On Curiosity & who i could be
As I’m sure you are, I’m a person full of curiosity. About other people, other cultures, other ways. And I’m curious about myself: who I am and how I want to spend my life. I have books upon magazines upon saved articles upon newsletter subscriptions upon social media accounts upon online courses of the infinite possibilities of who I could be. The ethically living yoga teacher? The slow living freelance mama? The wannabe photographer? The worldwide traveller, towing my family from one intriguing destination to the other? The fearless go-getter, making plans, plotting dreams & smashing goals?
Who I am
Like everyone, I am a mess of contradictions, torn between who I am and who I want to be. I can honestly say that more often than not I’m ok with who I am. Happy. Grateful. I have a good life. A great life! And mostly, I’m living a life that works for me and my family. No complaints. BUT, somewhere between the above books, magazines, newsletters, articles & social media accounts, I (like you, I’m sure), start to question if what I’m doing is enough. All those dreams of who I could be? Well, that’s not who I am. Who I actually am, right now, in this moment, is this:
I’m a new mama – my baby boy is only 9 months old. I’m torn between not wanting to miss a second of his development, his growing personality, his smile….and wanting something a bit, well – *more*. This *more* I want is not just to be The World’s Number One Mum. I strive to also be a successful business owner, a blogger with high readership, brand partnerships and committed readers. A writer with columns in the magazines I love. And money. I want money. Enough to clear debt, buy a home, buy everything possible from the wonderful designer-makers I love, travel the world, give to charity, look after my family, save for my child’s future.
Learning to get comfortable in my new, bigger body after pregnancy.
Wanting to journal, meditate, run, read, craft, practise yoga. Wanting, but honestly – not achieving.
Living with my parents whilst waiting to move into a cabin in their garden. An incredible privileged opportunity, yet WOW – I cannot wait to get in and start our family life proper, get some prints on the wall, establish our own routines.
Mostly adjusted to living in the countryside but still missing London occasionally. Because London kind of makes you feel like you’re in the middle of everything – it becomes a part of your identity. I’m still clinging on!
Making new friends, forging new connections. I’m proud of how much I’ve put myself out there in the local area in the past 12 months.
Looking at the above, it’s no surprise I’m finding I can’t do everything.
At the moment I am a full-time mum. Between my husband and my mum I find some time in the margins to write for a couple of clients on a monthly basis. But even that feels too much. Do I choose to write for them or write a list of what I need to do to travel long-haul with an infant (first time air travel! Who knew boarding a plane could become such a mission?)? Do I tidy the space around me or do some yoga? Get some fresh air or see some friends? Many choices. But only small pockets of time. So I often feel I’ve made the wrong choice. Really, I should be writing a client newsletter now – not this. But it’s in my head and I need to get it out and so it just feels right and I can convince myself this is more important. But it doesn’t get the client work done and the time has still disappeared.
So I feel frustrated and disappointed in myself. Not only for not being the Ideal Me all my books reflect back at me. But for being unable to untangle whether Ideal Me actually is who I want to work towards. Or is this dream an amalgamation of all the influences surrounding me?
(Here is where I’d like to interrupt myself to say that every one of these books, magazines and newsletters I consume I genuinely find inspiring, interesting and thought-provoking. I don’t want to unsubscribe! But I do feel overwhelmed with all the options arriving in my inbox and on my phone every day, every one of them containing a small kernel of who and what I’d like to be).
I’m a great believer in self-care. I think it comes from a couple of episodes of depression and anxiety which still peaks and troughs. I’m lucky enough – now – to recognise when I need to look after myself a little more. Currently, I’m noticing my chest is tight when I breathe, I’m quick to panic, close to tears, dizzy spells. This is when I need to ground myself: do that yoga, get my Headspace subscription up and running again. Take some goddamn pressure off. Stop with the never-ending to-do list in my head, scrolled across various notebooks and phone apps.
On Being Enough
So, to end: I’m slowly starting to take a look at who I am now, digging around a bit to find what feels right. The nice thing with growing older is knowing that this is the best time to explore my curiosities, because, frankly, I don’t give a shit what others think any longer. So if I want to find out about chakras and intentions and manifesting and affirmations, hell – I’m going to do it! And if I want to take a step back from building a business to concentrate on my little one, then that’s what I’ll do. And if I write one blog post every two months, does it matter? (The answer is no, by the way, 100% no).
I’m not giving up blogging. I’m not giving up finding new clients whose dream content I can help bring to life. I’m not giving up on dreaming. And I’m not giving up on being endlessly curious.
But, I think I am finally saying: ENOUGH.
images c/o Unsplash