When I started working full time I vowed I would not let my blog suffer. I have worked so darn hard building this up. It’s my special place where my memories are stored. It’s my go to place when I’m feeling sad, lonely, angry, happy, excited, scared or overwhelmed. This blog has afforded me some amazing experiences, overseas travel and introduced me to this Australia-wide network of like-minded people. I have made some of my strongest, most meaningful friendships through this blog.
It’s my space to be creative and let my thoughts dance on the page. My words swirl in my heart and soul, before jumping onto the computer screen. My willingness to share myself with you, is returned ten fold with your stories of similar struggles and the sharing of your hopes with me, helping us both to feel not so alone in this crazy world.
When I began working I made a commitment not to lose myself in the day-to-day and to make time for me to continue on this journey I love so much. But I stopped writing. My brain was full. I have found myself running from one thing to the next, trying desperately to cram my own life into this new reality of mine.
When I’m not working, I’m parenting. There has been little time for me. And when I get it, I try and spend time with my husband and the little time I have left for me is fleeting. The thought of sitting at a computer makes my head spin. I crave my bed and a good book. And sleep. Then I wake up and do it all again. Like all working parents.
Since I started working five weeks ago, I’ve been to Melbourne twice (spending a total of nine days there), I’ve handled media at two big events, had about 15 vaccination injections and been caught up in the urgency of an aid agency dealing with the immediate needs of a country hit by a devastating cyclone. I’ve learned new computer systems, been introduced to a new work language, met about one gazillion colleagues and negotiated two new offices in both Adelaide and Melbourne. Everything I do, takes three times longer than everyone else. Being the new kid is scary and exhilarating.
My family is now one that juggles the work life balance – it’s exhausting. Twiggy is amazing. My mum is amazing. The kids are settling into our new reality with ease. I feel immense guilt for leaving them and have not been my usual self, my head crammed with to-do lists and uncertainty. I have rediscovered a sense of selfishness that comes with re-entering the workforce. My thoughts no longer rest entirely with them, they are spilt between my two realities. But guilt just comes with the territory of parenting, it’s nothing new.
And in the midst of this upheaval and personal growth, I lost a dear friend. Grief sits beside me as I type.
Life is a precarious thing. The choices you make can change your journey so profoundly, it takes time to settle into your new destiny. To be honest I’ve found the past few weeks very trying. I don’t regret my decision, but I’m tired and my brain hurts. There are moments I feel I might have bitten off more than I can chew. And then there are moments I look at what I’ve achieved so far and marvel at how brave I’ve been. I am very good at talking myself out of opportunities. I excel at seeming confident, yet being terrified on the inside. I am an expert at giving up when things get hard. I am really great at making myself believe I am crap at everything and spend most of my time worrying I am letting everyone down with my inadequacies. Many times over the past few weeks I have felt like an imposter.
I have felt like that for much of my life. I do not have a lot of self confidence, despite people assuming I do. It is this constant fight against myself which gets tiring and I have been purposely trying to shut it down. I have been telling myself constantly that I am highly capable, that I know my shit, that I can deal with anything and I must continue to believe in myself. It’s relentless.
Recently, I sat in a hire car at the airport and I was forcing myself to calm my nerves and breathe deeply. I told myself that I was a strong woman. That I should embrace my vulnerabilities and be brave to ask questions and to allow myself to fail. That failing meant I was learning. And learning would only make everything seem easier. That every challenge ahead of me I was to embrace and stay calm, not be my own worst enemy. I started the engine and drove right out of that airport to my destination. And when I got there I high fived myself, because there was nothing to be afraid of. And every step of that weekend when I felt nervous or doubted myself I took a moment to talk myself up, rather than talk myself down. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.
I have a lot to learn. We as a family have a lot to settle into. This new reality of ours is going to take some time to get used to. This new job of mine is going to take some time to get used to.
Every day it gets a little easier. Every day I tell myself to believe in my capabilities. Every day I surprise myself.
I am stronger than I think.