Something’s turned lately. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve started second-guessing decisions I’ve made and thinking about my future. Perhaps my mother’s fears about my unemployment and financial situation have rubbed off on me. Or maybe I’ve been overthinking again: should I be pursuing a career and focusing on financial security; or just paying my bills and enjoying life?
I’ve actually started writing something about that. Unsurprisingly it’s “WTF have I done with my life?” themed. And a reminder I need to stop going on LinkedIn because former colleagues and those who worked for me are doing great things…. while I remain unemployed. And perhaps unemployable.
However… I had a conversation with my bestie yesterday and was reminded that, though I might have been in some sort of (contented) limbo these past eight years, from the outside looking in, my life looks pretty good. And I realise this sounds arrogant, but—fuck it—I EARNED IT! I didn’t inherit it, I wasn’t handed it. I did it all. Alone!*
When I first made my seachange I bought a nice apartment right on the beach. One of the reasons I ultimately left was because of the onsite manager who was devoid of social skills. Another resident hosted drinks not long after I arrived. I said something about not having a job but that it was okay at the moment as I had savings and no mortgage. The onsite manager commented that I was lucky and must have done well out of the divorce.
I can’t remember what I said at the time, but realised later he was the sort that assumed a woman couldn’t be successful (or at least, do okay) on her own.
The incident has stuck with me and as I’ve been feeling ‘down’ about my circumstances / lack of achievements I’ve been trying to remind myself of what I do have. Until recently I had a car I adored and I love my house. The latter brings me great joy. (And stress, but this is meant to be a positive post!)
I might not currently have any money but—in many ways—I am very privileged. It’s true but what I wanted to say to idiot apartment manager and what I need to remember when I’m feeling like I’m treading water and have let myself down is that: I worked in stressful jobs and holidayed at home for over a dozen years to focus on paying my mortgage and get ahead. I know I didn’t have kids so there wasn’t that financial burden but there was also no one to share my mortgage, rates, insurances payments and the like.
But this isn’t meant to be a moan about my singledom. I’m attempting to dig myself out of the ‘I’m a huge fucking failure’ hole. Because…
The watch I’m wearin’, I’ve bought it
The house I live in, I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it
I depend on me, I depend on me
I don’t know what lies before me. Career-wise, options are very limited where I live now. But increasingly my decisions are values-based and I’ve talked before (a lot) about freedom and life balance versus financial security.
However, although this Destiny’s Child song will now be stuck in my head for days, I’m trying to remind myself that even though my life might not look like I thought it would…. it still looks pretty good. And I did that. Me.
I’m steering clear of the: is it more expensive to be single vs a couple debate here and not wanting to shame those who worry they’ve not contributed as much (financially) in their relationships. For me this is more about trying to celebrate stuff I have achieved while still acknowledging I might not be where I want to be. Can you relate?
* Regular readers will know that my independence (singledom) isn’t by choice. Sadly it’s by circumstance.