see where my future was heading. I was attempting to create a future but I couldn't see the next steps ahead of me clearly. For every negative emotion I felt, I was able to intellectually rationalise it - "you're just away from home", "you're just lonely", "its just because you are growing up", "its just because you haven't integrated into life here in Singapore", "oh, it was the horse riding accident", "its just a tough time at work at the moment", "its just that you are carrying extra weight"..... on and on and on came the excuses.

You see, when you are an intelligent person, you can rationalise your way out of just about everything - except what it is that you are feeling deep down to the core of your heart and soul.

You can buy yourself just about every self help book imaginable so that you can improve "this" or "that" and if you highlight enough of the important passages in the text, you may come away with a little bit of enlightenment and a little bit more confidence. However, no book, no motivational quote, no pay rise, no new job offer, no new boyfriend will EVER hide whatever it is that your heart and soul is really trying to tell you. And for as long as you turn your mind away from the truth, by reading books, or taking a path that "kind of" gets you there, you will remain restless and unhappy.

I had become deeply unhappy and I had become numb to absolutely everything around me. Even coming home to see my gorgeous little nieces didn't incite that thrill or love that I wanted so desperately to feel for them. And sadly, as much as it pains me to say it, seeing my boyfriend, my international man of mystery no longer filled me with love and passion. I was laying in Egyptian cotton hotel sheets and feeling like I was sleeping on a bed of nails.

I reached what is known as a 'Growth Fork' - two mutually exclusive paths ahead of my and my challenge was to firstly, have to courage to acknowledge the two paths, and then to decide which path to take. Growth Forks can cause your personal growth to stall, sometimes for years, they say. People sit, absorbed for hundreds of hours to figure out the right decision, and still feel unsure about what to do. You can use all of the different diagnostic and analytical tools to help you decide. You can consult your intuition. You can ask for advice. You can think some more. And at the end of the day, you can end up with ambivalence.

I have often been accused of being too impulsive, but it was first my impulse to get up and get home to Australia, and then it was some space to clear my head, that assisted me to make a decision as to which of the mutually exclusive paths I needed to take.

I needed a break from my career. I needed a break from the everyday world of material existence. I needed a break from my own selfishness. I needed to reach into my heart and soul and truly ask myself what mattered to me right now, right this minute. I decided that I needed to set myself free from my own expectations, and to some extent, the expectations of others that had built up over time.

Choosing to leave your job, your boyfriend, your life and risk yourself financially is not an easy decision to make. And believe me, I have gone through each and every consequence of my decision, over and over again, and I am well aware that what I intend to do over the next 12 months is a scary, daring and ambitious thing, particularly at an age where many of my friends are settling down and marrying, having children, developing their careers further. I know that what I am going to do will have consequences and I am not going into this without considering those consequences. Yes, it will financially set me back. Yes, it will stall my amazing, growing career as a powerful legal counsel.

However, for every consequence that I recognise that I face, I reach into my heart and my soul and I realise that no matter what, i will be okay. Its called having trust and confidence within yourself to know that regardless of whatever challenge comes your way, you'll find a way to make it out.

Deep down, I have known for a very long time that I needed to reach one of those mutually exclusive forks in the road and I have known for a very long time that I would choose the path that I am taking now. It just has taken me time to reach a point where I could recognise that the Growth Fork had arrived.

Accepting this path is giving rise to some interesting emotions. Relief, that I've finally made the decision, that the pressure that I've carried for over eight years is now off my shoulders. Excitement, that I am embarking on a journey to parts of the world that may be considered as dangerous and volatile. And there is a great deal of anxiety and fear about what the next 12 months will bring - I am only human. I am not superwoman. But I am a (nearly) 30 year old woman who has been brought up to be strong, sensible and smart.

I may not know what is ahead, but I can at least now say that I can see my path a lot clearer than when I was searching for it in amongst the Gucci shops and Hilton Hotels.

I know that this has come as a shock to many people. I know there are some people who do not agree with what I have done. I know that I may be disappointing a lot of people who believed that I was far better off continuing to climb the corporate ladder. I may resume that climb in a year or two, but for now, I ask for support and faith that whatever happens in the next 12 months, I will be okay - in fact, for the first time in almost 10 years, I may actually be happy.


No comments:

Post a Comment