The other morning, I woke up at 4a.m. with an epiphany:
I’m not lost anymore!
The feeling of being lost/unfulfilled/out-of-place/like a fish out of water has haunted me throughout my life. As a teacher, I felt it keenly, but I was never really sure whether it was because it wasn’t the path for me, or because it was something that was just very much out of my comfort zone. I was frustrated at myself for wanting more.
I wished that I could just be satisfied with less.
Colleagues were disheartened with the workload or the pay or the behaviour, but they were also perfectly content to teach until they retired. I desperately wanted to feel the same way, but every Summer holiday since I began teaching, I’d have an existential crisis. I just wanted to feel whole.
So, now having left my job, and being into my third month of running an educational business (eeeek!), teaching wellbeing and happiness in schools, I realise that it wasn’t the workload, the anxiety or the adversity or even the dreaded government interference that made me feel lost. All that time, I was wandering around, looking for the place that I needed to be. Better still, I doubt that I’d have got to this place, if I hadn’t seen and done all I did along the way.
Every experience, interaction, choice – every win and fail – fed into where I’ve ‘found’ myself today.
People talk about living life with no regrets and I really believe in this. Of course, there are things in my life that I’ve said and done; that it’s not hard to cringe at or be upset by, but it’s all part of who I am today, and where I’ve come.
If fact, the things that I’ve failed at… the jobs I didn’t get… the speeches I messed up… the times I let anxiety control me… have helped me to become who I am, much more that the successes and jobs well done.
Alongside this, I know that wishing you wanted something other than what you really want is completely futile.
Imagine a bird, berating itself constantly because it can’t swim like the rest of the fish. At some point, you will get out of the water and fly. Just because you’re learning right now, doesn’t mean that you don’t belong in the sky, and won’t soar just as high or higher than the other birds once you make it there.
Are you lost right now? Or are you lucky enough to be found? Have you learnt more from failures than your successes? I’d love to hear your thoughts: