I wrote this blog today because, one, I want to be transparent with my readers and Instagram followers, and two, society sure has a way of tearing people down, hopefully this post may help someone who has felt, or feels the same.
A traveller’s life is frequently very different from a person’s reality. The way I come across is important to me, not for the approval of others but to stay true to myself.
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I started travelling after a series of challenging events in my late 30’s which had caused me to re-evaluate my life at 38 years old, only to find that everything I had been working towards wasn’t really what I had wanted, but fitted rather nicely with the expectations of society. Sure, I had the means to live in a lovely two-bedroom highrise apartment, which I referred to as my penthouse (it wasn’t 🤣); a nice car; a bachelor’s degree; and a diploma in the healthcare sector, along with a nice title job as “A Clinical Support Worker.” It all sounds really nice, doesn’t it? But what did it matter? Because in spite of accomplishing all of this, it would be diminished within seconds when people learned I was almost 40, childless, not married, and single. as if these were the only things that defined or valued me as a woman or even a human being.
I shouldn’t have cared what other people thought of me, but I was so insecure, unhappy, and completely dissatisfied with my life that I did.
This put me on a path of self-sabotage and I knew I had to take a deep look into my life and re-evaluate it.
Self-evaluation of my career
My self-evaluation of my life came at 38 years old, after being diagnosed with depression. At first, I thought my diagnosis was triggered by my late dad’s transition a few years earlier, though I do think this was just the last straw, but after my self-evaluation, I realised I had been unhappy for several years before this occurred.
The truth is, I hadn’t been living as my true self for several years because I valued what others thought of me far more than what I thought of myself. As a result of this, I made decisions and choices based on what was more acceptable in society, which ultimately resulted in me betraying myself for years.
I hadn’t really wanted to be a healthcare professional but a dancer who travelled the world, but it was a back-up plan more acceptable in society and it didn’t get frowned upon like my dancing desire, so at just 19 years old, I made the decision to choose healthcare as a career.
I started out as a pharmacy counter assistant and later became a qualified pharmacy dispenser, and then, at 22, I decided to study for a health and social care diploma and later gained a bachelor’s degree. From here, I worked in hospitals and did a number of healthcare roles, but was never satisfied for more than a few years in any of them. I suddenly found there was nowhere else to move because I didn’t have the desire to work in the healthcare sector anymore and found myself stuck.
While I was feeling lost and stuck in the face of my true reality, I began to subtract back to a time when I was truly happy and had a full zest for life. I was taken back to around 20, just about the same age I had dropped my desire to dance and travel. It was here that I realised the reason I had been unhappy was because I never followed my dreams.
I wasn’t bothered about the dancing anymore, but the passion to travel never left.
I realised I had to pursue this long awaited dream.
Self-evaluation on having children
I often pretended I didn’t want children. It was better to be judged as selfish or be seen as strange than to have people pressuring me about my biological clock when I would say I wasn’t sure if I wanted children. This would trigger anxiety within me because I felt I was running out of time, and I sure didn’t want it up for open discussion for everyone to have an opinion on, especially since I didn’t ask for their opinion.
The truth here was I didn’t even know if I wanted kids, but during my self-evaluation I realised I didn’t ever think to ask myself why I even wanted children. To be honest, I couldn’t even answer my own question. The only thing that came to mind was that it is simply what society expects of me, and the idea did not originate in me but was embedded as an expectation by adults from being a small child.
I realised I wasn’t really bothered; I could take them or leave them and know I’d be fine either way.
Self-evaluation on being single and Unmarried
Once I realised I wasn’t too concerned with having children, I didn’t need to do much self-evaluation about marriage or being single and rushing to meet someone. Though I did ask myself why I wanted to be married or be with someone, this was easy. I wanted a best friend with whom I could share my life experiences.
However, since I wasn’t too concerned about children, I realised there wasn’t a rush to meet someone. More than this, the years of betraying myself caused me to actually want to figure out who I really am so I can know what I really want, and for this part, it requires me to be single for a little while.
The true version of me
Today I am 41 years old, and for the first time in my adult life, I have started to live in the world as no one other than myself. I have failed trying to be someone other than myself, and I have found I do a pretty damn good job at being me.
Since my self-evaluation, I’ve given up my apartment and car to free up money to do more of the things I like. I’ve given up my health care job because there wasn’t much point in continuing something I wasn’t enjoying. Now I work part-time in hospitality as well as travelling abroad during my holidays and travelling around the UK during my days off.
I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I’m just winging it and making it all up as I go along, but I’d rather be happy, authentic, and live my truth than be fake and pretend I have it all figured out.
If I’m going to last in this world, it has to be by living as my true authentic self because it is painful, exhausting, and completely unfulfilling otherwise.
One last thing….
My travel journey isn’t just about how many countries or places I visit; it’s about finding out who I really am, what I want, and for inspiration for my next career move. This is largely why I chose to travel solo.
Besides this, I am practising on a daily basis to choose a deliberate life filled with deliberate and satisfying choices that feel good and satisfying to me, instead of considering the options and beliefs of others like I did when I was younger.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog today.
Thank you for reading 🙏🏾
Stay blessed Natalie ❤