An old post popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. And it surprised me. I’ve been such a misery guts for the past year I’ve forgotten I was sometimes happy and pleasant to be around.
In 2016 I was catching up with someone I’d seen a day or two before I left my old life in Brisbane – one resplendent with money, respect, a sense of purpose and lots of stress – for my seachange. Her visit had me pondering the difference between my old life and new life. And apparently I decided I was a million times happier.
I still don’t regret my seachange. I cringe at the idea of my old life; long days at work, the commute, little balance.
So why have I struggled soooo much over the past year or so I wonder? I recognise that I have so much to be grateful for. My previous life afforded me my lovely house and though I’ve not had much work in the 8-9 years since making my seachange I’ve survived financially. Last year was a bit tumultuous health-wise but again I’m more fortunate than many.
I caught up with my friend Jo Tracey last week. We had a delightful lunch, and while the food was great, it was mostly the conversation I appreciated. I was talking about how I felt purposeless and directionless and Jo – who knows about astrological stuff – said it was very much a Capricorn thing.
I’d always assumed that my sense of identity was too connected to my work, to my profession. I’ve been a ‘I am a diplomat / public servant / project manager,‘ person more than a ‘I do…‘ person.
But our chat clarified for me that I’m really struggling with a lack of purpose. Because my purpose has always been connected to my work. I think I assumed it would redirect itself into my writing and I’d become a prolific (albeit possibly crappy) writer. But it hasn’t been the case. At all.
Instead I’ve felt stymied in general. Purposeless. I’m conscious this is something many retirees must experience when they finish their working lives but guess that’s usually planned – particularly in terms of finances and how time will be spent. Official retirement is perhaps a culmination of working life.
I feel like perhaps I reached my peak and I missed it.
In completely unrelated news I hurt my back and have been feeling sorry for myself all weekend. What’s happening in your world?