Since I began blogging last January I have found that I do a lot more pondering. The blog gives me somewhere I can think out loud, get my thoughts into perspective, much like a diary, but with interactions and ideas from others who share similar interests or thoughts. First and foremost my blog is for sharing outdoor experiences I have with my family, but there are times, like today, that I just feel the need to write and record my own personal views, opinions and thoughts. Just to get it off my chest, as it were.
Over the past couple of years life has thrown me a “curve ball” from which I feel I recovered reasonably well from, thanks to the insurmountable help and support from friends (in real life & through social media platforms, such as Google+ [you guys know who you are]) and family. I was an emotional wreck for a good few months but I came out the other side brighter, happier and more positive than ever before.
On a personal level nothing has changed. I know which direction I am going in with regards to my family. I know that my past is being dealt with and all the legalities of which will be completed before the year is out. I know that my love, affection and adoration will culminate in being able to spend the rest of my days in comfort and security with the most wonderful man I have ever had the privilege of spending my time with. I know that my children will always strive for the best and with my unconditional, undying love and support in everything they do, great things await them. These are the things I am most certain of, this is what I see very clearly. Like a route drawn out on a map, bold and highlighted, clearly showing the way with no wrong turns.
So why then am I standing at a crossroads?
The reason is this… I am still trying to work out what it is I am meant to be doing in life. Career wise that is.
Over the past 20 years I have had several jobs, most of which have been part time. As a teenager and young adult I suffered with what was then known as “yuppie flu” and found everyday activities abnormally tiring. It took almost a decade with a regular routine of short activities followed by rest to ensure I remained functional. And functional I was for the most part. When my children came along I continued with part time work so that I was at home for them. I studied to become a teaching assistant so that I was only working while they were in school. This worked very well right up to when I became a single mum and felt that financially I had no choice but to work full time, which I did. For the first twelve weeks!
That was when my body decided to “crash”. To cut the long story short after 14 years with no signs or symptoms I suddenly found myself back where I started. Abnormally tired after the smallest of activities. For those of you reading my blog regularly, you may well be thinking, what is she on about? Look at all the things she gets up to. Boat trips out to abandoned forts, abseiling down chalk cliff faces, walking 16 miles alongside a canal etcetera etcetera. Well those are all the things I force myself to do, I push my exhaustion boundaries really hard and then pay the price for it later on.
On bad days I find it very difficult to coordinate my actions to make a cup of tea, my thoughts become incredibly muddled and even my speech gets affected. For someone who is an avid outdoor person who enjoys walking you can well imagine then how frustrating it is to be in immense pain, almost crawling up a flight of stairs. I loose coordination in my hands and have to virtually speak the brain commands to achieve simple tasks. I have no existing injuries in my knees or elbows so why then is it so difficult and painful to walk or lift a drink? I have spent twelve months being poked, prodded and probed by medics trying to find some physical reason why all these things happen to me and so far all they have discovered is that I have IBS! None of the above symptoms fit irritable bowel syndrome!
But what has all this got to do with the crossroads?
Work. Employment. Career.
At the moment I cannot work regularly, I never know when a bad day will hit. I am currently working for an education agency providing the odd day of cover/supply at local schools. But this is not ideal, as some mornings I don’t feel safe enough to drive let alone work with youngsters. Two weeks ago I agreed to do a full week of cover and pushed myself to my limits to complete that work. Which I did, however since then I have felt the looming “crash” sitting just under the surface and am having to take life easy. This also means that I am unable to earn this week as the extreme levels of exhaustion make me unsafe to work in that environment.
So then, what do I do? This is where my crossroads are. None of the roads are clear. My route is not mapped out and highlighted. I know what I need, but don’t know where I will find it. Which direction do I take?
I know I need a form of employment which will cover the household costs. I know I need a job that I can do from home with no restricted hours (as in it doesn’t matter what time of day I do the work as long as it gets done). I know it needs to be something that will easily fit around my children. A job that can be built upon to become a career.
I began a proofreading course back in September with the idea of becoming a freelancer, things were going great with that. A couple of authors were interested in working with me, but since I received a final grade of B- instead of the accredited B, I don’t get a certificate and I don’t get the support or recommendation from the publishing house. It was almost like hitting a dead end!
So that idea is currently on hold.
So there you have it. My crossroads. An unclear route and no idea which road I should take. I would like to say I’m taking that road there because that’s the one where I can find the balance between barely functional and normality. But hey, life just isn’t that simple. So for the time being I will explore the map some more until I can see the correct route to my destination.